The inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League (WPL 2023) will get underway on Saturday. The historic, landmark tournament will see 5 teams competing in a round-robin format with 20 leagues game in all, followed by an Eliminator – between 2nd and 3rd placed teams – the winner of which will meet the group leader in the final of the WPL 2023.
The competition will be played in two stadiums in Mumbai – Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Stadium. Both these venues are known the nature of its high-scoring pitches, and, as seen in the last year’s India-Australia T20I series in two ground, the boundary roped were also pulled in significantly to produce more fours and sixes.
Fans can expect a high-scoring WPL 2023 tournament, with the best women batters in the world showcasing their class and elegance, and power.
In this article, we pick 3 batters who could end up as the leading run-scorer in the WPL 2023:
Smriti Mandhana (RCB)
Vice-captain of the Indian team, opener Smriti Mandhana will be leading the RCB franchise in WPL 2023. The left-handed opener is one of the best batters going around with an experience of 116 T20Is, wherein she’s scored 2802 runs at an average of 27, having notched up 22 fifties – second-most in WT20Is – with a best of 87.
Mandhana, who was the most expensive player in the WPL auction, is known for her elegant shot-making and stylish brand of cricket that draws in crowd to the stadium and fans to their television screens. Being an opener, and on the flat pitches here, Mandhana is amongst the favorites to end up as the top-scorer of WPL 2023.
She recently had a good T20 World Cup in South Africa, scoring 151 runs in 4 innings at 37 and strike rate of 138, hitting two half-centuries in India’s run to the semi-final.
England’s middle-order batter Nat Sciver-Brunt is known for her brutal, merciless hitting of both pacers and spinners. Expected to bat at number 3 for Mumbai Indians, Nat Sciver recently played an instrumental role in England reaching the semi-final in T20 WC: she was the second-leading scorer in the tournament with 216 runs in 5 innings at an average of 72 and strike rate of 141 – which is terrific in women’s cricket. She also bowls pacer and picks regular wickets.
With MI having a volatile opening pair of Yastika and Hayley Mathews, Nat Sciver-Brunt will get chances to bat big in the WPL, and she could well end up not just as the top-scorer, but also the Player of the Tournament. The 30-year-old has an immense experience of 108 T20I and 94 ODIs and will be a crucial cog if MI are to lift the WPL trophy.
Beth Mooney (GG)
The Gujarat Giants captain Beth Mooney will have to shoulder extra responsibility in a batting line-up that is looking thin quality and experience compared to other teams. This means, Mooney could look to play the anchor role, and bat for long, but the left-hander is well capable to playing attacking shots to keep up the scoring rate.
The Australia opener Beth Mooney is coming off a sensational T20 WC campaign: she was the third-leading scorer with 206 runs at an average of 51 with 3 fifties in 6 matches. The southpaw stepped up for Australia in the two biggest games – 54 in semi-final against India and Player of the Final performance of 74* in the final against hosts South Africa. Mooney was simply brilliant in the final against the Proteas, playing a match-winning knock in the backdrop of a raucous home crowd.
The revered Australia keeper-opener brings with her big-match winning pedigree, title-winning experience in her career of 83 T20Is and 57 ODIs. Beth Mooney is a front-runner to finish as the highest run-getter in the WPL 2023.