WPL 2023: Multiple match winners in Mumbai Indians makes them a complete team, says Reema Malhotra

The latest chapter in Mumbai’s scintillating run was added on Thursday when they bowled out Delhi Capitals for just 105, and chased down the total in 15 overs to complete a hat-trick of victories. In the competition, Mumbai is the only side to take all 30 opposition wickets from the three games it has played so far, with the batters smashing tremendous knocks.

Former India cricketer Reema Malhotra believes Mumbai assembling multiple match winners through the player auction held last month, has made them a complete side in the tournament.

"Before Harmanpreet Kaur got the team, Mumbai Indians had done their homework. Like, I had a chat with Jhulan Goswami about the preparation done for the player auction and what sort of homework is done. If you have a look at their team before the matches happened, you can see it’s a team which has got the maximum all-rounders and that too quality ones.

Just imagine how strong their team is that even Harmanpreet Kaur hasn’t bowled yet. They have a leg-spin all-rounder in Amelia Kerr, and have bowlers of various varieties who are bowling out oppositions. Having lots of resources in bowling and depth in batting is making life of Harmanpreet Kaur very easy," Reema said in a selection virtual interaction facilitated by Viacom18 on Friday.

"They also had a steal buy in Hayley Matthews, who I consider as a top all-rounder on seeing her performances till now. If a team has one or two match-winners, then a team gets dependent on them. But Mumbai have match-winners in Amelia, Hayley, Harmanpreet, Nat Sciver-Brunt, and Saika, which I feel makes Mumbai a complete team," she added.

Reema, a WPL expert on Sports18 and JioCinema, also thinks the appointment of Sneh Rana as the captain of Gujarat Giants in the remainder of the competition is a blessing in disguise for the side to turn their fortunes. Sneh had last captained India D team to winning Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy last year and also led Railways to 2021/22 Senior Women’s T20 Trophy.

"I rate Sneh Rana very highly as a captain, as I have shared the dressing room with her in Railways and played against her too. She knows how to use resources and build culture in the team; she’s been champion captain of the Railways team and is very approachable as well as available as a captain. She is a captain who believes in doing things and doesn’t rely only on speaking in team meetings. In the last game, she was injured, but still gave her 100% and that’s the fighter quality she has," the former cricketer said.

"I felt in the initial years of WPL, you need an Indian captain because if not then how will you get the best out of your domestic players, when you have four overseas players? How will you know who is better and what they have to offer, as there wasn’t a camp before? It’s not Mooney’s fault because she just arrived a week ago. Now, I see Sneh Rana’s appointment as a blessing in disguise for Gujarat as you can see them performing well," she added.

With elegant South Africa batter Laura Wolvaardt joining Gujarat as a replacement for injured Beth Mooney, Reema opined the side will hugely benefit from her presence in the playing eleven.

"I was really surprised when Laura Wolvaardt was not picked in the player auction. She was the highest run-getter in the T20 World Cup (this year), and in T20 cricket, you need players who can play the shots, just like how Hayley Matthews is doing. Laura Wolvaardt has got the shots and the class, and I can see her slotting in the playing eleven straightaway as she’s an in-form batter and can make Gujarat Giants really strong to emerge as a winning team," Reema concluded.

–IANS

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