IPL 2018 Fantasy Guru: What your team should look like for RCB vs KXIP
Subs used -1; Subs remaining – 67
Rahul Tripathi out – Virat Kohli in
(uncapped) Krishnappa Gowtham out – Kulwant Khejroliya in
Uncapped preference order: Mayank Agarwal (if he opens), Kulwant Khejroliya, Sarfaraz Khan
Captaincy preference order: Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, AB de Villiers
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Guru’s team ahead of RCB vs KXIP: E Lewis, V Kohli, S Dhawan, L Rahul, I Kishan, C Morris, C Munro, J Bumrah, M Markande, K Khejroliya, B Kumar
With KL Rahul already on my team, the only other KXIP player who is worth considering for this match is Aaron Finch. If he opens, he is as good as any other player in action today. However, Ravichandran Ashwin has, in one of his pre-season interviews, indicated that there could be a possibility of him playing as a finisher, a role he has recently started doing for Australia in their T20I side after the middle order success at Gujarat Lions last year.
While Finch at 4 or 5 fits their team perfectly well, given the kind of Indian batsmen they have, it is not something that can be relied upon for fantasy returns. Besides, KXIP’s second fixture isn’t coming anytime soon, so carrying him becomes a tedious task too.
Mujeeb Zadran, who got off to an impressive start against Delhi Daredevils, should be blunted by Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Speaking of Kohli and De Villiers, there comes your biggest fantasy decision for the day: what do you with them?
I tried the easiest solution of bringing both of them in, but it wreaks havoc to my team, both budget and combination wise. I can’t do it unless I can get them in and throw at least one out quick – which is only possible when RCB fits into Schedule Mantra, or at least when the matches surrounding their fixtures don’t have many options to choose from, which again isn’t the case here.
I am, therefore, settling with Kohli for the day, hoping that the majority of runs is split between the top 3 or AB gets demoted to 5 to shepherd the lower order, something that RCB have resorted to before when things don’t go their way.
I know the risk that comes associated with it, but I see it as something worth taking considering the number of subs I have to spend to enable the move. In the worst-case scenario, I hope the damage is minimal.
Quinton de Kock and Brendon Mccullum could be amongst the runs too, as barring Mujeeb, there is no real threat to them in the Kings XI bowling unit. But given the number of options we have, jumping on them earlier than necessary is not something that I am interested in.
Washington Sundar, Chris Woakes, and Yuzvendra Chahal are all capable of making steady contributions, but nothing you would regret missing out on.