WPL 2023: UP Warriorz banking on bowlers in their maiden voyage

The UP Warriorz has the most complete bowling attack in the tournament but finding the right balance and the right set of overseas players will be a major challenge for them.
UP Warriorz WPL 2023 Squad

Capri Global Holdings Private Limited owned UP Warriorz will be the last of the five teams to start their campaign when they face off against Gujarat Giants in the 3rd game of the WPL on 5th March. Let’s do a deep dive into their squad and find out their strengths and weaknesses.

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UP Warriorz WPL 2023 Squad

Squad: Deepti Sharma, Sophie Ecclestone, Devika Vaidya, Tahlia Mcgrath, Shabnim Ismail, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Anjali Sarvani, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shweta Sehrawat, Kiran Navgire, Lauren Bell, Laxmi Yadav, Parshavi Chopra, S. Yashasri, Simran Shaikh

Support staff: Jon Lewis (Head coach), Anju Jain (Assistant coach), Ashley Noffke (Bowling Coach), Lisa Sthalekar (Mentor)

The UP Warriorz will be led by ace Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy. They have the fewest unknown names in their setup and have mostly gone for trusted, well-known international stars like Sophie Ecclestone, Shabnim Ismail, Tahlia McGrath, and Deepti Sharma. While the individual brilliance in their squad is high, there are some issues with their overall composition and balance which we will talk about later.

The Warriorz’s support staff includes former English cricketer Jon Lewis as head coach, former Indian cricket Anju Jain as an assistant coach, and former Australian cricketer Ashley Noffke as bowling coach. They have also roped in former Australian captain and four-time World Cup winner Lisa Sthalekar as their mentor.

UPW Depth Chart


Complete bowling attack

The UP Warriorz have the best overall bowling attack in the tournament. While other teams might have strong pace attacks or spin attacks, what distinguishes the Warriorz is that they have quality international bowlers of all types. Three of their bowlers are in the top seven of the ICC bowler’s rankings in T20Is — Sophie Ecclestone (1st), Deepti Sharma (5th), and Shabnim Ismail (7th).

Ecclestone’s quick left-arm spin has been a menace for batters around the world, Deepti recently became the first Indian cricketer to get to 100 T20I wickets, and Ismail had a tremendous World Cup where she also clocked the fastest delivery bowled in women’s cricket. As if this quality wasn’t enough, they also have excellent backups for all roles — Rajeshwari Gayakwad for left-arm spin, Anjali Sarvani for left-arm pace, Lauren Bell for right-arm pace, and U19 sensation Parshavi Chopra for leg spin.

Experienced batters for all phases

Alyssa Healy, Deepti Sharma, Tahlia McGrath, and Grace Harris have a combined experience of 293 T20Is between them. And they all bat in different phases of the innings. Healy can control the top order, McGrath can take charge in the middle, and Deepti and Harris can take care of the death overs. This will ensure that no matter what the situation, they will have experienced batters in the middle at almost all times.


Squad balance

While there are a lot of international stars in the Warriorz squad, stringing them together to make a balanced XI will be a huge headache for them. The four foreigners' rule will allow them to play only four out of Healy, McGrath, Harris, Ecclestone, and Ismail, and it will be a difficult decision to make as to who to leave out. 

Healy is the captain, McGrath averages 61.5 with the bat and 18.5 with the ball in T20Is, Harris is one of the most powerful hitters in women’s cricket currently, Ecclestone is the world's number 1 T20 bowler, and Ismail is the fastest bowler in women’s cricket.

If they leave Ismail out, they don’t have a lot of Indian pacers to fall back on, and if they leave any one of McGrath and Harris out, the batting starts looking really thin. This implies that they might have to go in without the best bowler in the world in their XI.

Thin Indian pace bowling contingent

The UP Warriorz has only two Indian pacers — Anjali Sarvani and Yashasri — and both of them have a combined experience of 6 T20Is at the senior level. In case they feel the need to play all three of McGrath, Harris, and Ecclestone and have to leave out Ismail due to balance reasons, the inexperienced pace attack can become a soft target for the opposition teams.

Questionable captaincy choice

While Alyssa Healy is a world-class batter who can win games on her own, she doesn’t have a lot of leadership experience and is also an overseas player. The Warriorz had the choice of picking Deepti Sharma as the captain. That would have had a two-fold benefit. One, she could have connected better with the local Indian girls, and two, Warriorz could have afforded to not pick Healy in the XI as they already have decent Indian openers, and instead could have gone in with McGrath, Harris, Ecclestone, and Ismail as the four overseas players. That team would have had better balance and would have looked better, at least on paper.

Uncapped Players to watch out for

Parshavi Chopra

A young 16-year-old leg spinner from UP, Parshavi Chopra impressed one and all in the U19 World Cup earlier this year. She was the second-highest wicket-taker in that tournament, picking 11 wickets in 6 innings at an average of 7 and an economy rate of 3.66. She is the only frontline leg spinner in the Warriorz squad and will have a major role to play in the middle overs for them.

Shweta Sehrawat

Another one of the U19 stars, Shweta Sehrawat is a 19-year-old top-order batter from Delhi. She was the vice-captain of the Indian team at the U19 World Cup and was also the highest run-getter in the tournament, scoring 297 runs in 7 innings at an unbelievable average of 99 and an excellent strike rate of 139.43. She is one of the brightest young talents in the country and this will be a perfect opportunity for her to be in the limelight and steal the show, opening alongside Alyssa Healy.

Soppadhandi Yashasri

A 19-year-old right-arm pacer from Hyderabad, Yashasri was also a part of the U19 World Cup winning team earlier this year. She is one of the two Indian pacers in the squad and will have a major role to play in the tournament for the Warriorz. She has a lot of variations up her sleeve and just sharing the dressing room and training alongside a legend of the game like Shabnim Ismail will do her a world of good.

Probable UP Warriorz Playing XI For WPL 2023

Option A:

  1. Alyssa Healy (WK) (C) (OS)
  2. Shweta Sehrawat
  3. Kiran Navgire
  4. Tahlia McGrath (OS)
  5. Devika Vaidya
  6. Grace Harris (OS)
  7. Deepti Sharma
  8. Sophie Ecclestone (OS)
  9. Anjali Sarvani
  10. Parshavi Chopra
  11. Soppadhandi Yashasri

Option B:

  1. Alyssa Healy (WK) © (OS)
  2. Shweta Sehrawat
  3. Kiran Navgire
  4. Tahlia McGrath (OS)
  5. Devika Vaidya
  6. Grace Harris (OS)
  7. Deepti Sharma
  8. Rajeshwari Gayakwad
  9. Anjali Sarvani
  10. Shabnim Ismail (OS)
  11. Parshavi Chopra


UPW has some of the best T20 players in the women’s game, especially in the bowling department. But they seem to have shot themselves in the foot a bit with their captaincy choice. They have some tough decisions to make in terms of strategy and team selection and will have to make a trade-off between going light on their bowling or their batting. This is pretty similar to the issues which Gujarat Titans seemed to have in last year’s IPL, but they managed to overcome them and eventually won the trophy. UPW will be taking inspiration from that and will be hoping for something similar.

If things go right for them, they have an outside chance of going the distance but don’t be surprised if they have a tough time getting into the top four as well.