Emotion, class, power hitting, beamers, slower balls, Day 2 of the World Cup had everything.
Zimababwe had South Africa by the rope at 74-4 but Miller and Duminy had other ideas. The pair went berserk and took the Zimbabwean bowlers to the cleaners. A total of 339 should have been enough, was enough but Zimbabwe did not go down without a fight. Brilliant knocks from Masakadza and Chibhabha ensured that Zimbabwe stayed in the hunt for most part of the game, but then again the South African bowling attack and the lack of composure shown by the Zimbabwean middle order meant that South Africa went over the line, and with conviction in the end.
The high voltage Indo-Pak clash did not live up to expectations. India had it too easy in the end. Sublime knocks from Kohli and Dhawan up front followed by a typical ‘Raina rampage’ in the end meant that India reached 300. Pakistan began their run chase in a watchful manner but kept losing wickets at regular intervals. The Indians stuck to their plan, dry up the runs, bank on the slower bowlers to get quick overs in and then capitalise on the anxiety of the batsmen. It worked against Pakistan but will it work against a better team like South Africa? We’ll find that soon enough.
Coming to our fantasy teams, well I couldn’t have foreseen Amla and De Villiers failing against a mediocre Zimbawean attack and as for Irfan, I guess the pressure of the Indo-Pak encounter got to him. The captaincy picks worked out and bailed me out, else it could have been a grim day.
West Indies vs Ireland
Transfers left before the game: 38
Transfers out: Steve Smith, Mohammad Irfan, Vernon Philander
Transfers in: Marlon Samuels, Andre Russell, Jason Holder
Do the West Indians have it in them to win the World Cup? No. But do they have it in them to give some impetus to your fantasy teams? Yes, they do but that is only because they play 4 times in the space of 12 days. Get three West Indians in to your squad, preferably two bowlers and a Marlon Samuel, that would be your safest bet.
I am going in with Marlon Samuels, Andre Russell and Jason Holder. Samuels is a quality batsman and bowls a few darts as well. Also, coming in at four he negates the new ball, which works in his favour and that is why I pick him over Gayle or Dwayne Smith.
Andre Russell bowls his quota of ten more often than not and the New Zealand conditions should suit him, both for his batting and bowling. As for Holder, his pace and bounce should trouble the Ireland and Zimbabwe batsmen, thereby justifying his inclusion in my fantasy side.
There would always be the temptation to go with Gayle for this match but I would advise you to resist that temptation. He is a shadow of what he was a few years back and is turning into a liability for the Windies(and could turn out for your fantasy team as well, if you pick him).
No Ireland player makes it to my team because of the simple fact that the associate nation players cannot be trusted at such an early stage in the tournament. Yes a few could chip in with 50-80 odd points but then with the heavy scoring fantasy teams that I have witnessed in the first two days, I doubt that a 50-60 point player would please any of us.
Save transfers for the ‘heavyweights’ versus the ‘ minnows’ games.
Power Player pick
Jason Holder is my Power Player for the day. Ireland were bundled out for a low score against Scotland and I don’t see them improving against a much better bowling unit.
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. Marlon Samuels and Andre Russell would feature in most of the fantasy teams, so it is Holder who would give you an edge over the others. Jason Holder is my Trump Card for the day.
A tricky weak follows. Most of the minnows would be in action and that could sometimes force you to take decisions you don’t want to. Play wisely and keep the transfers intact, the points will follow.
Do post your suggestions in the comments section. Also, please like and subscribe if you find the analysis insightful. See you guys tomorrow with the Day 3 round up and Day 4 fantasy picks.