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IPL 2014: Fantasy Guru - Off-pattern games and the transfer folly

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Guru’s team after the KXIP vs. MI match

I could have gone for Shaun Marsh, Praveen Kumar, Kieron Pollard or, even, Krishmar Santokie, but I would have definitely not thought about bringing in Lendl Simmons. He has no pedigree, bats too slow and has serious limitations, yet he was the one who bossed the game yesterday. Not just that, the usual suspects in Rohit Sharma, Glenn Maxwell and Sandeep Sharma all flopped.  

I refer to such games as off-pattern games, and they happen quite frequently in the T20 format. These off-pattern games won’t have any logic, largely due to the surprises that the decks dish out, in addiiton to a dreadful performance from one of the two teams. The pitch at Mohali has usually offered something for the swing bowlers in the first 6 overs, but there was nothing on it yesterday.

When both Praveen and Sandeep don’t get any assistance, it has to be a batting paradise. May be, a bowler like Dale Steyn or Mitchell Johnson, with the extra pace, would have made use of it. I am not sure of it, though, as there was no bowler on show yesterday who was capable of bowling at that pace.

Those who stack up way too many transfers than they actually should do so because they would be in favour of using them up late into the tournament. When you have little control over what happens, you just can’t do that. It is a folly, a transfer folly. The games you decide to make the move may turn out to be off-pattern ones or get affected by external factors like rain. This is why I believe in standard use of substitutes; the two extremes – emptying and holding back – have their drawbacks. 

Kolkata Knight Riders vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore:

Guru’s team for the KKR vs. RCB match

Transfers made – 2; Transfers remaining – 13

  1. Glenn Maxwell out – Virat Kohli in
  2. Rohit Sharma out – AB de Villiers in
  3. Manan Vohra out – Yuzvendra Chahal in
  4. Captain – Virat Kohli

With Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa and Sunil Narine in my team, the Knight Riders side of it is settled.

There are 3 reasons why I am not in favour of picking Shakib Al Hasan in my team: the uncertain batting order, KKR’s horses for courses policy and the Edens deck, which doesn’t seem as though it would assist the spnners as it did in the last 3 seasons. Pat Cummins will be negated by Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. 

With Kohli back in form, only one of De Villiers and Yuvraj Singh can be selected. I back De Villiers primarliy for the reason that, of late, he comes ahead of Yuvraj Singh; last match was an exception, though. Chris Gayle has the Cummins-threat, and Sunil Narine will double it up by adding his four overs. With a liability in Parthiv Patel, the Royal Challengers could be 2 down very soon into the game. 

Mitchell Starc has been consistent, but he hasn’t threatened to run through any batting order to disturb my team combination. Varun Aaron doesn’t deserve coming in at the cost of a transfer.   

Uncapped player pick:

Manish Pandey throws away his wicket too often, so I stick to a more consistent Yuzvendra Chahal. Sachin Rana looks a handy slogger, but he bats too low. Abu Nehcim is unreliable. 

Chennai Super Kings vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad:

Guru’s team for the CSK vs SRH match

Transfers made – 1; Transfers remaining – 12

  1. Sunil Narine out – Suresh Raina in
  2. Yuzvendra Chahal out – Karn Sharma in
  3. Captain – Suresh Raina/Ravindra Jadeja/Ravichandran Ashwin

Ranchi has been a rank turner, and that rules out any of the Sunrisers Hyderabad batsmen. David Warner shouldn’t escape Ravichandran Ashwin, and Shikhar Dhawan seems to bat like he could suffer a brain freeze any time soon. Aaron Finch has been woeful as an opener, and it can only get worse as a middle order batsman. 

With Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in my team, the only other Chennai Super Kings player I would have is Suresh Raina. Dwayne Smith hasn’t been finding it easy when the ball does something, and it should be no different this time. Although, unlike few of his previous outings, he can be expected to get off to a fine start, as the Sunrisers Hyderabad leggies can’t bowl in the Powerplay.

I don’t think Parvez Rasool would be tried in the Powerplay overs; I want him to be given a chance, though. Although he spins his deliveries into the right-handed batsmen, on that wicket, he should get enough purchase. 

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is out of the team, and he will stay that way, as it needs some extremely reckless batting to give him wickets at Ranchi. You can’t hope for that happening. Mohit Sharma can come in valuable with his slower deliveries, but, like Aaron, he can’t use up a transfer. 

Uncapped player pick: 

Considering all the options, it all comes down to Karn Sharma v Rasool. With 4 right handers in top 5, I go with Karn ahead of Rasool. Although Rasool can bat, he won’t get enough deliveries to have a telling effect. 

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