HomeFeatureWPL 2024: UP Warriorz - Comprehensive Season Review

WPL 2024: UP Warriorz – Comprehensive Season Review

The UP Warriorz’ journey in the Women’s Premier League 2024 (WPL 2024) was a rollercoaster ride marked by ups and downs, culminating in a 4th-place finish on the table. Despite glimpses of promise, the season was characterized by inconsistency and unfulfilled potential.

Amidst the highs and lows, they secured three victories but suffered five defeats, reflecting a season fraught with inconsistency and missed opportunities.


The journey began with a stumble, encountering losses against Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Delhi Capitals. However, they swiftly rebounded with commendable wins against Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Giants.

Despite glimpses of resurgence, they grappled with setbacks, enduring consecutive losses to Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. A nail-biting victory over the Delhi Capitals provided a glimmer of hope before succumbing to a disappointing defeat against Gujarat Giants to conclude their campaign.

What worked well?

Grace Harris’s Brilliance in the Bangalore Leg

Grace Harris lit up the WPL with her exploits in the first half [Image: Getty]
Grace Harris lit up the WPL with her exploits in the first half [Image: Getty]
Grace Harris’s exceptional performance during the Bangalore leg of the tournament undoubtedly served as a beacon of hope for the UP Warriorz.

Her ability to deliver match-winning performances under pressure was evident in her commanding displays with both bat and ball. But as the season progressed, she was shuffled from her consistent batting position of 5 to 4 which did not yield dividends.

Harris’ aggressive batting style, coupled with her knack for picking up crucial wickets, provided a much-needed boost to the team’s confidence. Moreover, her ability to rise to the occasion in critical moments showcased her value as a talismanic figure for the UP Warriorz.

Deepti Sharma’s all-round Brilliance and Emergence as a Power Hitter

Deepti Sharma was at her best in the WPL 2024 [Image: Getty]
Deepti Sharma was at her best in the WPL 2024 [Image: Getty]
Adjudged the ‘Player of the Tournament’- Deepti Sharma emerged as one of the standout performers for the UP Warriorz throughout the season, showcasing her versatility and adaptability in various situations. With 295 runs and 10 wickets, Sharma delivered as an experienced all-rounder (i.e.) the complete package for UP Warriorz.

Her contributions with both bat and ball were invaluable, as she consistently delivered impactful performances to propel the team forward. Her three half-centuries and the memorable knock of 88 was remarkable.

Sharma’s evolution as a power hitter added a new dimension to the team’s batting lineup, allowing them to accelerate the scoring rate and put pressure on the opposition. Furthermore, her effectiveness as a spin bowler provided crucial breakthroughs and maintained control in the middle overs, highlighting her importance as a key all-rounder for the team.

Investment in Indian Domestic Core

Saima Thakor continues to showcase her skills at the top level [Image: Getty]
Saima Thakor continues to showcase her skills at the top level [Image: Getty]
The UP Warriorz’s strategic decision to invest in nurturing Indian domestic talent proved to be a masterstroke, as it laid the foundation for the team’s success and longevity. Players like Shweta Sehrawat, Kiran Navgire, Poonam Khemnar, and Saima Thakor emerged as key contributors, showcasing their skills and potential on the big stage.

The inclusion of these domestic players not only added depth to the squad but also fostered a sense of camaraderie and unity within the team. Moreover, their performances served as a testament to the importance of developing domestic talent and providing them with opportunities to shine on the national stage.

Sophie Ecclestone’s Form

Sophie Ecclestone is a bonafide matchwinner [Image: Getty]
Sophie Ecclestone is a bonafide matchwinner [Image: Getty]
Sophie Ecclestone’s consistent form with the ball was a major bright spot for the UP Warriorz, as she emerged as a potent weapon in their bowling arsenal. Ecclestone’s ability to pick up wickets at crucial junctures and maintain pressure on the opposition batsmen was instrumental in the team’s success.

Her mastery of spin bowling, coupled with her tactical acumen and composure under pressure, made her a formidable force in the tournament. With 11 wickets to her name, Ecclestone played a pivotal role in stifling opposition batting lineups and setting the tone for the UP Warriorz’s bowling efforts.

UP Warriorz relied heavily on the spin attack and it was led admirably by Sophie Ecclestone who bowled well in tandem with Deepti Sharma.

What did not work well?

Mismanagement of Indian Domestic Players

Anjali Sarvani had a lackluster season [Image: Getty]
Anjali Sarvani had a lacklustre season [Image: Getty]
Despite the talent pool available, the UP Warriorz struggled with the mismanagement of their Indian domestic players, leading to underutilization and positional misplacements.

Instances such as Parshavi Chopra’s and S Yashasri’s given no opportunities, Uma Chetry’s ineffective utilization, and Saima Thakor’s misuse highlighted the lack of strategic planning and foresight in maximizing the potential of these players.

The failure to capitalize on the strengths of domestic talent hindered the team’s overall performance and cohesion on the field.

Danni Wyatt’s Exclusion

Danni Wyatt was not given a single opportunity [Image: Getty]
Danni Wyatt was not given a single opportunity [Image: Getty]
The decision to exclude Danni Wyatt from the playing XI throughout the season raised questions about the team’s selection rationale and utilization of overseas players. She was not given a single game and it is pertinent to note, that she let go of national duty (three games of the New Zealand versus England series) to be with the UP Warriorz team.

Wyatt’s proven track record as a dynamic batter capable of making significant contributions made her absence conspicuous. The lack of clarity surrounding her exclusion and the impact it had on the team’s dynamics underscored the need for a reassessment of the team’s overseas player strategy and selection process.

Alyssa Healy’s Form and Questionable Captaincy

Alyssa Healy was in scratchy form [Image: Getty]
Alyssa Healy was in scratchy form [Image: Getty]
Alyssa Healy’s struggles with form and leadership were significant factors contributing to the UP Warriorz’s inconsistent performances.

As the team’s captain and senior player, Healy’s inability to lead by example and inspire her teammates raised concerns about her suitability for the leadership role. With just 175 runs at an average of 21.87 and a middling strike rate of 117.44, Healy did not have the best of the seasons.

Moreover, her lack of impact with the bat further compounded the team’s batting woes, necessitating a reevaluation of her role within the team setup and potential alternatives for captaincy.

Overseas Batters’ Poor Form

The underperformance of overseas batters such as Grace Harris, Chamari Athapaththu, and Tahlia McGrath was a major setback for the UP Warriorz’s batting lineup.

These players failed to live up to expectations and struggled to make meaningful contributions with the bat, placing additional pressure on the team’s middle and lower order. The lack of runs from overseas batters not only weakened the team’s batting depth but also exposed vulnerabilities in their lineup, highlighting the need for greater consistency and reliability from key overseas players.

Lack of Pace Reserves

The UP Warriorz’s overreliance on a limited pool of pace bowlers, beyond Saima Thakor and Tahlia McGrath, underscored the team’s lack of depth and versatility in the bowling department.

The absence of reliable pace reserves restricted the team’s ability to vary their bowling attack and adapt to different match situations effectively. Addressing this deficiency by investing in the recruitment and development of domestic pacers is essential to enhance the team’s bowling strength and competitiveness in future seasons.

Team Combinations and Selection Inconsistencies

The lack of coherence in team combinations and inconsistent selection patterns disrupted the UP Warriorz’s rhythm and cohesion on the field. Frequent changes to the playing XI and experimentation with different combinations undermined player confidence and hindered the team’s ability to build momentum.

Establishing clear selection criteria and maintaining consistency in team composition is imperative to foster stability and confidence within the squad.

Poor Fielding Standards

Fielding was concerning for UP Warriorz [Image: Getty]
Fielding was concerning for UP Warriorz [Image: Getty]
The UP Warriorz’s subpar fielding standards were a cause for concern throughout the season, as costly errors and lapses in concentration proved detrimental to the team’s chances. The inability to execute basic fielding skills and capitalize on opportunities in the field undermined the team’s efforts and allowed opposition teams to gain momentum.

Improving fielding standards through rigorous training and emphasizing the importance of discipline and focus will be crucial to rectify this issue and enhance the team’s overall performance.

What Can They Do Ahead of the Next Season?

Invest in More Domestic Pacers

To address the lack of pace reserves, the UP Warriorz should prioritize investing in the recruitment and development of talented domestic pacers.

Identifying young bowlers with raw potential and providing them with adequate coaching and support will help bolster the team’s bowling department and provide greater depth and versatility in their bowling options.

Find a better way to use their domestic batters

Optimizing the utilization of domestic batters is essential for maximizing the team’s batting potential and achieving greater consistency in performances. A more strategic approach to batting order placements, role clarity, and match situations will empower domestic batters to make meaningful contributions and complement the team’s overseas stars.

Investing in their development and providing them with ample opportunities to showcase their skills will foster a sense of confidence and cohesion within the batting lineup.

Final Thoughts?

As the UP Warriorz reflects on their Women’s Premier League campaign, they must heed the lessons learned and embark on a journey of introspection and strategic planning. Despite encountering challenges and setbacks, the team showcased glimpses of potential and promise, underpinned by notable performances and strategic investments in talent development.

However, addressing the shortcomings identified, such as mismanagement of players, lack of depth in certain departments, and inconsistencies in team dynamics, will be crucial in charting a path to future success.

With a renewed focus on rectifying deficiencies, maximizing strengths, and fostering a culture of accountability and excellence, the UP Warriorz can aspire to elevate their performance and stake their claim as contenders in the Women’s Premier League.

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