New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS): Former India opener Aakash Chopra believes Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu and former West Indies big-hitting batter Deandra Dottin could become the most sought-after names in the upcoming Women’s Premier League (WPL) auction to be held on December 9 in Mumbai.
“Gujarat’s auction strategy was flawed to begin with when we saw their team last time, it was there for everyone to see as their auction strategy was just not making sense. They made many big-ticket buys and spent very little money on buying Indian players. They were the only franchise that didn’t target any key Indian player. Now they have to change strategy and find their way in the smaller auction, which is not easy.”
For defending champions Mumbai and runners-up Delhi, Chopra thinks they need to get their back-up players as their first eleven has a settled look.
“Both Mumbai and Delhi don’t need much from the auction. They were the finalists last year and if you have a look at their team, they literally have everything.”
“Their main players are set and didn’t let go of any big name. They have their first eleven ready and don’t need to make major changes. In men’s and women’s cricket, if the teams are doing well, then there’s no need to make big changes.”
Regarding UP Warriorz, Chopra feels they need a quality Indian batting option to complete their heavyweight overseas contingent.
“UP Warriorz need an Indian batter, while their bowling looks fine. Their problem last time was that their batting revolved around their overseas players -– Alyssa Healy didn’t have a great time, while there was no idea of Deepti Sharma’s role and Grace Harris was in and out of the team.”
“Their bowling is not a problem and have firepower in overseas players, but they need to find more of Indian batters and the reality is they may not find much as main players aren’t released for a small auction.”
Coming to Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chopra opined they will be searching for good bowlers after having struggled in that department during WPL 2023.
“RCB literally have all players but needs to focus on their bowling department. Renuka Thakur didn’t have a great season last time, though she took 2/2 in the first over itself.”
“Whether it is men’s or women’s team, they have work to do in their bowling department. In the auction, they need to get their bowling right and for this reason, they let go of Megan Schutt and didn’t use Dane van Niekerk and Erin Burns. Batting looks okay, but they need to get their bowling right, which looked very thin last year.”