IPL fantasy cricket, CSK vs KKR: 4 big calls for success
Even though every single team has played at least one match in this year's IPL, do not expect the sides to field the same XI as they did to begin the tournament with. You might have a basic idea at the moment but the fantasy picks are going to remain tricky.
Which fantasy game are you playing this year? StarPick is the new one on the block, and it has a lot of exciting features along with millions in prize money. You can create your StarPick team here.
While you sit down to pick your StarPick team, it is very important to ensure that you don't give into your emotions and temptations if you are intent on winning the top prizes.
As Chennai Super Kings are all set to welcome Kolkata Knight Riders, here are some pointers that you need to keep in mind.
1. Dhoni's spin woes
I know die hard fans of Chennai Super Kings would want to have MS Dhoni in their side no matter what. But it's time to put emotions aside and see things from a neutral perspective. It's very important when you are looking to succeed in fantasy.
In recent times, Dhoni has struggled against wrist spin. He has been a phenomenal player over the years but his inability to rotate the strike against wrist spin is very evident. Dhoni gets tied down by the tweakers and with KKR possessing Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav, the risk factor is very high that you might even end up with negative points.
On the other hand, with no real pace expected on the Chennai surface, I don't really expect anyone from that KKR lineup to trouble Suresh Raina. So picking CSK's vice-captain might do wonders since he is also good against spin once he is in.
2. Do not overdo the spin strategy
Yes, the word is that the Chennai track will be very slow and aid the spinners. CSK's auction strategy backs up that theory but what if the surface isn't a dustbowl as many are expecting? At the end of the day, it's the first match of the season at Chepauk, so filling your team with spinners already can backfire.
Someone like Kuldeep will prove to be handy on any surface. There's also Sunil Narine and Chawla but picking all three isn't advisable. CSK have got four spinners in their squad and the same applies over there as well. Have a healthy mix in the bowling department, avoid pacers like Mitchell Johnson and Mark Wood but keep the rest in contention.
3. Wait on Lynn and Russell
After watching KKR's opening game against RCB, it was clear as daylight that Chris Lynn isn't feeling 100%. He clearly looks edgy despite regaining fitness in time for the start of the tournament. If CSK indeed open with spin to have the upperhand over Lynn, the Australian batsman will find things difficult.
He is a big player but he isn't the same as he was last year. It's still early days so he is expected to come into his own zone sometime soon but on this surface, against this attack, the chances appear slim.
Users are also advised to wait a little longer when it comes to Andre Russell. He showed glimpses of what he can do against RCB but on a track that is set to pose him a challenge, Russell might not be as effective as he is expected to be.
Someone like Dinesh Karthik, who is in form and is also a local lad, sounds like a safe option over some of the big-hitters that KKR have in their ranks.
4. Back Tahir
Imran Tahir didn't have the greatest of starts on his debut for the Chennai Super Kings as Ishan Kishan took him to the cleaners but in T20 cricket, he is mightily effective. Considering the nature of the surface, Tahir will be given another chance to impress and rightly so.
While the likes of Harbhajan and Jadeja will be used to contain, Tahir is the wicket-taking option. And not to forget that KKR have some youngsters in their batting line up. The likes of Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh might struggle against Tahir's experience. Add Shubman Gill into the mix and Tahir will be expected to have a field day.