It’s the last day of the World T20 qualifiers and we are back to Dharamshala for it, where the Phase 1 of the fantasy league will reach its conclusion. The forecast reads rain, so gear up for another round of the cat and mouse game.
Picking players for what in all probability will be two shortened games is not going to be easy. You will have to act on your feet and alter your strategy according to the revised conditions and playing time.
Some basic guidelines for rain-hit games:
- The bowlers are not your friends anymore. No matter how much you banked on them throughout the tournament, the shortened games are cruel to them
- Batting all-rounders who come in at Number 5 or 6 and bowl 2-3 overs in a T20 game, have no right to be a part of your fantasy teams for shortened games. They could end up getting just an over or two with the ball and would have a very minute chance of making any impact with the bat by coming in at 5 or 6.
- The top order batsmen (1, 2, 3 and possibly 4) are your ‘go to’ players for such games.
- If you are hell bent on getting bowlers into your side, pick the bowling spearhead or the one who always bowls at the death. They could go for a few runs but they will get a few cheap wickets at the end of the innings. New ball bowlers wouldn’t help much.
- According to the new Fantasy rules, points scored by players in games that are washed out are also counted. So, if the match starts, try and make one of the opening batsmen of the team batting first as your captain
Let’s get to business then.
Netherlands vs Ireland
Transfers out: Sean Williams, Alaisdar Evans, Mark Watt
Transfers in: Paul Stirling, Stephen Myburgh, Boyd Rankin/Van Der Guuten
Both these teams will feel really hard done by the weather 2 days back, but there is only so much you can control. Porterfield and Borren, both have gone onto to speak about the lack of chances given to the associates to compete at the highest level. But the ICC has turned a deaf ear to these concerns, time and again. I wonder if making the game global is on ICC’S agenda at all.
This is a dead rubber and thus both teams could rest a few players in order to give some of their fringe players some ‘World Cup’ experience. Now, I am not quite sure of their mindset going into this game and hence I am assuming that both the teams will put their best 11 on the pitch tomorrow.
Now, I already have Kevin O Brien and Tom Cooper in my side for this game. Assuming that it’s full a game, these players can hurt the opposition with both bat and ball.
Out of the top 4 Irish batsmen, only Paul Stirling has a strike rate of more than 110. It is a gamble but then a shortened game always tends to get the best out of batsmen who are inherently explosive with their batting. He got off to a brisk start in the first qualifier and was looking in great touch and once he gets going, he can tear the opposition apart (pretty much like what Tamim did to Ireland, two days back). Hence, I get him in.
Now, if the weather holds up and you could get a clear indication that a full game could be possible, I would get George Dockrell in because of the turn he was getting in the last game. But I wouldn’t want to take that chance in a shortened game as the Netherlands have two left-handers in their top 3 (Myburgh and Ben Cooper).
As for the Netherlands batsmen, I would get Mybrugh in for this game, if the Netherlands bat first. He is Netherlands’’ highest run getter in T20s and although he didn’t score too briskly in the first game, he along with Tom Cooper are probably the most trustworthy Dutch batsmen.
Tamim took Boyd Rankin to the cleaners in the previous game, but he has an exceptional T20 record otherwise. Economy of less than 6 and has been amongst the wickets during the warm ups and in the T20 series against the UAE. I always like to trust the career record of the player rather than the current form. The current form is an important factor, but for me a player’s career record is a better sign of what you could expect from him.
Van Der Guuten could also be a good choice considering he had an excellent outing against Bangaldesh 4 days back. So, you have to take a call between Rankin and Guuten. I would say go with whichever team bowls first, that way you are guaranteed to at least see your bowler perform(the team bowling second might not get to bowl due to the rain).
I ignore Van Der Merwe for this game because of the forecast. I am sure it will rain at some point, which considerably brings down his utility.
Captain for this game: Paul Stirling/Myburgh
Depending on which team bats first.
Bangladesh vs Oman
Transfers out: Paul Stirling, Stephen Myburgh, Nadeem Ahmed
Transfers in: Shakib Al Hasan, Mustafizur/Al Amin, Zeeshan Maqsood
Now, for the shootout between the two Asian sides. One, riding off a successful Asia cup campaign and the other riding off a great win against the superior and far more experienced Irish side.
I already have Tamim Iqbal and Mahumudullah in my side for this game. On paper, Bangladesh should win this convincingly but funnier things have happened in cricket and Oman wouldn’t go down without a fight. So, I’ll try and cover all my bases but I wouldn’t want to go too overboard with it (as in I wouldn’t want too many players from Oman in my team).
The weather for the evening is a bit better and I hope we get a full game. For a full game, Shakib would be my first choice because even though he has been out of touch with the bat, Bangladesh keep sending him at number 4, which gives him a good chance to find his touch, back. Also, he always bowls his full quota of 4 overs.
Again, if Mustafizur is fit, I get him in for sure. His variations would be too tough to handle for the inexperienced Oman batting line up. If not, get Al Amin in because I expect Oman to bowled out.
For an already shortened game and with Bangladesh batting first, I would like to consider the possibility of getting Sabbir Rehman in. Though I am not a huge fan of his batting, but he seemed really calm in the rain curtailed game against Ireland and is coming off an incredible Asia Cup. But for a full game, I go with Shakib instead of Sabbir because of the various scoring options that Shakib provides.
My last transfer for this game and for Phase 1 would be Zeeshan Maqsood. Bilal Khan and Zeeshan are the only players worth considering from the Oman team(reasons explained in the previous article). I go with Zeeshan ahead of Bilal because he provides more scoring opportunities and also the dew at Dharamshala for the night game could be difficult to cope with for the inexperienced Bilal.
If you have transfers, go ahead with both of them.
In a shortened game, pick Bilal if Oman bowl first and pick Zeeshan if Oman bat first.
Captain for this game: Shakib Al Hasan/Tamim Iqbal
If you want to play it safe, Shakib is your man. But if you trust Tamim’s ability to do it three times in a row, well, good luck with it then.