IPL 2014: Fantasy Guru - High time Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma join the party
If you think that you have started a little 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: Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings X1 Punjab and Chennai Super Kings
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 Robin Uthappa, Sandeep Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Quinton de Kock, and Faf du Plessis 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 upto Rs 1,150 and win Rs 10,000 in cash for every round.
Mumbai Indians vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Transfers made – 0; Transfers remaining – 40
Sanju Samson out – CM Gautam in
Captain – Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma
With Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Yuzvendra Chahal already in my team for this fixture, the other players who are worth contemplating about are Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga.
I don’t consider AB de Villiers and Kieron Pollard, despite their recent breathtaking performances, for this match, as their teams don’t play the second one any sooner. If you pick them and get points in return, I would still consider it as a half-baked move that paid off. They come at a high price, so I can’t test my luck on the chances of them getting enough deliveries to face when they have to be transferred out before their second match.
Gayle and Lasith Malinga, on the other hand, are certain to bat and bowl respectively. Of the both, Malinga has the better chance to succeed, as Gayle has had his troubles against Harbhajan Singh and Malinga on tracks that are quite supportive. Harbhajan Singh, although continues to dart more than he spins, has been in some form in the recent matches and has shown his ability to keep the best in check. There is no reason why he shouldn’t repeat it.
Wankhede, despite being a good pitch to bat on, has always had something in it for all types of bowlers. Zaheer Khan’s ability to outclass left-handed batsmen is well known; I just hope he is fit enough to play so that the chances of Gayle succeeding goes further down.
‘Slinga’ Malinga is up against a susceptible batting unit. If someone manages to get rid of Kohli and De Villiers doesn’t face much of him, he could easily give us 100 points. One issue, however, is that unlike the Sri Lankan captains who use their strike bowler so very well, Rohit Sharma just gives him 2 overs upfront, which is a colossal waste of his abilities. For bowlers like Malinga and Sunil Narine to succeed, one needs to use them when the batsmen are trying to force the pace. Of course, there is one exception to the rule: low target scenarios.
Since both Gayle and Malinga have their drawbacks, I opt to leave both of them out.
Uncapped player pick:
Chahal is in the team. Harshal Patel is at best an above average bowler. I don’t think CM Gautam can get past Mitchell Starc and Varun Aaron, but I don’t see a better option for this match, either. This move is also crucial for the team balance in the upcoming two matches. While I don’t expect much returns, I go ahead with Gautam for team combination reasons. Any points here would be a bonus.
Delhi Daredevils vs. Kolkata Knight Riders:
Transfers made – 1; Transfers remaining – 39
Dwayne Smith out – Sunil Narine in
Yuzvendra Chahal out – Siddarth Kaul/Shahbaz Nadeem in
Captain – Sunil Narine
With Kevin Pietersen and JP Duminy in, the Delhi side of it is settled. Dinesh Karthik looks like he has found his touch back, but he bats a bit low for his strengths and the Knight Riders should most possibly be strengthening their bowling unit after the dismal shows of late.
If there is one tactic that the Knight Riders have got it spot on, it should be that of using Sunil Narine. Gautam Gambhir brings him into the attack only when the opposition wants to go on the attack, and, given the class of Narine, he should be amongst the wickets when you consider that the Dardevils’ best bet against him at the death would be Duminy, who can’t attack him, either. So I bring him in for the fixture, as the possibilities of him wreaking havoc against a brittle Delhi middle order are quite high.
As mentioned in my previous article, Robin Uthappa turned out to be the best KKR pick. As long as he doesn’t fit into the Schedule Mantra scheme of things, he will continue to stay out of my team, though. Bringing him in would mean dropping one of the big 3 – Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli – which I don’t think is worth it.
Uncapped player pick:
If Siddarth Kaul plays, go for him straight away. He is such a potent new ball bowler; I wish Pietersen sees the light and picks him. If he doesn’t, Shahbaz Nadeem is the next on the line. Rahul Shukla, the Daredevils fast bowler, stands an outside chance of playing. While he bowls at express pace, he can sometimes be erratic. So, there is not much of a choice between him and Nadeem.
Kings X1 Punjab vs. Chennai Super Kings:
Transfers made – 1; Transfers remaining – 38
Sunil Narine out – David Miller in
Shahbaz Nadeem out – Akshar Patel/Pravin Tambe in
Captain – Glenn Maxwell
George Bailey, for some bizarre reasons, promoted himself ahead of David Miller in their match against Mumbai Indians. It could either be to counter Harbhajan Singh or, having done nothing so far, he just felt embarrassed and wanted to contribute something to the team. Given the fact that he flopped again, he should go back to his role of being just the captain, one which he doesn’t have any clue, either.
Maxwell has started showing signs that indicate he is just another human being, which could mean a larger role for David Miller beckons. With Kings X1 Punjab fitting into the Schedule Mantra and the matches being played on good batting decks (Cuttack could be an exception, though), I believe that having both Maxwell and Miller in the squad will reap rich dividends.
I don’t see the need for both Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum in this match. Both of them need to be extremely fortunate to escape the new ball pairing of Sandeep Sharma and Mitchell Johnson. Adding to it, McCullum isn’t an advisable inclusion when the opposition has both left-arm pacers (Mitchell Johnson) and left-arm spinners (Akshar Patel). Having not seen much of Cuttack, I am not sure of the pitch that will be on offer. So the West Indian opener may be brought at the last minute. McCullum will stay out, though.
Uncapped player pick:
It again will depend a lot on the pitch. With Ishwar Pandey and Sandeep Sharma in the team, Akshar Patel makes his way in. If I don’t see much in it for the spinners, I would just swap Nadeem for Pravin Tambe, who plays the very next fixture.