After the Nagpur heat and the slow and low nature of the pitches(along with the big boundaries), the action moves to the cool and picturesque Dharamshala. The four teams in what could be termed as the group of death go against one another for the second time in 3 days. And if the first 4 days have been some indication of things to come, we should be in for two cracking contests again.
Now, the Dharamshala ground is not as big as the one in Nagpur and is also not that spin friendly (relative to Nagpur because inherently all Indian pitches assist spin)
Netherlands vs Oman
Transfers out: Tendai Chatara, Nadeem Ahmed
Team for Oman vs Netherlands
For this game I already have Zeeshan Maqsood and Bilal Khan in my team. Now, anyone who saw Oman’s last game would agree with me on the fact that Bilal is an exceptional bowler. He has this zip about him, which makes him a real force to reckon with. Don’t be fooled by the zero against his name in the wickets column, get him in if you can.
Zeeshan has been in terrific form over the last 5 games for Oman and it was unfortunate that he didn’t get a bowl in the last game, when he has constantly been amongst the wickets for Oman. I just hope, he gets to bowl in tomorrow and pick wickets, of course.
As for other players from Oman, the only ones that are worth considering are Khawar Ali, Amir Ali, Ajay Lalcheta and Munis Ansari. Let me use the elimination technique to figure out which player is worthy of a spot in my Fantasy team.
Let’s start with the star of the last game, Amir Ali. He is the Chigumbura of the Oman team. Yes, he’ll win you the odd game, yes he’ll catch all the headlines but will he do that in every game, that too coming in at 7? I highly doubt it and that is why I leave him out.
Munis Ansari too had a good game but his career figures suggest that it was definitely a one-off performance. His bowling average is 35.50 and he has an economy rate of 8.35. Not good enough. And I omit Khawar Ali for the same reasons as well.
Ajay Lalcheta seems to be a good bet. The surface will assist him and he will have quite a few right-handers to work with. But do that only if you have enough transfers because on paper, Netherlands should win this encounter and I wouldn’t want to overload my team with players from the losing side.
Coming to the Netherlands now. Roelof Van de Merwe is the most experienced player they have and he is a proven T20 all-rounder and that is why I get him in without giving it a second thought.
I am not getting in any of the openers because I fear that they would not find it easy against the fiery Bilal and hence I avoid the temptation of picking Myburgh, even though he is Netherland’s highest run getter in T20s. I would want to show faith in Tom Cooper again, who has the best batting average in the Netherlands team(having played 16 games) and a healthy strike rate of 132 to go with it. Also, the last game was probably the only occasion when he did not come in to bat at number 4. Hopefully normalcy presumes tomorrow.
But again this too comes with an asterisk. Get him in only if Netherlands bat first, because otherwise if he is pushed down the order again, he wouldn’t be of any use.
Captain for this game: Bilal Khan/Roelof Van Der Merwe
I was extrememly impressed by what I saw of Bilal during the first game and I am optimistic about him getting amongst the wickets in this game. But if, the Netherlands bat first, I would pick Van Der Merwe as my captain.
Bangladesh vs Ireland
Transfers out: Tom Cooper, Bilal Khan, Zeeshan Maqsood
Transfers in: Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mustafizur Rehman
Team for Bangladesh vs Ireland
I already have Mahumudullah and Kevin O Brien in my side for this game.
Ireland would be low on confidence for this game and Bangladesh are experienced enough to go for kill against a meek opponent. I expect Bangladesh to win this game with some ease.
Tamim batted brilliantly the other day and his career record in the limited overs format is too amazing to ignore. Hence, I bring him in with no hesitation.
Shakib is Bangladeh’s Sean Williams(or probably the other way round) and I expect him to turn it around with the bat this time. And even if he doesn’t , he is a quite a handful with the bowl as well. He almost never disappoints and thus I get him in as well.
My last pick would be either Al Amin or Mustafizur. If Mustafizur plays, I’ll get him in because his intelligent bowling would be too good for the Irish side. Only if he doesn’t play, will I get Al Amin in.
No, Irish player gets the nod for this game, simply because of the fact that I think they won’t offer much against a strong and in form Bangladesh side.
Captain for this game: Shakib Al Hasan
The safest captaincy choice.
Check this space tomorrow for the Day 5 Fantasy picks. Happy team picking!