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IPL 2017 Fantasy Tips: Rising Pune Supergiant vs Delhi Daredevils

Fantasy Guru's tips for IPL Match No.9 - RPSG vs DD

RPSG have won one game and lost the other in this season

RPSG – Fantasy Factors

Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes and Imran Tahir – all four in form and are being used in a way that they could give you excellent returns match in, match out. Also, their fantasy potentials don’t cross out each other.

The relative effect of one’s performance affecting others in a team is an important factor in fantasy cricket: for ex: even if Rahane and Smith play out the first 15 overs, Stokes could come out and get a quick-fire 35 in the last 5 overs and then return again to pick up a couple of wickets, thereby giving you 150 easy points. You can’t say the same with, say, Glenn Maxwell, who bats at No. 4 as well but needs a minimum of 10 overs at the crease to make you regret not picking him. 

Here is another case in point for why RPSG is a unique case: even if the first wicket partnership lasts longer than expected, it is just a matter of one wicket for Smith to come in. After all, how long can it last – especially with someone like Rahane who will have to play out of his comfort zone to attack or Mayank Agarwal who, so far, doesn’t seem to have the patience to see off the new ball? 8 overs maximum if everything goes well. It will still not be too late for Smith to help himself to another 50. 

The DD relativity

You could ask me why this should be an issue, as I could get all of them in without any concerns? Because 3 of the 4 here are overseas players. And when they don’t fit the Schedule Mantra, it is impossible to carry them to their next match with so much competition for the slots. And today’s opponents, Delhi Daredevils make it even worse. Tahir could run through their batting order in no time, while they don’t have anyone good enough to even restrict Smith or Stokes.

Usually, in such cases, I employ a strategy called toss-trick: base my picks on the outcome of the toss. If the weaker team bats first, I eliminate all the middle order/batting all-rounder options from the stronger team. The logic behind this is that the team batting first wouldn’t score enough for the chasing team to bring its middle order into play, thereby reducing their fantasy potential.

Here, I can’t do that either. Because if Tahir has an off day, Sam Billings, Rishabh Pant and Chris Morris can tear apart the RPSG bowling attack – which will then need all of Rahane, Smith and Stokes to chase it down.

The Faf lifeline:

Guru’s team for RPSG vs DD match

There is only one player who can help us get out of this: Faf du Plessis. If he plays and RPSG chases, I will strongly consider leaving both Smith and Stokes out, hoping Tahir does his job and then Du Plessis and Rahane put together a big first-wicket partnership. 

It is very unlikely that Du Plessis will play this match, though, especially after Dan Christian showed what he is capable of with the bat at the death. So, how do you go about this? Firstly, do not think twice about Tahir: get him in. The Proteas leg-spinner could wreck this Daredevils batting unit if they play as badly as they did against RCB. Rahane is already in my team. That is 2 out of 4 done.

There is no logical way to choose one between Smith and Stokes: form – check, fantasy potential – check, opposition bowling attack – check. While Stokes may have picked up only one wicket so far, this batting unit is quite capable of giving away a three-wicket haul to him. So I have decided to bring both of them in. It will be three transfers for one match, yes, but I am pretty sure I can find a way to compensate it later. 

DD – Fantasy Factors

As far as the Daredevils are concerned, Morris – first-choice big-hitter, first-choice death bowler, boundary rider and in form – is their best option. I wouldn’t be surprised if Billings has a good day, too, but with so many overseas options in play today and him not being a big-name fantasy favourite, leaving him out won’t affect you. Let’s sit on him for now.

As long as Pant bats at 5, I am not getting him in. As you saw with Yuvraj in the two Sunrisers Hyderabad matches so far, it is a hit-or-miss case: one day they get enough time at the crease and go big, another day they might not get to bat at all or in trying to keep up with the run-rate they will be forced to take unnecessary risks. 

Final Call

Transfers made – 3 (1); Transfers remaining – 63 (65)

Glenn Maxwell out – Imran Tahir in 

AB de Villiers out – Steven Smith in

Rashid Khan out – Ben Stokes in 

Captain – Steve Smith

(Uncapped) Manan Vohra out – Rajat Bhatia in 

Uncapped preference order: R Bhatia, M Agarwal, S Nadeem, A Tare

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