Delhi Capitals knows a thing or two about auctioning cricketers.
The franchise used its IPL experience at the auction for the inaugural Women’s Premier League to put together a formidable squad.
It could consider itself a bit lucky that it got Meg Lanning for only ₹1.1 crore; it was one of the best buys at the auction.
Besides being a run machine — she has amassed over 8,000 runs with 17 centuries in international white-ball cricket — she has been an inspiring captain for Australia, which she led to the Women’s T20 World Cup triumph on Sunday at Cape Town.
Lanning is part of a strong batting line-up that includes Jemimah Rodrigues, the franchise’s biggest buy at ₹2.2 crore, and Shafali Verma, who can take any bowling attack apart in no time.
South African Marizanne Kapp — another great buy at ₹1.5 crore — is a serial tournament winner and one of the game’s leading all-rounders.
Young Alice Capsey of England and seasoned Australian Laura Harris are explosive options.
Jasia Akhter, from Jammu & Kashmir, too, is a hard-hitter. All these batters are right-handed, though.
In Taniya Bhatia, Delhi has one of India’s most talented wicketkeepers, but she will be keen to work on her strike-rate.
As she tries to come back into the national team, she could not have hoped for a better stage than the WPL.
Capitals have assembled a good spin attack in the form of Australian Jess Jonassen and the two experienced Yadavs — Radha and Poonam.
Shikha Pandey, who has recently come back to the Indian team, and Arundhati Reddy, who is trying to do that, are among the pacers in the squad.
The franchise has also bought the exciting prospect Titas Sadhu, the 18-year-old seamer who caught the eye at the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa.
Tara Norris, the American who is the only player to get picked from an associate nation at the auction, offers left-arm variety in seam bowling.
It may be noted that the WPL allows a team to have one cricketer from an associate country in the eleven in addition to the four overseas players.
The dugout: Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Marizanne Kapp, Meg Lanning, Alice Capsey, Shikha Pandey, Jess Jonassen, Laura Harris, Radha Yadav, Arundhati Reddy, Taniya Bhatia, Minnu Mani, Poonam Yadav, Sneha Deepthi, Titas Sadhu, Tara Norris, Jasia Akhter and Aparna Mondal.
Coach: Jonathan Batty.
March 5: vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (Brabourne Stadium)
March 7: UP Warriorz (DY Patil)
March 9: Mumbai Indians (DY Patil)
March 11: Gujarat Giants (DY Patil)
March 13: Royal Challengers Bangalore (DY Patil)
March 16: Gujarat Giants (Brabourne)
March 20: Mumbai Indians (DY Patil)
March 21: UP Warriorz (Brabourne)
(The WPL will be held in Mumbai from March 4 to 26).