Women’s T20 Challenge: Top 5 Indian players to watch out for

The upcoming Women’s T20 Challenge is set to witness top Indian cricketers joining forces with the biggest names from overseas to compete in a four-match tournament.

The Women’s T20 Challenge will be played from November 4-9 here in Sharjah and the competition will be contested between three teams — Trailblazers, Supernovas, and Velocity.

Mithali Raj will be leading Velocity while Trailblazers and Supernovas will be led by Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur respectively.

Ahead of the tournament, let’s have a look at the top five Indian players to watch out for in the upcoming edition of the tournament.

Mithali Raj (Velocity):

Arguably, India’s greatest women cricketer Mithali will be returning to the field as the captain of Velocity in the Women’s T20 Challenge 2020. The 37-year-old last featured in a T20 international in March 2019. In her 89 T20 matches, Mithali has scored 2364 runs with an average of 37.52 and has the highest score of 87 runs. She will be expected to lead from the front when Velocity walks out to face Supernovas in the tournament opener on November 4th.

Shafali Verma (Velocity):

Entering as one of the most exciting players of the tournament, Shafali will be expected to do all the heavy lifting for Velocity. The 16-year-old superstar is the youngest woman to play for India in T20Is. The opposition will be cautious about Shafali’s form after she was declared the world’s number one batswoman in the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings released in March this year. Verma showcased her mettle at the Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 as she emerged as the fifth-highest run-scorer of the tournament and the player with the highest number of six’s.

Jemimah Rodrigues (Supernovas):

The 20-year-old talented cricketer from Mumbai was named the player of the series and the player with the highest number of runs during the Women’s T20 Challenge 2019. Jemimah will be an important cog in the wheel for Supernovas, who are eyeing a third consecutive title.

Harmanpreet Kaur (Supernovas):

Harmanpreet Kaur has been the most successful player in the tournament and this time, she returns eager to pocket her third title. The experienced all-rounder’s career has been decorated with smashing records. She was the first woman to score a century in a women’s T20I, and she was the first Indian player (male and female) to play 100 T20I matches.

Smriti Mandhana (Trailblazers):

The youngest captain of Women’s T20 Challenge, Smriti Mandhana, will be itching to avenge her team showing from last year. The Trailblazers captain did not have a good start of the year as she underperformed at the Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 with just 49 runs in 4 innings. The stylish left-handed batswoman will be expected to regain her lost form and improve her batting that will hold the Trailblazers in good stead in the tournament.

For the Women’s T20 Challenge, all the matches will start from 7:30 PM IST except the second match between Velocity and Trailblazers as that will be played from 3:30 IST in the afternoon. The tournament will be aired on the Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar.

On October 11, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had announced the squads and schedule for the upcoming Women’s T20 Challenge. Last year’s finalist Supernovas will be taking on Velocity in the opening game on November 4.