Afghanistan vs West Indies
Transfers out: Shakib Al Hasan, Adil Rashid
Transfers in: Samuel Badree, Rashid Khan
Another day and another dead rubber. But probably this game would prove to be the perfect appetiser for the game in the evening (India vs Australia).
Few people would have put their money on Afghanistan toppling Zimbabwe and reaching the Super 10s and even fewer would have expected the rather erratic West Indian side to reach the semi final with one game to spare.
Both these teams have played some inspiring cricket and though the table doesn’t suggest that for Afghanistan, they would proud of the way they have carried themselves throughout the tournament, almost pulling of a win against England!
I already have Chris Gayle and Suleimann Benn in my side for this game.
Now, the Nagpur surface will offer turn and seeing that Afghanistan have 7 right-handers in their top 7, Benn could prove to be a handful. I am extremely tempted to bring in Badree as well but I have to wait for the exact pitch report tomorrow, as I can’t use a lot of transfers for this game. If the pitch again suggests a lot of turn, I will have no option but to get Badree in.
The West Indians aren’t great players of spin either and hence I think Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi both could have a big say in the outcome of the game tomorrow. Believe me it won’t be a walk in the park for the Windies.
I go for Rashid Khan this time instead of Nabi because his leg spin would cause a lot of problems to the predominantly right handed West Indian top order. But I certainly won’t transfer him in if Afghanistan bowl second as they could be bowled out for a paltry score while batting first and thus he wouldn’t have too many runs to work with.
I don’t expect West Indies to tinker too much with their playing eleven but if Badree sits out, I will bring in Dwayne Bravo!
Captain for this game: Chris Gayle
India vs Australia
Transfers out: Chris Gayle, Joe Root, Michael Santner
Transfer in: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith
Sit down with your friends, order some pizza, wear your jersey and just get ready to witness what could be the game of this tournament.
These two sides are extremely evenly matched and with Australia’s last win against Pakistan they would certainly believe that they could give the Indians a run for their money in their own backyard. The mind games have already begun with Mitchell Johnson tweeting about how Virat Kohli went missing during the semi final of the 2015 World Cup.
The Twitter rants along with the Mauka mauka ads have contributed in a big way to the build up of this game but come Sunday evening, it will be the team that handles pressure better, that will progress.
I already have Usman Khawaja in my side for this game.
My first transfer for this game would be Virat Kohli. He is the man for the big occasion and on a flat Mohali deck, he could make his bat do all the talking (as opposed to his Twitter account).
For this game too I go for Rohit instead of Ashwin because of the fact that Mohali is a flat deck and Rohit has always been a flat track bully. Also, Ashwin can give me 2 wickets at max but if Rohit goes big, he would give you bucket loads of points. I just feel tomorrow would be his day.
Shane Watson’s new role as a floater restricts his fantasy potential and hence I leave him out. Finch was looking out of sorts in the last game and thus he misses out too. Warner has done anything of note in this tournament and I would have gotten him in if I had more transfers, but he’ll have to sit out for now.
That brings me to Maxi and Steve Smith. Now, the only reason I even consider Steve Smith for this game is his last performance against Pakistan at the same ground 2 days ago and the fact that he has always relished batting against the Indian attack.
Glenn Maxwell also fancies the Indian bowling but his fantasy potential drastically reduces if Australia bat second. Also, his record at Mohali isn’t that great and thus I avoid the temptation of bringing him in.
I leave out the Indian bowlers because they could at max give me a wicket or two and at the end of a phase I don’t think that would be enough. Same goes for the Australian bowlers. They are not threatening enough and on a flat Mohali deck I don’t expect them to come away much to show.
Captain for this game: Virat Kohli