Pakistan’s hoodoo against India in World Cups continued as a Virat Kohli special ensured that India got over the line on a pitch that was turning square. The Pakistan selection committee made a huge blunder by not going with Imad Wasim and thereby hurting Pakistan and my Fantasy team as well. But that error in judgment turned out to be a blessing for India and well, I can take one for the country.
The Eden Gardens was an amazing sight though with celebrities, fans and Abhishek Bacchchan turning up for the game. The atmosphere was electric and befitting an Indo-Pak World cup encounter. And though it wasn’t a high scoring affair as many of us would have wanted it to be, India ultimately ground out the victory and that is way more satisfying than seeing your team lose a high scoring thriller (Go ask the South African’s)
South Africa vs Afghanistan
Transfer in: Quinton De Kock
Transfer out: Virat Kohli
South Africa get one more shot at the Wankhede and this time they are up against a spirited Afghanistan side who with all due respect aren’t going to blow them away like England did. I expect South Africa to pose a huge victory here and it would take more than a miracle for Afghanistan to pose any sort of threat to South Africa on a flat Wankhede track.
I already have ABD, Faf and Tahir in my side for this game.
Now, if South Africa bat first, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the carnage and hence you should bring in either Hashim Amla or Quinton De Kock.
It’s really hard to predict as to which one of them would tee off tomorrow and hence I go with Quinton de Kock because of his excellent record in Indian conditions and also the fact that he gives an extra scoring option because of his wicket keeping skills.
De Kock could come in handy even if South Africa bats second as he can quickly eat up the target put up by Afghanistan.
I omit Duminy and Miller because of their low batting position and the fact that they might not need to bat against a weak Afghanistan bowling attack. The top 4 should do the bulk of the scoring.
I don’t pick any Afghanistan players for this game as there are two big games coming up in Bangalore and I believe I could get more points from the teams participating in those two games than from an Afghanistan player.
Captain for this game: AB de Villiers
He missed out on the last game but lightning doesn’t strike twice.
Sri Lanka vs West Indies
The first player for this game is the hometown hero, Chris Gayle. No justifications required for his selection. Leave him out at your own risk.
As for whom to pick between Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, I have a theory.
Both these players bowl at the death (Bravo bowls two and Russell bowls one). But Russell is far more effective with the bat and he could really hurt the opposition when the Windies bat first. Thus, I go with Russell when West Indies bat first. Else, I go with Bravo.
The only Sri Lankan who is worth thinking about is Dilshan, for the simple reason that he is Sri Lanka’s most experienced batsmen and has played a fair bit at Chinnaswamy during his stint with the RCB. If after getting Dilshan, Russell/Bravo and Gayle, you still have 3 transfers left, you should just close your eyes and go ahead with it. But if you have only two transfers left, then it requires a little bit of guesswork.
I would like to hold on to my transfer instead of going for Dilshan because despite his match-winning knock in the previous game, Dilshan hasn’t really been in good nick off late. Also, the fact that the next game is between Bangladesh and Australia in which there are a lot of all rounders (Watson, Maxwell and Shakib) that I can bank on. You’ll also a get fair idea on how the Bangalore pitch is behaving this time round and if it offers some amount of spin. And that is why I save that transfer.
Again I leave out the bowlers for this game because Bangalore, like Mumbai, has always been a batting paradise.
Captain for this game: Chris Gayle