Well, what an action (and rain) packed six days have we had? Nobody would have expected the associate nations to provide us with so much entertainment and although the rain tried to steal their thunder, it couldn’t actually break their desire to compete at the highest level. So, Bravo all the associate nations! Things will change for the better.
And if you do not belong to the (or do not care enough) ‘providing the associate nations with more opportunities’ camp, at least the Fantasy game gave you some knowledge about the cricketing super stars of these countries. So, Bravo all the fantasy managers who took part in the Phase 1 of this tournament, you now, have more knowledge about the cricketing world than the others.
Ten teams, one trophy, innumerable exciting players, hours of in depth analysis and inspired selections. This is what’s in store for Fantasy managers for the next 20 days. Get in, the super ten are about to bowl you over!
Let’s get to business now!
Phase 2: Match 13- Match 22(15th March- 22nd March)
India vs New Zealand
The most important thing to remember for the Indian team’s matches is to keep a calm head. Fantasy league is not the place to show your patriotism, Facebook is (just kidding). Do not go overboard with Indian players. Having said that, India have been playing exceptional T20 cricket off late and are the favorites to clinch the title. But then, not every player is going to perform in every game and hence we would need to make sacrifices (keeping the limited transfers in mind).
The game is in Nagpur and the first thing that comes to my mind when I read Nagpur is spin (you are not a cricket fan if you thought oranges). And the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about spin is Ravichandran Ashwin. So, if you can put 2 and 2 together, get Ashwin in for this and probably for every Indian game. He is arguably the best spinner on the planet right now and the Nagpur pitch will play straight into his hands. Get him in!
The next player that I would bring in is Virat Kohli. Easy choice, no justifications required. His career record speaks for itself.
Now, from what I have read on the Internet, the Nagpur pitch is going to be batsmen friendly. And with the firepower that both these sides possess, I wouldn’t want to draft too many bowlers into my side. The wicket will assist spin though and the only bowler who has the required skill to do that is Ashwin. I wouldn’t go with Sir Jadeja because the kiwis have two explosive batsmen in Colin Munro and Corey Anderson in their top 4 and they could absolutely rip Jadeja apart.
The Indian bowlers were very successful in Australia and in Bangladesh but we have to remember that the pitches there were conducive for fast bowling. But on Indian tracks? Good luck with it. Batsmen have the upper hand and that is why I draft in more batsmen into my side(of course all rounders are a boon)
The next player I COULD bring in is the ‘hitman’ Rohit Sharma. His limited overs form has been excellent off late, he also scored an authoritative 98 against the West Indies at the Eden gardens in a warm up game 5 days back. Two years ago I could never imagine myself saying this but, if you don’t get him in, you could be in trouble. But again, he comes with a hefty price tag and it is now that you realize that Phase 2 with its exciting big names brings the cost equation into the fantasy game as well. In Phase 1, cost was our last concern but that is not so now. So, I go with a better option in Suresh Raina, who is 20k cheaper than Rohit but could be really influential tomorrow. He contributes with bat, bowl and in the field. His bowling will be very handy for the Indian side tomorrow, with two big hitting left handers in the New Zealand side. And hence because of the cost equation, I bring in Raina and just hope he has an excellent game.
I omit Yuvraj and Hardik for sure because of them coming so low down in the batting order. Hardik has been chipping away with wickets but again it was on pitches that assisted seam bowling and hence I leave him out for this game at least.
Yuvraj has played a few gritty knocks in Bangladesh but his uncertain batting position and the fact that MSD won’t be using much of his services against a top 4 that have two left handers in it reduces his fantasy potential.
Also, you need to understand that India have too many match winners in their side at this point and it’s about picking the ones who can cause most damage and the ones who will be provided with the most amount of time in the middle to do that. We have all seen the exploits of MSD and Yuvraj on the cricket field for years but do I expect them to score in every game, coming in at 5, 6 and 7? No. Because they won’t have that much time in the middle as Kohli or Rohit. Hence, I leave them out.
Now, the last Indian player that interests me is Raina and that is primarily because of the Nagpur track and the fact that MSD would definitely want to use an off spinner against Colin and Corey. Also, he will come in at number 4 and Raina is a genius batsmen in Indian conditions. But as always, there is an asterisk associated with this. Draft him in only if India bats first because you only have so many transfers.
Now, let’ shift our focus to the Kiwis.
Kane Williamson, New Zealand’s Virat Kohli is my first pick from this Kiwi side. He averages a staggering 36.69 at a strike rate of 126 in the 30 T20 internationals that he ahs played. Those are some really impressive figures. And anyone who follows the New Zealand team knows that this guy is the right up there with Kohli and De Villiers in the limited form of the game.
For my next pick, I need to make a choice between Colin Munro and Corey Anderson(because of the limited transfers). I could go with Corey Anderson because he gives me two (batting and bowling) scoring options and thus is more dependable and the fact that he has already played in the IPL. But there is a cost factor associated with this selection. Colin comes in for a price of 70K. And though Corey does give me the bowling option, he has an economy rate of 8.56 in T20s.
I leave out Guptill because of his inability to perform in Indian conditions and that was one of the major reasons that he was unsold in the IPL auctions as well. Against other sides, he could be a good pick but against a spin heavy Indian team, I wouldn’t vouch for him.
Elliot and Ross Taylor bat too low and Ross is just returning from an injury which doesn’t help his cause. Boult and Southee lit up the World Cup down under but this a whole new set up! The ball isn’t going to swing much here and Indians bat too deep in order for them to get a lot of cheap wickets at the death.
Captain for this game: Virat Kohli
The simplest of simple choices. Thank you Kohli for letting me get away with just a few words for justifying your selection.
To fill up the other places, I have gone in with Jonathan Charles(a wicketkeeper with a price tag of just 70k), Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Sabbir Rehman and Mohammad Amir
The major reason for getting Jonathan Charles was that, he is a wicketkeeper and opens the batting for the Windies. The wicketkeeper’s of other teams are either too expensive (eg: MS Dhoni, Jos Butler) or bat too down the order(Ramdin, Shehzad, Butler). He is the safest pick.
Explanation on the other picks will be provided in the next article but just keep in mind that these selections have been made with regard to the cost and transfer restrictions(not compromising too much on quality, of course).