Royal Challengers Bangalore Women (RCB) faced a challenging 2023 Women’s Premier League (WPL) season, failing to secure playoff qualification. Captain Smriti Mandhana struggled, amassing only 149 runs in eight matches with a disappointing strike rate of 111.19.
Strategic Moves in Auction
In a bid for redemption, RCB went all-in during the 2024 WPL auction, spending INR 2.40 crore to acquire seasoned internationals like Georgia Wareham, Kate Cross, and Ekta Bisht. This strategic investment aimed to bolster the squad and bring a fresh perspective for the upcoming season.
Post-auction, the Bangalore-based franchise expanded its roster to a 17-member squad. Now, the crucial task at hand is to assemble the optimal 11 players who will compose the strongest playing XI for RCB in the 2024 WPL.
Crafting the Winning Combination
With the infusion of new talent and a determination to bounce back, RCB is meticulously selecting the final 11 to create a winning combination. The team is gearing up for a renewed campaign, fueled by the aspiration to clinch glory in the upcoming WPL season.
Smriti Mandhana (C): Despite a tough 2023, Mandhana's experience and role as an opener will be key. RCB relies on her impactful starts, and fans hope she leads the team from the front in 2024.
Sophie Devine: Devine's efficient 2023, scoring 266 runs at a stunning strike rate, makes her a vital asset. As the leading run-scorer, she aims to justify her role and continue her impactful batting in 2024.
Richa Ghosh (WK): With a decent 2023 performance, Ghosh's explosive batting style and fine strike rate position her as a key match-finisher. RCB expects her to play a crucial role in 2024.
Ellyse Perry: Perry's superb batting needs to be complemented by an improved bowling performance. While accumulating 253 runs, her bowling figures (4 wickets at 8.31 economy) suggest room for improvement.
Shreyanka Patil: Ending as RCB's leading wicket-taker in 2023, Patil aims for discipline with the ball in 2024. Her spin skills will play a crucial role on India’s spin-friendly pitches.
Kate Cross: Spearheading RCB's fast-bowling unit, Cross, with her disciplined 2023 performance, aims to deliver her best in the 2024 WPL after being a key auction acquisition.
Ekta Bisht: The experienced left-arm spinner, a valuable addition to RCB, will join Patil and Wareham to dominate opponents on India’s turning tracks. Her international experience adds depth to the bowling attack.
Renuka Singh: Despite struggles in 2023, Singh's recent form and confidence showcased in the WT20I series against England make her a crucial asset in RCB's fast-bowling department in 2024.
- Georgia Wareham: The all-rounder's extraordinary performance in the 2023-24 WBBL as a consistent scorer and wicket-taker positions her as a significant strength for RCB in the upcoming WPL.
Disha Kasat: Kasat's poor performance in 2023 raises concerns. With low scores and a need for improvement, her role in supporting senior players is crucial, and RCB hopes for a turnaround in 2024.
Kanika Ahuja: Ahuja's inconsistent performance in the previous edition prompts questions. RCB may rely on her hard-hitting skills, but her form needs improvement, especially as a lower-middle-order batter.
With strategic moves in the auction and the infusion of new talent, RCB is determined to bounce back in the 2024 Women's Premier League. The team has carefully crafted a strong starting lineup, combining experienced players with promising youngsters. The forthcoming season promises an exciting journey for RCB as they strive to clinch WPL glory.