IPL Fantasy Guru: Big hitters the need of the hour
Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings
Transfers made – 2; Transfers remaining – 8
Rohit Sharma out – Suresh Raina in
David Warner out – David Miller in
Yuzvendra Chahal out – Ishwar Pandey in
Captaincy pick – Raina/Miller
Suresh Raina, Glenn Maxwell and David Miller – It has to be among these three for this match. With Brendon McCullum most likely to make way for Michael Hussey, I don’t see any other player making an impact today. Dwayne Smith and George Bailey are not in form. Faf du Plessis and MS Dhoni have been finding it difficult to convert their starts. Dwayne Bravo bats too low, and it doesn’t make sense to pick Hussey without knowing what kind of a touch he is in.
The deck at Mohali is usually good for batting, so the bowlers would not have much of a say. Ishwar Pandey would be the uncapped player pick for this match, as my budget doesn’t allow getting in Sandeep Sharma.
Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Transfers made – 2; Transfers remaining – 6
Suresh Raina out – Ajinkya Rahane in
David Miller out – Shane Watson in
Ishwar Pandey out – Sanju Samson in
Captaincy pick – Watson
With Robin Uthappa and Andre Russell already in, the Knight Riders side of it is pretty much settled. Spinners don’t get any purchase here, and I am not sure if Shakib Al Hasan will continue to bat ahead of Russell, so he stays out. The move to promote the Bangladesh all-rounder in the last match may very have been to nullify the threat of the Mumbai spin duo. Royals don’t play many spinners, and, therefore, Russell could be back to No.5
If you see off the first 4-5 overs, Brabourne becomes a heaven for batsmen. I would trust Ajinkya Rahane to do it. While Watson may yield to the pace of Umesh Yadav and Morne Morkel, his all-round skills make his inclusion unavoidable. Also, if he manages to get through the opening burst, it could be very big. Steve Smith instead of Watson is a gamble worth it; the Royals, though, are unpredictable with their batting order, so I am not ready to take the risk at this stage of the game, especially when all you need is Watson to roll his arm over with the ball to return 60 points.
Sanju Samson would be my uncapped player pick for this match.
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Daredevils
Transfers made – 3; Transfers remaining – 3
Ajinkya Rahane out – Yuvraj Singh in
Shane Watson out – JP Duminy in
Andre Russell out – Chris Gayle in
Robin Uthappa out – Shreyas Iyer in
Captaincy pick – Gayle/Kohli/ABD/Starc/Duminy (preferably from the side that bats first)
This has to be an absolute run-fest, so all of Chris Gayle, JP Duminy and AB de Villiers make their way back into my team. In addition to these three, I add Yuvraj Singh as well. Apart from Mitchell Starc, there isn’t any real threat for him. Flat deck, shorter boundaries and friendly bowling – I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Yuvi special here.
There really isn’t a choice here as far as captaincy is concerned, so I would stick with the safest of them all – AB de Villiers. Shreyas Iyer would be my first choice uncapped player pick for this match.
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Mumbai Indians
Transfers made – 3; Transfers remaining – 0
AB de Villiers out – David Warner in
JP Duminy out – Moises Henriques in
Chris Gayle out – Rohit Sharma in
Harshal Patel out – Hardik Pandya in
Captaincy pick – Henriques/Warner
Yet another match where you should see plenty of runs being scored. David Warner, Rohit Sharma and Moises Henriques are easily the 3 best picks. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been exceptional with the new ball throughout the tournament, so I expect him to make very early inroads. I just hope Rohit isn’t one among them.
As predicted, the promotion to No.3 did do the trick for the Mumbai captain in the last match, only for Sunil Narine to spoil it with a gem of a delivery. Although I don’t believe in picking players who bat down the order, for the lack of better options, I will have to settle with Hardik Pandya as my uncapped player pick for the match.