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Moneyball9 Fantasy Tips: 1st ODI - Zimbabwe vs India

An insight on which players to pick for the first ODI between Zimbabwe and India in the Moneyball9 fantasy league.

A photo from the last Indian tour to Zimbabwe
A photo from the last Indian tour to Zimbabwe in 2015

When a big fancied team takes on a minnow opposition, it is always best to fill your fantasy side with players from the favourites. India might have opted to go in with a second string side but most of them have played against top quality opposition on the big stage in the IPL and they certainly start as favourites against a Zimbabwe outfit that has just changed the backroom staff completely. So how should your fantasy team line up? Here’s an analysis:

Batsmen:

Manish Pandey stroked a magnificent hundred in his previous ODI appearance against Australia in Australia and that has certainly cemented his spot for now in the side. Dhoni would probably like him to continue at No. 5 since that’s where he would eventually be batting when a full strength side is named in the future. If India bat first, you can count on him to make an impact wherever he bats. It could be too early to pick someone like Faiz Fazal in the team since he will be making his debut.

Karun Nair is another option to be explored. His excellent form in the IPL should fetch him a spot at No. 3 in the lineup and that would give him plenty of time to make an impact and fetch you points. But if you prefer to go in with a bit of experience then Ambati Rayudu is a candidate.

From Zimbabwe’s point of view, Sean Ervine’s recent patchy form should go against him but if the surface is spinner friendly, then he can be picked despite being valued at 7500 rupees. Hamilton Masakadza will be looking to make a statement after losing captaincy so he is another option fans can consider but at the same time, he will cost you 8000 rupees which is a factor to consider.

Wicket-keeper batsman:

Say no to Zimbabwe’s Richmond Mutumbami because you already have a headache in the form of MS Dhoni and KL Rahul. Dhoni is the most expensive player in the fantasy league at 9000 rupees and he could likely bat at No. 6 which would mean he might not get to face a lot of deliveries. But if you want to go for a gamble, then pick the skipper else go for Rahul. The in-form Karnataka batsman turned a new leaf in the IPL by smashing the ball to all parts and he is likely to open in Zimbabwe. He also costs just 4500 bucks which should sway your decision towards him.

All-rounder:

Rishi Dhawan, Axar Patel and Elton Chigumbura are the three all-rounders who should be in your radar. All three will cost you 8000 rupees but the choice needs to be made considering various factors. Will Dhawan get a game in the first place? Can Axar make an impact with the ball by fetching wickets especially with a wicket taking option like Yuzvendra Chahal likely to be included? In such a scenario, it is advisable to go in with Chigumbura as his batting abilities could once again come to the fore as it often has. He can also chip in with the ball with some tidy overs.

Bowlers:

Considering the fact that we are unsure how the Zimbabwe bowlers would turn up in the series, it is better to watch them in the first couple of games before taking a call. Right now it is advisable to fill the bowling slots with Indian players who are likely to make an impact. Jasprit Bumrah with his Yorkers can be very effective against this line up since they haven’t played him before. The likes of Barinder Sran and Dhawal Kulkarni are likely starters ahead of Jaydev Unadkat and these two new ball specialists can dent the opposition early on like we witnessed in the IPL recently.

India are also likely to pick Chahal ahead of Jayant Yadav considering the leggie’s wicket taking prowess. So there could be no respite for Zimbabwe unless the wicket is an absolute belter.

Our ideal team: KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Hamilton Masakadza, Manish Pandey, Elton Chigumbura, Jasprit Bumrah, Barinder Sran, Dhawal Kulkarni and Yuzvendra Chahal.

DISCLAIMER: The article just contains suggestions and Sportskeeda are not responsible or liable for the outcome.

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