Welcome back Fantasy Managers. With less than 4 hours to go for the first match of the event, anxiety is sure to kick in. But do not give in to the urge of constantly fiddling with your team, calmly read the first article of this ‘World Cup Fantasy tips’ series and lock in your team. There would be a windfall of points, trust me.
The Second day of the World Cup promises to be an emotional rollercoaster for every Fantasy player. The constant guilt of choosing any Pakistani player would haunt most of us but DO NOT give in to your emotions. Play the game as it is meant to be. Transfer in players who you deem fit for your team and do not regret one bit for selecting any Pakistani player.
Having said that I doubt if any Pakistani player would make a significant contribution in the match tomorrow, except for maybe Misbah and Irfan. The Indian side have had a lacklustre tour ‘Down Under’ but they are playing at their favourite Australian venue: The Adelaide Oval.
The two month experience of staying in Australia should also work in India’s favour. But the biggest advantage that could tilt the balance India’s way is the mental block that the Pakistan team would have to overcome. Pakistan have lost all five World Cup encounters between the two sides. A sixth is surely on the cards.
The other match will be contested between South Africa and Zimbabwe. While the result is a foregone conclusion, the thing to ponder upon is if the Zimbabwean players can fetch some points for your team? Highly unlikely.
Zimbabwe have had a good win against Sri Lanka in the warm up game but there is a reason for them being the 10th ranked team in the world. You just can’t bank on them and that is why I wouldn’t be wasting any transfers on a Zimbabwean player ,at least for this game.
South Africa are one of the favourites to lift the World Cup and so you have to get in at least two South Africans for every game they play. Amla, De Villers and Steyn would be the obvious choice but also look out for Philander and Du Plesis, they may provide better balance to your team.
South Africa vs Zimbabwe
Transfers left before the game-42
Transfers out: Glenn Maxwell, Josh Hazlewood
Transfers in: Hashim Amla, Vernon Philander
For this game, I already have De Villiers in my team and I would transfer out Maxwell to bring in Amla. The Zimbabwean bowlers do not pose much of a threat for both these batting stalwarts and I would expect both of them to score heavily ,i.e. if South Africa bat first. But even if South Africa bat second, the Zimbabweans should post a total of something in the range of 200-250(due to the small New Zealand grounds). The South African top four should chase that down and thus the bulk of the scoring would be done by Amla and De Villiers.
No point playing Duminy in this game because no matter what the outcome of the toss is, he plays far too low down the order to make any sort of significant impact . You could go in with Faf Du Plesis but when given a choice between him and Amla, I would always go with Amla.
In the bowling department I would transfer out Hazlewood and bring in Vernon Philander. Conditions conducive to swing bowling should assist him and with a career strike rate of 28.9, he is bound to give you at least two wickets. Steyn and Morkel are a little bit expensive and would give you the same amount of points as Philander but at a higher price.
Power Player pick for South Africa vs Zimbabwe
Picking a South African bowler as your Power player would be the way to go about it because Zimbabwe will get bowled out. Vernon Philander is my Power Player for this game.
Transfers left after the game: 40.
India vs Pakistan(The Devil’s game)
Transfers left before the game: 40
Transfers out: AB de Villiers, Moeen Ali
Transfers In: Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane
There is a lot of hoopla surrounding this game but you need to keep your head straight and waste very few transfers on this highly emotional encounter. For this game I already have Mohammad Irfan in my team and his selection is pretty much justified. Tall lad, left arm seamer, playing against India in pace friendly conditions, you NEED to have him. He could run through the Indian top order(At least Dhawan’s wicket is a surety).
No other Paksitan player is worth making a transfer for. Their new look bowling attack is not potent enough and their batsmen except Misbah do not offer a lot, especially in foreign conditions.
Coming to Misbah ul-Haq, he has had a fine warm up game but then a Rahane or a Kohli who have spent more time in Australia and are better adept to the conditions seem the saner choice. Kohli and Rahane both walk into my team because of their performances in Adelaide during the test series.
If there are any batsmen who can play the short ball well, they are these two. Remember Rahane pulling Mitchell Johnson in front of square in the Adelaide test? When you can do it to Mitch, you can do it to anyone who has ever bowled a ball.
Kohli hasn’t had a good ODI record off late but this is a World Cup game. And that too against Pakistan. You expect the ‘stars’ to turn up for the premiere. In come Kohli and Rahane and out go De Villiers and Moeen Ali.
Power Player pick for India vs Pakistan
Great players rise to big occasions. Virat Kohli is my Power Player for this game.
Transfers left after the game: 38.
Trump Card for the Day
Trump Card is a player who wouldn’t be selected by a high percentage of Fantasy players but is guaranteed to perform well. Vernon Philander is my trump card for the day.
As always stay patient, don’t think too much, carefully read the analysis and trust your instincts. We are all in it for the long haul. Do post your suggestions and queries in the comment section. Watch this space before selecting your team for Day 3. Happy team picking.