Haynes helped Mooney take on Gujarat Giants captaincy

Captaincy was not on the radar for Australian women's cricket star Beth Mooney in the inaugural IPL until she spoke to former national team vice-captain Rachael Haynes.

A couple of conversations later and Mooney will lead out the Gujarat Giants against Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's Mumbai Indians to kick off the tournament on Saturday.

Haynes is Gujarat's head coach and Mooney said it helped her make up her mind.

"It (captaincy) certainly wasn't something that was on my radar," Mooney, who has led Queensland Fire in the WNCL and Brisbane Heat in the WBBL, said in Navi Mumbai.

"When I got bid on in the auction, I was happy to be a part of it and get picked up by a team.

"Mithali (Raj), the Giants mentor and advisor, gave me a phone call in South Africa saying, 'we'd like you to do it (captaincy) and we're happy if you want to. So just let us know'.

"After a couple of conversations with Rachael, we both thought that the time was right for me to challenge myself within cricket."

Mooney was named captain of the Giants a day after her match-winning unbeaten 74 headlined six-time champions Australia's T20 World Cup win.

Having just arrived in India, the 29-year-old said she would rely largely on local knowledge when choosing the XI for the first two games.

"It's the support staff that have been around and in touch with the girls," Mooney, who was snapped up for $AU350,000 at the auction, said.

"Rach and I have a great relationship ... (and it is good) to be able to work pretty close with her ... she is in her first ever job as a head coach.

"I have got a little bit of experience. But I trust Rach and her judgement and so I was more than happy to help her out."

There is a distinct Australian flavour to the five-team competition.

Mooney, the player of the match in the T20 World Cup final in Cape Town, is one of three Australians in charge of a WPL side.

Her national team captain Meg Lanning will spearhead the Delhi Capitals while Alyssa Healy will be at the helm of the UP Warriorz.

Meanwhile, Kim Garth, who was part of Australia's victorious T20 squad, will replace Deandra Dottin at the Giants.

The 26-year-old pace-bowling allrounder, who missed out at the player auction on February 13, was included after Dottin's unavailaibilty. She becomes the 15th player of the Australian contingent at the WPL.

The sides will square in a round-robin format with each team playing the other twice.

The top-placed team will go directly into the final while the second finalist will be decided through an eliminator between the sides finishing second and third.

The final will be played on March 26.