Another season of IPL is here, and it is a big one. With two new franchises joining the IPL bandwagon, we're set to see a wide range of players ply their trade in one of the most competitive and exciting cricket tournaments. The mega auction preceding the tournament also adds to the anticipation of this edition of the IPL, with plenty of players switching teams.
In addition to all this, another season of IPL Fantasy, powered by the Dream11 engine, beckons. While there are a few changes, the game's structure and rules remain the same as they were last season. With 74 games this season, IPL Fantasy managers will be given 140 transfers to spend.
Setting your team up ahead of a ten-team tournament with so many players to choose from can be quite a daunting task. So here's a guide to setting up your IPL fantasy team ahead of IPL 2022
Click here to create your IPL fantasy team, if you haven't already:
#1 Take a look at the opening fixtures
While the team you set at the start of the season is hardly a determiner of how you'll fare, it's a confidence boost if you start well, especially if you're new to the game. Therefore, the first thing you should do is take a careful look at the opening fixtures of the season (say the first seven games) and make a mental note of the teams that play more than once and those you feel have good fixtures.
#2 Build a watchlist
After frisking the fixtures and getting a sense of the teams you're looking to target, it's now time to narrow down on specific players from those teams.
It can be overwhelming to do this all at once, considering the magnitude of the players in the league. It'll be easier if you divide the players by their teams and build a list of viable IPL Fantasy assets from each team.
Doing this a couple of days before you sit down and build your final team can be very helpful. That's because it would help reduce a pool of close to 250 players down to a more manageable 40-50.
One vital category of players to build a watchlist for is the roster of uncapped players. As every team can make one free uncapped transfer per game, these players can be valuable through the season.
You can modify this watchlist as the season goes on, and it should serve as a beneficial index whenever you make transfers.
#3 Form the skeleton of your team
This step is quite simple and involves forming a skeleton of your team without any specific players. For example, in my opening team for this season, I plan to have four players from the opener between CSK and KKR, three players each from the DC-MI and PBKS-RCB games, and one from the clash between LSG and GT.
Building such an outline helps you fill these slots easily with the players from your watchlist according to the budget and position requirements of your team.
#4 Building your IPL fantasy team
After sufficient preparation, it's time to get cracking and building your IPL fantasy team. There are a few things you should keep in mind while doing this, though.
The first and most important thing to do is: This game is not a sprint but a marathon. The intention is to manage your transfers such that they last for the 70-odd games so that you keep playing for the entire tournament. However, many new players don't grasp the game and use up all their transfers in the first few games.
With that out of the way, let's look at how we can build a balanced team. Balance involves creating a team where transfers are easy to make.
All IPL Fantasy teams need to meet this requirement:
1-4 Wicketkeepers, 3-6 Batters, 1-4 all-rounders and 3-6 bowlers
A balanced team is one in which it's easily possible to switch from a batter to a bowler or an all-rounder in one transfer without getting locked. The best way to achieve this would be to have one wicketkeeper, two all-rounders and four batters and bowlers apiece. This team structure will help maximise flexibility and enable you to make a wider array of transfers.
One should also not overload their team with players from one franchise (unless you're using a booster). Doing so will make you spend lots of transfers to get enough players for the next game and will lead you to burning through transfers.
#5 Plan your transfers in advance
I've often found it helpful to plan for at least three games while making a transfer. Doing so allows me to weigh the pros and cons of making a transfer. It also helps gauge whether I'm going for a one-game punt or a move that would serve me better in the long term.
While this tip is applicable throughout the season, it can be valuable, especially at the start. Tentatively charting out your moves for the first few games while setting up your team will help you make clear decisions and build a solid opening team for the season-long IPL Fantasy 2022 game.