IPL 2018 Fantasy Guru: What your team should look like for KXIP vs DD
Kings XI Punjab
Prediction – Bottom 4 Finish
X-Factor – Marcus Stoinis’s late order power-hitting
Most runs – KL Rahul
Most wickets – Andrew Tye
New kid on the block – Mujeeb Zadran
Fantasy player preference order: KL Rahul, Aaron Finch (if he opens), Andrew Tye, Marcus Stoinis
Playing XI: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Yuvraj Singh, David Miller, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Andrew Tye, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Ankit Rajpoot/Mayank Agarwal
Kings XI Punjab’s team make-up looks a lot like Chennai Super Kings – in that they have a batting unit that is more than capable of reaching par scores, especially when Aaron Finch joins them from the second match, but their bowling doesn’t really inspire confidence.
Both Mohit Sharma and Barinder Sran had a great start to the IPL, but have fallen off the radar since then, while Ankit Rajpoot has been around for a few seasons now showing signs of promise, but nothing more. Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel can at best be expected to keep the run-rate in check, which leaves Andrew Tye with a lot to do.
They will need Finch, Rahul, Stoinis and Tye to be at their very best to even entertain any thoughts of reaching the top 4.
Season influencer: A more attacking playing XI, which will see the Afghanistan mystery spinner Mujeeb Zadran come in place of David Miller, who, since his first season in the IPL, has not given the kind of returns you would expect from an overseas player.
Also, in Mayank Agarwal, Manoj Tiwary and Akshdeep Nath, Kings XI do have a lot of depth in their Indian batting department and making them warm the bench for a player who isn’t contributing much doesn’t really make sense.
So, here is a line-up that will turn out to be a considerable improvement on the one they are likely to prefer:
M Agarwal, KL Rahul, K Nair, Yuvraj Singh, A Finch, M Stoinis, M Tiwary/A Nath (floater), A Patel, R Ashwin, A Tye, M Zadran
It gives them more wicket-taking options with the ball without really losing out on anything in their batting department.
Prediction – Top 4 Finish
X-Factor – Colin Munro
Most runs – Pant/Munro (whoever opens)
Most wickets – Chris Morris
New kid on the block – Avesh Khan
Fantasy player preference order: Chris Morris, Rishabh Pant, Colin Munro
Be it Colin Munro, Jason Roy, Gautam Gambhir, Rishabh Pant or Shreyas Iyer, all of them prefer opening the innings, so it is anyone’s guess as to how Delhi will line up today. The most obvious of all the combinations available is Gambhir, Roy, Munro, Pant and Iyer, with Chris Morris and Vijay Shankar following them at 6 and 7.
With Maxwell only set to join them next game, it becomes tricky to choose one between Roy and Munro for this game, because it all depends on who does well in the match. The other one will get dropped in the next encounter. At this stage, I find this risk unnecessary. Both Roy and Munro playing could push Pant further down, which makes him an unattractive option too.
In the absence of Kagiso Rabada, a void that Delhi Daredevils simply can’t fill even with Trent Boult, Chris Morris will again become the first-choice death bowling option. Add his batting capabilities to it, picking him in your fantasy team becomes a no-brainer.
Playing XI: Gautam Gambhir, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris, Vijay Shankar, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem
Season influencer: In the last 5 years in the IPL, Mohammed Shami has only picked up 18 wickets in the 31 matches he has played, and those wickets have come at the cost of 8.96 runs per over. On merit, he shouldn’t have even been picked in the auction this year, leave alone be part of any of the playing XIs. They could either play a batsman in place of him or the promising 21-year-old Indian quick from Madhya Pradesh, Avesh Khan.
Season Fantasy Zone
Subs used – 2; Subs remaining -73
Ishan Kishan out – KL Rahul in
Shane Watson out – Jaydev Unadkat in (budget compensation and schedule mantra pick)
Captain – KL Rahul
Current team – C Lynn, R Sharma, E Lewis, S Dhawan, L Rahul, C Morris, K Gowtham, K Yadav, M Markande, J Unadkat, B Kumar
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