The IPL is back for its 15th season, with two new franchises joining the fray this year. With a new format and well-shuffled teams, it should be an exciting season.
Meanwhile, the IPL Fantasy league should continue to captivate fans from around the globe. The season-long Fantasy league for 2022 could also be an engaging affair.
As is the norm, the season will kick off with an electric contest between defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and runner-ups Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
With a few rule changes and innovative additions, IPL Fantasy should be a more challenging experience this time. So without further ado, here's a look at the best fantasy team for the first match of the IPL season.
Transfer Deadline: 07:30 PM IST on Saturday, March 26
Note: The team suggested is subject to change depending on the toss or other unexpected team news. Any such changes will be updated for the next game.
Also Read: IPL Fantasy 2022: A Guide to set up your IPL Fantasy Team | IPL Fantasy Tips.
IPL 2022 Fantasy Team for Match 1 - CSK vs KKR
Wicketkeepers: Ishan Kishan (MI) (WK) (9.5 Credits).
Batters: Devon Conway (BAT) (CSK) (8 Credits), Robin Uthappa (BAT) (CSK) (8 Credits), Ruturaj Gaikwad (BAT) (CSK) (9.5 Credits), Shreyas Iyer (BAT) (KKR) (10 Credits), Nitish Rana (BAT) (KKR) (8.5 Credits), and Shikhar Dhawan (BAT) (PBKS) (10 Credits).
All-Rounders: Venkatesh Iyer (ALL) (KKR) (9 Credits).
Bowlers: Harshal Patel (BOWL) (RCB) (9 Credits), Shardul Thakur (BOWL) (DC) (9 Credits), and Mohammed Shami (BOWL) (GT) (9 Credits).
One look at this team, and you can deduce that it's made to capitalise on the 'Power Batter' booster. To those unfamiliar with the term, it's one of six limited-time boosters and can be played any time between games one and four. Using it would double the points of all batters in the team for that game.
Considering the good batting conditions at the Wankhede and the rather frail-looking bowling attacks of both teams, this game seems the best opportunity to use this chip. However, I'm apprehensive about the effect it could have on my transfers in upcoming games. After all, going with a balanced team at the start is a must-have to secure a stable start.
That's my thought process while selecting my team ahead of the opening clash between CSK and KKR. While there's a possibility of changes ahead of the deadline, let's discuss my provisional team for match 1.
Ishan Kishan, the most expensive player at the IPL 2022 auction, is my choice to don the wicketkeepers' gloves. The belligerent opener will face a Nortje-less DC attack in match two and could amass some runs. He could also offer handy points from dismissals behind the wicket.
Punjab Kings' Shikhar Dhawan is the only batter not from the CSK-KKR fixture. He was in excellent form last season and could look to carry on that run, albeit for a new franchise.
Now, for the horde of CSK and KKR players in my team: Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad are likely to open the batting for CSK, and they could heap misery on the Cummins-less KKR bowling attack. Robin Uthappa proved to be a handy acquisition by CSK last year, and he could get some runs if he deputises at No.3 for Moeen Ali.
KKR's new captain Shreyas Iyer said he'd determine his batting position based on the team's needs. However, he should slot in at No.3, ahead of Nitish Rana at No.4. One of the two batters should surely drop anchor and try to get a big score to their name, and both are good captaincy options.
Lastly, despite him not being listed as a batter, Venkatesh Iyer could not be left out. He's one of KKR 's key players this tournament and will look to start the season well.
We now move on to the bowlers. If you've not noticed by now, I'm going pretty safe with all my non-CSK-KKR selections, as I'm unsure who'll make it to the playing XI for their new teams. In the same vein, I've played it safe with my bowlers as well.
Shardul Thakur, Harshal Patel and Mohammed Shami are all vital players of their respective teams' pace batteries. All three should get some overs at the death and pick up wickets.
That wraps up my team selection for the first game of IPL Fantasy 2022. While I'm not entirely convinced on how the lopsided team structure would affect the balance, I'm hoping that the booster pays dividends, though.
Best IPL Fantasy Team for Match 1- Summary
Players playing in Match 1: Devon Conway (BAT) (CSK) (8 Credits), Robin Uthappa (BAT) (CSK) (8 Credits), Ruturaj Gaikwad (BAT) (CSK) (9.5 Credits), Shreyas Iyer (BAT) (KKR) (10 Credits), Nitish Rana (BAT) (KKR) (8.5 Credits), and Venkatesh Iyer (ALL) (KKR) (9 Credits).
Captaincy: With the wicket likely to be batting-friendly, I'm likely to give the captaincy to one of the batters. The chasing team should have an advantage, with dew likely to set in during the second innings. Therefore, I'll make my final captaincy decision after the toss.
Ishan Kishan (MI) (WK) (9.5 Credits) | Next Fixture: vs DC, Match 2.
Shardul Thakur (BOWL) (DC) (9 Credits) | Next Fixture: vs MI, Match 2.
Shikhar Dhawan (BAT) (PBKS) (10 Credits) | Next Fixture: vs PBKS, Match 3.
Harshal Patel (BOWL) (RCB) (9 Credits) | Next Fixture: vs PBKS, Match 3.
Mohammed Shami (BOWL) (GT) (9 Credits) | Next Fixture: vs GT, Match 4.
Get IPL 2023 Live Score along with Points Table & Schedule Updates at Sportskeeda.