Opinion | The match-up influence on Deepti Sharma and Molly Strano's exclusions
Written By: Jeet Vachharajani
Picture Courtesy: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
DEEPTI SHARMA & BIRMINGHAM PHOENIX
The recruitments by Birmingham Phoenix have been good, but they have been made better assuming that Ellyse Perry has been given clarity on what role she needs to play at #4. Now, Phoenix has Sophie Molineux & Deepti Sharma:
- Left-hand batter vs. Left-hand batter
- Slow batter vs. Slow batter
- Good fielder vs. Gun fielders
- Left-arm orthodox who keeps it tight vs. Right-arm orthodox who keeps it tight (The only difference with a huge influence)
This means that they have two very similar overseas players in their lineup, but both bowl with different arms & that's the point of major difference. In a game dominated by right-handed batters, Molineux was always going to get the nod ahead of Deepti & this is expected to be the theme for most of the games.
When will Deepti be in the XI?
In my opinion, the selections have been influenced by match-ups. This means that when Birmingham Phoenix play against a team with a few LHBs in their side (like London Spirit), Deepti's chances of selections are going to increase. The other chances are likely to be when Birmingham plays on tracks that are known to be slow or aid the spinners a little. Deepti is a kind of bowler whose success is not restricted to a particular type of batter. She is equally good against RHBs as she is good against LHBs. But in a scenario where you can only pick 3/4 overseas, the LHB-RHB factor becomes the dividing line that influences the selection.
However, the only weird thing about this is the fact that Phoenix already has Kirstie Gordon in the side has been the Phoenix's primary left-arm orthodox spinner. Molineux's selection not only keeps Deepti out of the XI, but also reduces Gordon's usage. Sounds like the perfect opposite of a win-win situation.
MOLLY STRANO & SOUTHERN BRAVE
Contrary to what many thought, I expected to see Strano playing the first game and warming the bench from the next game onwards. She was going to replace any of the other 3 overseas players. With Tahlia McGrath not being fit enough, the decision got simpler for the Brave. However, I felt it was more of a tactical decision rather than McGrath's recovery being the issue. Will she play another game? No! Not until someone is half-fit.
How does that make Georgia Adams important?
There are 3 right-arm orthodox spinners in the side & I'd rate them as follows:
Molly Strano - Georgia Adams - Danni Wyatt
With no Strano, Georgia Adams is likely to bowl 15-20 balls in every game! Adams is an opener, but there is no scope to fit her in that position with Mandhana & Wyatt in the team. This was always going to increase the chance of Adams' role increasing with the ball than the bat. This is likely to be the theme going forward.