Australia vs New Zealand
Transfer in: Shane Watson, David Warner
After a string of full T20 games we are back to Dharamshala for another round of the cat and mouse game with the rain. The forecast as you must have rightly guessed is for rain throughout the day, which means we are in for another tantalizing day in front of our Computer and TV Screens.
But there is only so much that we can do about the weather and thus let’s just get to the cricket for now.
Both these teams have been playing brilliant T20 cricket off late. Australia are coming off a series win against South Africa in South Africa and New Zealand pulled off a shock win against India in the first game of the World T20 at Nagpur. So, the stage is set for some mouth-watering cricket, only if the heavens allow it to proceed.
Demoting David Warner to the number 4 spot has worked wonders for Australia. This means they could use Shane Watson at the top and thus use both these players in the batting positions that they play in for their IPL sides. And we all know how destructive both these batsmen have been for their IPL sides. Good move Australia!
It’s their bowling unit that looks a bit dodgy. Though Coulter Nile, Faulkner, Maxwell and Watson have bowled a lot in the IPL, they have never really been that threatening. Australia clearly miss the oomph of a Brett Lee, the consistency of a Mcgrath and the wizardry of a Warne. But then you can’t keep living in the past; it’s about making efficient use of the resources at hand.
New Zealand have a well settled eleven with most of their bowlers having played in the IPL. But they chose to drop all of them for the last game and look how well that worked for them. But I don’t think the spin trio can work their magic on a flat Dharamshala wicket.
I feel Australia have the edge, coming into this game, having played a lot of T20 cricket in Indian conditions. But then India had that advantage too (against New Zealand). Funny game this!
I already have Kane Williamson and Colin Munro in my side for this game. Therefore let’s start with getting in some Australians first.
The top 5, on paper, look dangerous. On their day, they can rip a bowling unit apart. And that’s why you need to have at least two of them in your side and then hope that the other three depart without making doing much damage.
The first player that I pick from the Aussie side is Shane Watson. One of the most celebrated IPL heroes, Shane has performed well with both bat and ball. Also, his promotion to the top of the order in the national side has further strengthened his cause for selection in your Fantasy sides.
His T20 international record has been terrific as well and I go for him instead of Steve Smith because of that very reason. In 54 T20 internationals, Watson averages a healthy 28.45 at a strike rate of 128. Whereas, Smith who has played just 20 T20 internationals, averages just 20.47(at a strike rate of 120). Further, Watson gives me a double scoring opportunity and mostly always bowls at least 3 overs. His career statistics with the ball? Brilliant again! He has picked up 43 wickets in 54 games at an average of 25.4
The next Australian that I go for is David Warner. Power, finesse; he has got it all. Also, with recent scores of 20,33 and 70 in the middle order for Australia and also having played brilliantly for the Sunrisers in the same position, he is a must have for this game.
Now, coming to the Glenn Maxwell conundrum, whether to get him in or to leave him out? We all know about Maxi’s firepower with the bat and that he also chips in with a few overs of spin but I would leave him out if Australia bat second and that is because I expect this to be a shortened game and hence he wouldn’t get much time with the bat in the middle. Also, on a short ground and flat pitch, he isn’t going to be of much use with the ball and might end up getting just 1 over.
But if Australia bat first, I could bring him in, provided it looks like the weather is going to hold up! (Lot of ifs and buts, but that’s what makes a game at Dharamshala fun)
No other Australian player finds a spot in my side for this game, as I wouldn’t want to waste a transfer on the bowlers especially when there is a forecast for rain. Even without the rain forecast, the bowling doesn’t look that promising and a bowler could at max give you 30-40 points (I would instead safe that transfer).
Coming to New Zealand, their top 5, on paper, look as good as the Australians and I already have 2 of them in my side (Colin Munro and Kane Williamson).
I would want to get one from Guptill and Anderson in my side. Normally it would be an easy choice as Anderson bats at number 4 and almost always bowls his 4 overs. But because of the weather, I would want to cash in on Guptill as he is sure to get a hit. Also, Anderson could be smashed all around the park on a batting friendly wicket.
But again, if it looks like we could get a full game, I would like to go with Anderson, as he is a much safer bet (He has also played in Indian conditions). You need to take a call by taking the weather into account.
I omit the famous New Zealand spin trio because of the short game that we could have. Also, as there would be a lot of moisture in the air, I don’t expect them to get much purchase of the wicket. Also, I would like to see them bowl at a wicket different from the Nagpur one in order to assess them properly and hence I wouldn’t want to waste a transfer on them at this stage.
Captain for this game: Colin Munro/ Shane Watson
Munro is probably the cleanest striker of the ball in cricket today. And the Dharamshala wicket will play into his hands. Captain him, if New Zealand bat first. If Australia bat first, captain Shane Watson.
South Africa vs England
We all saw what a batting paradise the Wankhede is when Chris Gayle made a mockery of the 183 that was posted by the English batsmen. You can expect another high scoring encounter tomorrow!
I already have Alex Hales, Joe Root and Adil Rashid for this game. Thus, I would like to look at the South African players first before analyzing if I should get in any more English players for this game.
South Africa play 2 games in the space of 2 days and their second game is against Afghanistan, which they should comfortably win and thus I would want to stack my team up with South African players.
AB de Villers is the first South African to be welcomed into my side. I don’t think I need to justify his selection. His record speaks for itself. If you don’t have him in your team, may god help you!
Now, I would like to like to look at the team combination that South Africa go with. De Kock and Amla, both have been performing well off late. I don’t think they’ll drop Amla for this game and hence De Villiers might have to bat at 4.
I would instantly rule out Tahir if South Africa bowl second because of the dew that England had to encounter in the last game.
From what I am reading on the Internet, De Kock won’t be playing in all probability and thus we can ignore him for now!
If, De Kock doesn’t get a game, Duminy could be considered as he bats ahead of Miller. But strike off Miller; you wouldn’t want to waste a transfer on someone who comes in at number 6.
I wouldn’t want to make more than 4 transfers for this game and I am hoping South Africa bat first so that I can do away with Tahir
I would omit Duminy if South Africa bat second because he wouldn’t get to face a lot of balls, thereby diminishing his point scoring potential.
Between Faf and Amla, Faf has a superior T20 record(an average of 39 would you believe it) and also has the experience of playing the IPL in Indian conditions and thus he gets the nod ahead of Amla.
So let’s just get the combinations right. If South Africa bat first, I get in ABD, Faf and Duminy.
If, South Africa bat second, I get in ABD, Faf and Tahir!
I ignore almost all other bowlers because of the Wankhede pitch. Also, I do not get anymore English players into my side because of the limited transfers
Captain for this game: AB De Villiers