WPL 2023: X-Factor of MI-Women
Source: Twitter (Women's Criczone)
To the delight of the cricket fraternity, the inaugural season of the Women's Premier League starts on March 4. Five teams will be rumbling against each other across two venues - Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Sports Academy.
With the event being staged in the State of Maharashtra, the Mumbai Indians are likely to reap benefits. But is this what we can call a differentiating factor for this unit? If not, who or what could be the X Factor for the Mumbai Indians Women?
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The Mukesh Ambani-owned franchise have plenty of all-rounders in their gallery. And these are not just cricketers, but someone who can turn the tide on their own will. Names such as Chloe Tryon, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Amelia Kerr, and Pooja Vastrakar are good examples to cite. But one of those, who could be the X-factor of MI is the current West Indies skipper, Hayley Kristen Matthews. She could be the razzle-dazzle of the side.
Player Profile: Hayley Matthews
Hayley Matthews is a Caribbean all-rounder that represents the West Indies Women. She is the current skipper of her community. The 24-year-old made it into the international circuit in Nov 2014. She is equally impactful with the willow and cork in hand and is renowned for turning the tables at her own will. Matthews generally bats at the top order and is known to use the long handle really well. Having the knack of picking wickets, she can be very effective with her off-spin in the powerplay and the middle phases of the game.
What does Hayley Matthews add to the MI team?
What doesn't Hayley Matthews offer to the team? Only if we could reframe the interrogation this way. The all-rounder has represented West Indies in 82 T20I matches and have garnered 1581 runs. After being a part of 13 innings, she averaged 45 in the calendar year, 2022. She is equally good in all the phases while batting.
Matthews' batting avg in batting position 1: 28.0
Matthews' batting avg in batting position 2: 64.0
Matthews' batting avg in batting position 3: 80.0
Matthews' batting avg in batting position 4: 32.0
This was just her batting. However, Matthews is equally brilliant with the ball in hand. She doesn't come with any mystery but spills consistency and tight lines. She has 78 scalps under her name in the International Twenty-overs format.
Post-Pandemic, Matthews dished 90 overs and snapped 27 wickets. If it was a full day of Test cricket, and she would be the lone bowler, the day would swipe more than two and a half innings.
Apart from this, the Barbados-based cricketer has grown into a leader which shall come in handy to a lot of young stars in the making.
Threat with Hayley Matthews
The West Indies international team have been dependent on a few stars such as Hayley Matthews. The Barbadian sportswoman is used to taking the burden of the whole community and adjusting her game accordingly. So, with plenty of match-winners in a side, it would be interesting to see how she carries herself amidst the superstars. There's a saying, "too many cooks, spoil a broth." Hope that such an act doesn't yield out for the Mumbai Indians.