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IPL Fantasy Guru: The last phase choice is yours - gamble or be more dogged

7.08K   //    18 May 2014, 08:10 IST

If you think that you have started too late for the official IPL Fantasy League 2014, you can always play this alternative version of fantasy cricket where you can win cash prizes daily - SportskeedaFantasyLeague. The next round has two matches featuring four teams: Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

In this type of fantasy cricket, while assembling your playing 11 for the two matches, make sure you don’t miss out on players like Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja  and Ravichandran Ashwin  who could prove to be the differential at a comparatively lower rate. While you can play for free, if you choose to play with an entry fee to Rs 35, you can win Rs 300. You can pay up to Rs 1,150 and win Rs 10,000 in cash for every round.

Chennai Super Kings vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore:

Guru’s team for the CSK vs. RCB match

Transfers made – 2; Transfers remaining – 22

Shane Watson out – Yuvraj Singh in
Rohit Sharma out – Ravichandran Ashwin in
Jasprit Bumrah out – Yuzvendra Chahal in
Captain – Ravichandran Ashwin/Yuzvendra Chahal/Ravindra Jadeja

The first two picks for this match should be Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja. If the Ranchi pitch continues to behave the same way it has done so far, the Super Kings will have no answer to the web that will be spun by Chahal around them today, and that includes MS Dhoni, too.

Jadeja, on the other hand, can be handled, as the Royal Challengers have four southpaws in Chris Gayle, Parthiv Patel, Yuvraj Singh and Vijay Zol. Ravichandran Ashwin needs to get the better of Gayle, as he usually does, for the Saurashtra tweaker to come into the game. Then it all comes down to how Dhoni shields him from Yuvraj Singh.

Although these obstacles stand in the way of him succeeding, what makes me think he is an absolute necessity today is the probability of him getting promoted while CSK bat. The Super Kings think-tank will do it in an attempt to nullify Yuvraj’s threat with the ball, and he could come in handy for a 25-ball 30.

With Jadeja already in the team and Chahal making his way through an uncapped transfer, let us move on to the other possibilities. With as many as four lefties to prey on, Ashwin could produce a Man-of-the-Match performance today, which calls for his inclusion. He does no harm to the budget, too.

Dhoni will always be the go-to man for the Super Kings on such occasions, but the team’s uncertain batting order will invariably keep me away from going for him, more so when the Chennai-based team plays its next match only after a span of 4 matches.

Then come Suresh Raina and Yuvraj. One thing is for sure: the prince is back. More than the runs, it is the way in which he has scored them makes me say this. The flow of the bat, the drill down the ground, and the effortless shots all around: these are tell-tale signs of him in prime touch. What we should not overlook, though, is the fact that even an Yuvraj at his peak won’t do well – with the bat – on slower decks, or, for that matter, on the ones where the ball swings around.

The Ranchi pitch could prove to be his undoing. One other way of looking at is what if Mohit Sharma happens to have an off-day with the ball, which he could, easily, and all Yuvraj would need is 10 balls to do the damage, even if he comes in very late. Also, on these pitches, his bowling is an asset. If he bowls 4 at the Chinnaswamy, there is no reason why Virat Kohli will not bowl him here. With the top order not in greatest of form and up against a potent bowling attack, both De Villiers and Yuvraj stand a good chance to play 30-odd deliveries each, which will do it from the fantasy perspective given the strike rate at which they play.

Even if Yuvraj flops today, he looks good to form the base of my team, and hence it won’t be much of an issue.

Raina has all along looked good but has been a victim of soft dismissals. He may also chip in a few today with the Royal Challengers possessing 4 lefties in the top 6. While he can tackle a 42-year-old Muttiah Muralitharan, the key to the game remains on how well he keeps his attacking instincts to himself while playing Chahal. If he tries to dictate the game, then the Royal Challengers leggie will feast on him by unleashing his googlies.

I can’t entertain the possibilities of it happening, and, with his next match at Kolkata expected to be another low scoring affair, I keep him out (also considering it is very difficult to carry him for 4 more matches with the dent in the budget he will bring in).

Dwayne Smith can survive Muralitharan, as the legendary off-spinner is not at his best these days and the ball comes into the big West Indian, but I don’t see how he will get past the Chahal-trap. The same applies to Brendon McCullum.

Chris Gayle, simply put, is Ashwin’s bunny, and he also has to deal with Samuel Badree.

In general, this is a tricky encounter, and the above analysis could be spoiled by Kohli coming back to form and Dhoni timing his entry to perfection. I stick to logic, as I always have. This way I don’t end up blaming myself for being imbecilic.

Uncapped player pick:

Chahal is light years ahead of the rest. If Shadab Jakati plays, he comes next on the line. I don’t rate Zol as a T20 player, more so as a No. 6 batsman. Ishwar Pandey won’t get any assistance from the deck, so do Abu Nechim. Harshal Patel is comparatively better to these two quickies on these decks, as he varies his pace and his deliveries grip off the surface.

Sunrisers Hyderabad vs. Kolkata Knight Riders:

Guru’s team for the SRH vs. KKR match

Transfers made – 0; Transfers remaining – 22

Yuzvendra Chahal out – Manish Pandey/Pravin Tambe/Rajat Bhatia in
Captain – Sunil Narine/Robin Uthappa  

There were quite a few reasons why I went for Robin Uthappa ahead of Gautam Gambhir in the last match: wicket-keeping points, lesser price-tag and better slogging abilities on what were expected to be good batting decks for the two games in consideration.

With that move having already paid off and Sunil Narine in the team, I don’t see the need for any other capped Knight Riders’ player in my team.

Ideally I should have had David Warner in ahead of the last match, but the pre-match pitch reports – which said that it would be a low-scoring affair – kept me away from doing it. Dhawan had got it right the last match, so I thought he would do so again. The pitch was anything but slow: a belter. I was lucky to have escaped with minimum damage, thanks to Naman Ojha for running out the Australian.

I don’t trust in Aaron Finch anymore, and Shikhar Dhawan finds the most ludicrous ways of getting out match after match. Ojha won’t have any clue about Narine, and Warner won’t find it easy to score off him at the death, as well. Therefore, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is already in my team, will be the only Sunrisers player to find a spot. Finch could come off, and Warner can escape Narine, but there are equal risks in them perishing in the process, too. I see more assured picks down the line, and I will use my transfers on them than these players.

Uncapped player pick:

Keeping in mind the position he comes in and the deck he will be playing on, Manish Pandey is the best bet for this match. Lokesh Rahul, with Ojha’s consistent performances, is getting demoted to No. 6 slowly but surely, and hence it would be a waste of an inclusion. Karan Sharma can’t do much damage on a placid deck, while Suryakumar Yadav bats too low to make an impact.

Since Manish Pandey is a hit and miss case, I will most probably get in one of Rajat Bhatia or Pravin Tambe by employing the uncapped player trick.

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