New Delhi, Feb 12
Former India men’s cricketer Abhinav Mukund said he is hoping that Meg Lanning would be back for the Delhi Capitals in the right mind-space ahead of 2024 Women’s Premier League (WPL), starting from February 23 in Bengaluru.
Meg, the five times World Cup-winning captain and Commonwealth Games gold medal winner for Australia, was the leading run-getter in the inaugural season of the WPL last year, amassing 345 runs in nine innings, at a strike rate of 139.11.
She captained Delhi Capitals to runners-up finish in WPL 2023. But later in the year, Meg announced her retirement from international cricket at 31, leaving everyone shocked. Meg, though, has continued to play for Melbourne Stars in the WBBL, despite taking a break.
Meg recently turned out for Victoria in the domestic one-day competition. At last year’s WPL auction, Delhi spent Rs 2 crore on acquiring the services of young Australia’s pace-bowling all-rounder Annabel Sutherland, as well as on domestic players Ashwani Kumari and Aparna Mondal.
“Delhi Capitals are a solid team. They have got two of the most promising young Indian players in Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues and also arguably the best international cricketer in Meg Lanning. Then, they have Marizanne Kapp and Alice Capsey. Add Annabel Sutherland to the mix now. All their bowlers are in form.
“Jess Jonassen is doing well, unfortunately she may have to sit out. So, it’s just a matter of how they fit in. The extraordinary leadership skills of Lanning also may come into play. I just hope that Lanning comes back to the Delhi Capitals in the right mind space. She took a personal break recently. She wanted an allrounder and that’s what she’s got now (in Sutherland)," said Mukund on JioCinema.
Former India wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim thinks Delhi look formidable to go one step further this year. “DC are a stronger team this time. They generally look for balance in their side. But this time, they entered into a bidding war for Annabel Sutherland and have a clear strategy in place.
"I am trying to figure out whom they will replace to accommodate Sutherland in the playing XI. She has a lot of talent and is young. But DC feel the conditions in which the matches will be played will help Sutherland excel. DC will be strong contenders and were unlucky not to cross the final hurdle last time.”
Delhi will open their campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians on February 23, in what will be a re-match of the WPL 2023 final, where Meg & Co lost to the Harmanpreet Kaur-captained side by seven wickets at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
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