While India were just about getting over the line in all their league games in this T20 World Cup, who would have thought that ‘getting over the line’ would prove to be the reason for their downfall in their first knockout game.
When Dinesh Ramdin and Dwayne Bravo missed the stumps from 5 yards to run Virat Kohli out, it just seemed to be his day. And it was. He shone, with the light of a thousand stars, but the others (with probably just the exception of Dhoni) just flickered and ultimately ran out of fire.
Apart from Virat Kohli’s master class, everything seemed to go wrong for the Indians; the toss, the lack of acceleration in the first 10 overs, the dreaded ‘no balls’ and the lack of judgment from Jadeja in the outfield.
And when Andre Russell struck that massive six to finish off the game, there was this sense of disbelief in the crowd, in the players and the billion fans watching at home. None of them could actually muster as to what struck them. The Gayle storm had been evaded, so how could they lose? How could two players who had made a name for themselves in Indian Premier League actually go out and trounce the Indians in their backyard, especially in the semi final of a World Cup? When the adrenaline finally settled down and everyone got some time to process as to what had happened, the emotions started to flow. Some were teary eyed while others just sat there with their face and body showing signs of utter helplessness.
When you lose a close semi final or a final, you always want to get one more shot at it, and quickly. However, we’ don’t have that luxury, we’ll have to wait another three years for it(and maybe 20 years to have another World Cup in India)
Wait and Believe- That’s all we can do!
Let’s get to business now!
England vs West Indies- The Final
Transfer out: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Ashish Nehra
Transfer in: Joe Root, Lendl Simmons, DJ Bravo/Ben Stokes, Samuel Badree/Jason Roy
Few would have put their money on these two teams taking the field on April 3rd in Kolkata. But here we are, with the IPL heroes taking on the new age English team.
I already have Jos Buttler, David Wiley, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Jonathan Charles and Suleimann Benn in my side for this game.
Considering that it is a final and that a fresh wicket will be used for tomorrow’s game, I expect it to be a good batting wicket.
The first player I bring in is Joe Root. He has been a revelation for the England team in this World Cup and on a flat deck, I am pretty sure of him being amongst the runs.
DJ Bravo would be my next pick for this game, especially if West Indies bowl first as he’ll be sure to bowl is quota of four overs as opposed to defending a low score which the English batsmen could gobble up in less than 20 overs. Also, the dew could be a factor, while bowling second.
If, England bowl first, I would get Ben Stokes in as he could get a few cheap wickets at the back end of the innings and could also come in handy while chasing a total. Also, in this case I bring in Jason Roy even though he is not comfortable against spin, because the dew would render the spin threat useless.
Lendl Simmons is sure to earn a promotion to number 3 for this game. With the match winning performance in the last game, he is sure to be high on confidence and his knowledge of Eden Gardens should also come in handy. Get him in!
For my fourth pick, if the track assists spin and West Indies bowl first, Samuel Badree will get the nod. He has been brilliant for the Windies in the powerplay and would be able to take advantage of the susceptible nature of the English to quality spin bowling. But leave him out if West Indies bowl second because the dew will cause the ball to just skid on.
Let’s break it down into two cases
Case 1- England bat first
The four players I bring in are Joe Root, Lendl Simmons, DJ Bravo and Samuel Badree.
Case 2- West Indies bat first
I bring in Joe Root, Lendl Simmons, Ben Stokes and Jason Roy
I leave out Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan because of their erratic form throughout the tournament and I would like to bank on consistent performers on a big day. I go for Ben Stokes instead of Chris Jordan because of Stokes’ batting skills.
Captain for this game: Chris Gayle
The forecast is for thunderstorm and I am sure the Gayle storm will not stay too behind.
This is the last article of this series and I hope you have enjoyed the Fantasy tips, strategies, match previews etc. But hey it’s not goodbye time as of now. For all of you who are playing the IPL Fantasy, do check out this space from the 8th of April. See you then.
Happy team picking!