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Analysis

WPL - How the five teams stack up after the auction

RCB get Mandhana, Perry; Mumbai pick Harmanpreet; Deepti goes to UP Warriorz

Smriti Mandhana has been a constant at the top, England vs India, Women's World Cup 2022, Mount Maunganui, March 16, 2022

Smriti Mandhana was the highest paid player in the inaugural WPL auction  •  Getty Images

Royal Challengers Bangalore

By Shashank Kishore
Number of players bought: 18
Money spent: INR 11.9 crore
Key players: They love building their brand around certain key players. Think Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle with the men's team. Similarly at the WPL, they've lined up a fearsome trio of Smriti Mandhana, four-time T20 World Cup winner Ellyse Perry and South Africa's Dane van Niekerk, a value pick at INR 30 lakh.
Strengths: Their overseas contingent is star-studded and full of multi-skilled cricketers. Perry, Sophie Devine, van Niekerk, Heather Knight - all of them can bat and bowl. The team management may have to rack their brains on whom to leave out and that isn't a bad place to be in, given the quality they have. Throw in the firepower of Mandhana, Richa Ghosh and Renuka Singh, all high-profile India internationals, and they've got all the makings of a tournament-winning squad.
Weaknesses: The absence of a quality Indian wristspinner on red-soil surfaces of Mumbai, which will aid bounce, may be a bit of a miss.

Mumbai Indians

By Shashank Kishore
Number of players bought: 17
Money spent: INR 12 crore (entire purse)
Key players: Harmanpreet Kaur, Nat Sciver-Brunt and Pooja Vastrakar will undoubtedly be among the first names on the scorecard. It was in Mumbai where Harmanpreet announced herself with a maiden World Cup hundred in 2013, and it's here that she will begin a new era in Indian women's cricket, possibly as captain of the Mumbai Indians. Sciver-Brunt's batting versatility against pace and spin, as well as her quality medium pace, and Vastrakar's X-factor as a big hitter lower down, in addition to being able to bowl a heavy ball in the middle overs make them vital cogs.
Strengths: Back-ups for every position is something Mumbai pride themselves on having thanks to a robust scouting network. And they've managed to create just that. They have also built a decent pool of India Under-19s, whom they would hope to nurture over time.
Weakness: The absence of a back-up wicketkeeper to Yastika Bhatia could be a bit of a hindrance. Beyond Vastrakar, they're also thin on Indian seam bowling options.

Gujarat Giants

By S Sudarshanan
No of players bought: 18
Money spent: INR 11.5 crore
Key players: Given Sneh Rana's vast experience in the domestic circuit, she could be a potent force for Giants in the inaugural WPL. She has reunited with Nooshin Al Khadeer, who, as the head coach of Railways, has had a massive influence in the second coming of Rana in the national set-up. Given that two venues will host all 22 games, her flight and dip with the ball could come into play.
Australia's Ashleigh Gardner became the joint-most expensive overseas buy in the auction at INR 3.2 crore (USD 390,000 approx), just days after after she picked up her career-best bowling figures in T20Is. Gardner had spoken about how the surfaces at DY Patil Stadium as well as the Brabourne Stadium were conducive to good strokeplay - something that would benefit her as a hitter - and how they gripped and turned too. Expect her to make an impact with the ball too.
Strengths: Specialists overseas options to choose from plus a couple of bankable seam-bowling allrounders in Deandra Dottin and Annabel Sutherland.
Weaknesses: A bit thin on Indian experience. Save for Harleen Deol, S Meghana and D Hemalatha, they don't have a back-up local batter who can be relied upon in crunch situation or some unforeseen injury issues.

UP Warriorz

By Srinidhi Ramanujam
Number of players bought: 16, including six overseas
Money spent: INR 12 crore
Key players: Alyssa Healy will be a vital cog in Warriorz's top order and in the squad, bringing with her vast international experience. One of the most destructive batters in the world, the Australian strikes at 128.26 in T20Is and can single-handedly steer her team to victory.
Deepti Sharma was the second-most expensive Indian player at INR 2.6 crore, behind Smriti Mandhana. Her talent with both ball - especially in spin-friendly conditions in Mumbai - and bat makes her a crucial figure in the line-up.
Strengths: Warriorz seem to have a balanced squad, well stocked with allrounders in Deepti, Devika Vaidya, Parshavi Chopra, Tahlia McGrath and Grace Harris, who can change the momentum of the game with the bat and ball. With Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Sophie Ecclestone and Deepti forming the core spin trio, the inclusion of Shabnim Ismail and Anjali Sarvani lend the perfect balance in the pace department. They also have a solid top order in Healy, the Under-19 India opener Shweta Sehrawat and McGrath.
Weaknesses: Kiran Navgire and the lesser-known Laxmi Yadav are the only specialist batters in the middle order. They do not have many players who can play the anchor role if a few wickets fall early in the innings.

Delhi Capitals

By Srinidhi Ramanujam
No. of players bought: 18, including 6 overseas
Money spent: INR 11.65 crore
Key players:: In Meg Lanning, they have a multiple World Cup-winning captain from Australia. Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma and Marizanne Kapp's form, and experience, will also be key for the team's campaign in the inaugural edition.
Strengths: Shafali, Rodrigues and Lanning form a strong top order for Capitals. The core of their bowling group also has good international experience in Poonam Yadav, Jess Jonassen, Radha Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy and Marizanne Kapp.
Weaknesses: No perceived weakness on paper as such, but both their wicketkeepers, Taniya Bhatia and Aparna Mondal, not being attacking batters might slow things down in the lower-middle order.