Team Supernovas | Out-of-the-box players to watch out for | Women's T20 Challenge
Written By: Ankush Das
Picture Courtesy: BCCI
The two-time Women’s T20 Challenge winners Supernovas will begin their campaign against Trailblazers on May 23 at the MCA Stadium in Pune. After a close defeat against Smriti Mandhana’s Trailblazers in the 2020 season, Supernovas will hope to go all the way to lift their third title.
Led by seasoned all-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur, they boast a strong squad with quality overseas players in Sophie Ecclestone, Deandra Dottin, Alana King, and Sune Luus. The Supernovas also have some quality Indian cricketers in their ranks, who have performed exceptionally well in the domestic circuit.
On that note, let’s take a look at four unique players in the Supernovas squad to watch out for.
The 26-year-old leg-spinner from Victoria has come up the ranks in quick time to be Australia’s leading spinner, having made her international debut earlier this year.
King played her first T20I game on January 20, featured in the Test that started on January 27, and then made her ODI debut on February 3. She also played a significant role in Australia's successful ODI World Cup campaign earlier this year, returning with 12 wickets in nine matches at an economy rate of 4.52. She was Australia’s second-highest wicket-taker after Jess Jonassen, who finished with 13 scalps.
This will be King’s first stint in the Women’s T20 Challenge and she will be keen to make a mark. She will pair up with World No.1 bowler Sophie Ecclestone to make up for an exciting pair.
The 25-year-old cricketer from Delhi made her T20I debut against New Zealand in 2019 but failed to make an impact. Eight months later, she was picked for ODIs against South Africa. Priya Punia showed her potential with a remarkable knock of an unbeaten 75 runs to help India win the match convincingly. She also won the player of the match award in the game in Vadodara.
Despite a bright start to her career, she struggled to cement her berth in the Indian team. She has only seven ODIs and three T20Is under her belt.
Coming from a decent run in the domestic circuit, Punia will hope to have a good stint in the Women’s T20 league and make a case for herself to make a comeback in the Indian team with a lot of cricket scheduled later this year.
A seven-year-old Muskan Malik grabbed eyeballs with her quick fielding and catching at the Hamza Cricket Academy. While many perceived it to be for recreational purposes, Muskan knew what she was doing.
Twelve years later, Muskan is one of the promising batters in the country. She had a spectacular run in the Women’s Senior One Day tournament, where she finished as the second-highest run-scorer. The youngster finished with 364 runs in six matches at an average of 72.80, including three centuries.
The cricketer from Uttar Pradesh can be a force to reckon with for the Supernovas side in the top order.
Life has been challenging for the Bengaluru-born spinner, but she hasn’t let the problems come in the way of her passion. A regular feature in the Karnataka side since 2014-15, Chandu came to her best in the last Women’s Senior One-Day tournament.
She finished with 14 wickets in six matches with the best figures of 5/17 to propel Karnataka to the final where they fell short against Railways. Chandu also had a dream run in the Senior Women's One Day Challenger Trophy, where she returned as the highest wicket-taker with 10 scalps in three matches, including a five-wicket haul.
On the back of a prolific domestic season, she was named in the Supernovas squad. The 27-year-old will hope to translate her performances on the big stage and make a case for herself for an India debut.