India opener Smriti Mandhana and all-rounder Deepti Sharma are all set to play for Sydney Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) 2021. Smriti will represent her third franchise in WBBL, whereas Deepti Sharma will play her debut season in WBBL which begins on October 14 in Australia.
Indian cricketers Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma were signed by Sydney Thunder for the sixth season of WBBL which begins on October 14 in Australia. Smriti has readymade experience of playing in the BBL as she represented Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes in the past.
Smriti has scored 407 runs from 25 WBBL matches with two half-centuries. Expressing her views on her next stint in the WBBL 2021, the southpaw was of the opinion that playing in the league will give a lot of experience and will benefit her in the T20 format. The 25-year-old further added that regardless of pressure, she always looks for opportunities to learn.
"I like it, it always helps. Playing in overseas leagues gives you a lot of experience, especially in the T20 format. Then, of course, you exchange so much experience with each other... with all the players from over the world... so you get to learn a lot. Rather than pressure, I always look at it as an opportunity to learn, and to get used to that pressure because it only builds when you play international cricket,” the opener was quoted as saying in Sydney Thunder's official website.
England captain Heather Knight, who performed brilliantly for Thunder throughout their triumphant WBBL campaign last season, will be unavailable to return this summer. Deepti Sharma has been signed as a replacement for Heather. Also, this will be the first WBBL appearance for Deepti Sharma. The 24-year-old shared her views on playing for the first time in WBBL, saying that she was very excited to be a part of the WBBL.
"This is my first time (in the WBBL), so I'm excited. I've had offers before, but I couldn't play at the time because at the time we had (an international) series. It's a big thing for Indian women's cricket that we have the opportunity to play in the WBBL. We have to express ourselves in the competition," she stated.
Sydney Thunder coach Trevor Griffin is of the opinion that the Indian duo will be great additions to the team. He stated that Mandhana is effective in the opening slot and Deepti is a match-winner with her all-around skills.
"Smriti is an opening batter who has the tremendous ability to take everything in her stride. I like that she keeps her game really simple; she just wants to score runs. I'm delighted to have her on board, and I have no doubt that she'll prove to be a great addition to Thunder,” he said.