WPL 2023: Lanning hoping Shafali takes the game on against Mumbai Indians in final

Delhi’s Shafali Verma has not only amassed 241 runs in eight games so far, but has also earned praise from her skipper Meg Lanning.

Published : Mar 25, 2023 19:58 IST , MUMBAI - 3 MINS READ

Delhi Capitals openers Meg Lanning and Shafali Verma.
Delhi Capitals openers Meg Lanning and Shafali Verma. | Photo Credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI

Delhi Capitals openers Meg Lanning and Shafali Verma. | Photo Credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI

Delhi Capitals captain Meg Lanning sported a broad smile as she started talking about Shafali Verma on the eve of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) final.

Over the last fortnight, Lanning and Shafali have opened innings for the Capitals in the tournament, and with her swashbuckling batting style, the young Indian has not only amassed 241 runs in eight games so far, but has also earned praise from the legendary Aussie skipper.

“Shafali has taken pressure off me at the top of the order,” Lanning said on Saturday.

Banking on her natural game, Shafali - India’s U-19 World Cup-winning captain - has provided solid starts to the Capitals, while allowing the seasoned Lanning to pace out her game according to situations.

Though at times Shafali has failed to convert the brisk starts, the Capitals certainly expect a lot from her in the final against Mumbai Indians. “Batting with her has been great fun. She has got a unique style which works for her. She takes the game-on and turns it in our favour,” Lanning said.

“She had a great tournament and is looking in good form heading into the final tomorrow. Hopefully, she comes in with a clear mind and is ready to take the game on and I can watch from the other end…” the Capitals skipper said with a smile.

According to Lanning, both Mumbai and Delhi have been consistent throughout the tournament. “We have had two good contests. I am looking forward to taking on a really good team, they (Mumbai Indians) played some really good cricket last night (vs UP Warriorz). We know they can be, they have got some great players. It is a massive challenge for Delhi, but we are confident as well,” she said.

Mumbai was undefeated in the first five games and looked set to qualify directly into the final. But two back-to-back defeats changed equations and paved the way for Delhi’s direct entry into the final.

And, Lanning understands that it will not be an easy task to tame Mumbai Indians at home in the final. “We come in having been pushed in a few games which is important, we have not had things going our way and that prepares us really nicely. (It is) a high-pressure game tomorrow night and we just got to play our best cricket. We have played with smiles on our faces and that is what I will be encouraging our girls to do tomorrow night - enjoy the experience, embrace it because who knows if we get back here again so we need to make the most of the opportunity…”

Lanning has been one of the advocates of the WPL for a long time and she is happy to have been part of the inaugural edition. Drawing reference to the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), which gave a massive facelift to women’s cricket, Lanning said, “WBBL has played a massive role in the development of cricket in Australia and around the world as well. It provides great opportunities to players and exposes everybody to pressure situations in big games, the need to perform when it really matters. It has played a big role in the success we have had as an Australian team…”

“And, being part of the WPL here, I think it is exactly the same thing. It has been so good to know some of the local Indian players and work alongside them to develop cricket in India and around the world…” Lanning said.

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment