This is a very hectic summer in England. It hosted the 2019 Cricket World Cup followed by a historic Test match between England and Ireland. The Women’s Ashes recently got over and the Men’s Ashes has kicked off. Moreover, in addition to this, the T20 Blast is going on too. And now, the Kia Super League (KSL) is set to kickstart.
This will be the fourth edition of the KSL and it promises to be yet another exciting season. Six teams will battle it out for one elusive title. In the past, we have had three different winners in each of the three years. Last year, it was the Surrey Stars that lifted the title and Loughborough Lightning finished runners-up.
Moreover, there are stars from all around the world that will take part. Hence, as the tournament gets underway, we take a look at five players to watch out for in this upcoming KSL.
1. Jemimah Rodrigues – Yorkshire Diamonds
Jemimah Rodrigues. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Jemimah Rodrigues has had the world talking about her and the talent she possesses. The 18-year-old Mumbai batter has been in the limelight ever since she made her international debut. She is one of the rising stars in international cricket and has impressed in the early part of her career.
Rodrigues made her international debut in South Africa last year and has been a regular member of the Indian side since then. While she might’ve blown hot and cold in the 50-over format, the Mumbai top-order batter has been brilliant in T20 cricket. In 25 T20Is, she has amassed 608 runs at an average of 30.4 and a strike-rate of 123.57.
She was very impressive in the Women’s T20 Challenge earlier this year as well. In fact, Rodrigues was the player of the tournament for scoring 123 runs in three innings in that tournament. Thus, she will be looking to make a big impact in her debut KSL season.
2. Mady Villiers – Surrey Stars
Mady Villiers – Surrey Stars. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
The 20-year-old off-spinner recently made her international debut for England. Mady Villiers played the final T20I against Australia in the Women’s Ashes and returned with figures of 2/20. She was very impressive in the way she bowled as she picked up big wickets of Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner.
She has been in good form throughout this English summer. Villiers picked up 11 wickets at an average of 13.81 in the Royal London Women’s One-Day Cup. Moreover, she was also impressive against the Australia Women’s in the tour games.
The off-spinner played all 11 games last year for the Surrey Stars and bowled in six games. She picked up five wickets at an average of 18.00. Moreover, she can be handy with the bat lower down the order. Thus, she will be a vital part of the Surrey side this year as well.
3. Deepti Sharma – Western Storm
Deepti Sharma – Western Storm. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)
This is going to be Deepti Sharma’s first-ever Kia Super League stint. She has joined her India teammate Smriti Mandhana at the Western Storm. The 21-year-old all-rounder has been a vital part of the Indian team for some time now. She can contribute really well with both bat and ball.
Moreover, the left-handed batter is really flexible. She can bat anywhere in the batting order and still be effective. Deepti has an average of 41.81 in ODI cricket and is the No. 2 ranked all-rounder in ODI cricket. However, she has blown hot and cold in the shortest format.
However, Deepti did well in this year’s Women’s T20 Challenge. She picked up 4/14 and scored 16 in the game against Velocity. Thus, she will be one of the players to watch out for.
4. Sophia Dunkley – Lancashire Thunder
Sophia Dunkley – Lancashire Thunder. (Photo by Jan Kruger-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)
Sophia Dunkley was a regular member of the England T20I side since November 2018. However, after playing 10 T20Is through late 2018 and early 2019, she was dropped for the Ashes. However, she’s been in blazing form this season.
The Middlesex right-hander was absolutely brilliant in the Royal London Women’s One-Day Cup. She aggregated 451 runs at an average of 112.75. She had a strike-rate of 93.56 as she scored two hundreds and three fifties in that tournament. The leg-spinner also picked up nine wickets in six games. She was also part of England Women’s ‘A’ team that played against Australia in the Ashes.
Dunkley will be making a move to the Lancashire Thunder this year. She played every single game for the Surrey Stars last year. She had a strike-rate of 119.51 last season but was very inconsistent. However, this year she’s in great form and will be hoping to carry that into this Kia Super League.
5. Hayley Matthews – Loughborough Lightning
Hayley Matthews. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)
Hayley Matthews has been a vital part of the West Indian women’s team for the last few years. She has consistently delivered with both bat and ball. She is a very effective T20 cricketer. She can give her team fast starts at the top and can chip in with crucial wickets with the ball.
Moreover, she has been in good form. While she has constantly picked up wickets, Matthews scored her maiden T20I ton earlier in May this year. She scored a magnificent 107 against Ireland Women. A couple of months back, she picked up seven wickets in the three-match ODI series against England.
Thus, she will be looking to make a big impact with both bat and ball. Moreover, in the absence of star all-rounder, Sophie Devine, the onus will be on Matthews to take charge and deliver.
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