UP Warriorz looking to do one better in WPL’s second season, says Alyssa Healy

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Alyssa Healy (File photo)

Alyssa Healy (File image)

Mumbai: Sri Lankan superstar Chamari Athapaththu's addition is a massive shot in the arm for UP Warriorz and offers a happy selection headache for the team, which has a lot of quality overseas options, said skipper Alyssa Healy on Friday.


Apart from Healy, the Warriorz have international stars such as Grace Harris, Sophie Ecclestone, Tahlia McGrath, Danielle Wyatt and Athapaththu, who was a last-minute replacement for England pacer Lauren Bell.

"It's a great signing for us. Obviously, having depth on our side with both bat and ball was really important. To add Chamari to that list of names that we've already got was a really great opportunity for us," Healy said during a virtual media interaction on Friday.

"It's going to be a really difficult conversation for management and myself as well as to who's playing in the eleven and what opportunities everyone's going to get. They're really good problems to have and she's in great form." UP Warriorz finished third in the inaugural edition last year in March in a competition which was dominated by eventual winners Mumbai Indians and to a large extent by Delhi Capitals, with their aggressive approaches.


"We're happy with the underdog tag in particular and go out there and knock off some of these big franchises and show them what we can do," Healy said.

"We learnt last year that we can compete. A lot of people, a lot of chatter around the competition probably wrote us off early and thought the big teams were going to run away with the competition.

"But the fact that our group probably underperformed at times but still managed to come away with wins and to finish third was a huge effort for us." The Alyssa Healy-led UP Warriorz will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in their season-opener at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday.


"This season, especially at the auction, we've picked up some of the local players, which is really great signs heading into this season. Hopefully, we can continue to improve and obviously, hopefully, go one or two better this season and hopefully get our hands on a trophy," she said.

Healy said it would be vital for the Indian players in the UP Warriorz camp to express themselves.

"For us, the learnings were all around just being able to compete, especially for some of the local players who have never played in a competition like this before (Or have) never played against some of the international players that they have.


"I think some confidence on their end to be able to know that they can match it with the best, I think is in good stead,” she said. Vrinda is an exciting talent: Head coach Lewis

UP Warriorz splurged Rs 1.3 crore on uncapped Karnataka batter Vrinda Dinesh during the auction last December, making her the second-most expensive player in the competition after Kashvee Gautam.

Head coach Jon Lewis said the franchise was pleased to have roped in an exciting player at a young age.


"She's a really exciting young talent. From what I can see in practice and what I can see over the course of the time that I've watched her play, she learns very fast, which generally the best players do," Lewis said.

“We've got a really talented young player who will evolve as the competition goes on over the course of the next two or three seasons," Lewis admitted that overseas players did the heavy lifting last year but he was confident that India’s domestic players are primed to showcase their skills.

"Over the course of the last year, I've come back to India on a couple of occasions and been kept up to date with how players are progressing. Since I've come back in the last 10-12 days, in terms of our preparation, I feel like our young Indian players in particular have really improved," he said.

"It was a big gap for us last year in our performances — our overseas players carried our side at times. I'm really looking forward to creating opportunities for people to show how skilful they are and whether or not they can cope with the pressure of the big stage," he said.

"My view is that there's a definite improvement since last year and hopefully you'll see that on the field." PTI DDV ATK ATK