Only sport can write such scripts, only sport can give such emotion and only sport can make a billion hearts beat together.
When Mushfiqur hit that lap shot for four in the last over, it felt like we had been sent back in time to the 2007 ODI World Cup. But anxiety and pressure can script plot twists like no great mystery writer can.
Hardik and the Indian team held their nerve. Mushfiqur and Mahumudullah didn’t, they went for glory. And that led to their downfall. No Indian fan will forget this day for a long time.
So after a well-deserved Holi break, let’s get down to business!
Pakistan vs Australia
Transfer out: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Corey Anderson(if Aus bat first)
Transfer in: Shane Watson, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell(if Aus bat first)
So much depends on this game. If Pakistan lose they will be knocked out of the tournament and the India Australia game would become an essential quarter-final. But if Pakistan win, there could be a three-way tie in this group.
Now, I already have Mohammad Amir, Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad in my team for this game and thus I will first concentrate on my options from the Australian team for this game.
The first player that I bring in is Shane Watson. This game is being played at Mohali, which has been one of the good batting surfaces in this tournament. He bats at the top of the order and bowls his four overs, a must to have on such a surface.
I have already explained why Smith is not a very good T20 player and hence I leave him out. Warner and Maxwell are way better in this format and you could even expect a demotion for Steve Smith tomorrow!
Khwaja has been brilliant in the first two games but I would still put more faith in Warner and Maxi as they have played more T20 cricket in India.
If Australia bat first, I bring in both Warner and Maxwell as I expect Australia to put a huge total on board. But if Australia bat second, I bring in just Warner because Pakistan’s unpredictable batting line up could have a major collapse and thus Maxwell’s batting wont be of much use.
Now, the problem I am having with bringing both of them in is that I have to transfer out Corey Anderson instead of Moeen Ali/Adil Rashid because of the cost constraint. And Corey plays one game before these two English players. So if you want to transfer out Corey you can bring both Maxi and Warner in but if you don’t want to then either you can get Khwaja in instead of Maxi or you can just save the transfer!
I don’t pick any bowlers on this track because it is a batsmen’s surface and at most you could end up getting a wicket or two, which is not enough at this stage of the tournament. I’d rather save the transfer.
Captain for this game: Shane Watson (For his all round capabilities)
South Africa vs West Indies
Transfer out: Shane Watson, David Warner, Corey Anderson/Glenn Maxwell, Mohammad Amir
Transfer in: Chris Gayle, ABD, Suleimann Benn, Imran Tahir
This promises to be a cracker! West Indies and South Africa both have power hitters and both have some good spinners to exploit the conditions at Nagpur. The pitch for this game has been changed but Du Plesis feels that spin will still have a big role to play.
You need to understand that Nagpur has a really dry climate and with summer in full force, the pitches are bound to get even drier and assist spin even more. In all probability even the new pitch would assist spin and thus we will have to bring in the spin wizards from both teams into our Fantasy 11.
The first player that I bring in Imran Tahir because his skill with the ball has been on display not just on turning pitches in India but everywhere around the world. And you can only imagine how deadly he could be on a rank turner.
West Indies play two games in the space of four matches and thus it would be wise to bring in a few West Indians for this game.
The first West Indian that I bring in is Chris Gayle. West Indies play both their games in Nagpur and though the pitch would assist spin I just can’t take chances with Gayle going big in any of these games. It may sometimes look that he just bludgeons the ball but Gayle is a very intelligent batsmen. He knows which bowlers to play out and which to target. I can’t take the risk of not getting him in for two games!
Now, I also want to get ABD in because he is a great player against spin and nullifies the effect of spin by using his feet and getting to the pitch of the ball. Quinton De Kock is more of a flat pitch bully and wouldn’t have much success on this pitch. I ignore Amla and Du Plessis because I just want to get one South African batsmen in my team and ABD seems the best bet.
So now the only other West Indian player that I can get in is Suleimann Benn. The cost constraints prevent me for going with Bravo and Russell and I have to leave them out and hope that they do not make much of an impact. Bravo would at max chip in with two wickets and Russell could get a proper beating on this surface because he hits the deck hard and wouldn’t get much assistance from the surface.
Captain for this game: ABD(if South Africa bat first)/Imran Tahir(if South Africa bat second)