Champions Trophy Fantasy League
20 transfers, 12 games; that means 1.66 transfer per game.
I am not very thrilled with the Champions Trophy Fantasy League this time as they have removed one very important element of Fantasy, and that is playing according to the toss. With the ‘toss equation’ being absolutely nullified by the Champions Trophy official league authorities, they are essentially letting luck play a huge role in the fate of the Fantasy Managers. But the heart doesn’t allow me to not play the official league, so I am going to go with it anyway.
Now, as we can get our initial team set up in place, the number of transfers per game would go up a little(close to 2).
In terms of the number of players from each game, we could discuss a few combinations. We can either go in with the 4-4-2-1 or with 4-5-1-1(Numbers indicate the number of players picked from the first 4 matches). If you want to go all in during the first few games, you could go in with 5-6 or 4-5-2 strategy. I would completely rule out the 5-6 strategy, as it will leave you stretched at the fag end of the league stage. The 4-5-2 strategy could work, but it is always better to play it safe at the start of the event.
The 4-5-1-1 strategy seems the most appealing at this stage, as it helps spread out the risk and helps me have decent enough players for the first four games.
I am going in with 5 players for the second game, as I’ll be drafting in 3 Australian players because they play two games in 4 days.
With the team combination issue addresses, let’s move on to the picks.
My first pick for this game would be Joe Root. Whatever be the condition, whoever be the opposition, you always need to have the class players by your side. You offend them by not drafting them in, and they come back and haunt you every day of the week. Root hasn’t been in the best of forms but against a not so daunting Bangladesh attack, he should be amongst the runs. Get him in!
The Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali conundrum is going to haunt us all through the CT. Stokes seems like the most plausible option after a scintillating IPL, but the catch here is that he doesn’t bowl his full quota of 10 for England. He hasn’t bowled more than 3 overs in an innings in the 3 match series against South Africa, something that bothers me a lot. Moeen on the other hand has bowled his full quota every single time and is getting runs down the order as well.
While you can’t really say which one of them would fire, I would go in with the safer and much cheaper Moeen Ali. Had I been able to select my team according to the toss, I would have gone in for Stokes, if England batted second, and Moeen, if England batted first, as Moeen could have very little to do, batting second and coming in at number 7.
Now, Mushfiqur Rahim will be my wicketkeeper for the first few games, as he is Bangladesh’s most dependable batsman, and has had scores of 40+ plus more than 3 times in his visit to the United Kingdom this time round. Among all the wicketkeeping options available in the first few games, he seems to be the most economically viable to me. Get him in!
Chris Woakes would be my last player for this game. He has been amongst the wickets for England during the South Africa, having picked u a 4-for as well, and thus he seems to be the safest of all options available. I would have loved to bring in Mustafizur Rehman as well, or at least pip him up against Woakes(if the toss luxury had been provided), but as it is not there, I would go with the safer option of Woakes.
Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Travis Head make up the rest of my batting line up. I have gone in for class in Smith and Williamson and a bit of big hitting ability in Head. While Smith’s and Williamson’s selection speaks it for itself, I have gone for Head ahead of Maxwell, one because of Head’s higher batting position and two because Head could be used ahead of Maxwell in the bowling department as well.
Santner would be my second all rounder. Coming in at just 5.5, he is an absolute steal. He bats at number 6 and bowls his full quota of 10. With the New Zealand batting line up a little short of big characters, you can expect Santner to do a lot of scoring down the order, and we have all been witness to his left arm guile, which can help him get wickets even on flat tracks. Get him in!
Rabada, Bhuvi and Cummins make up the rest of my squad. Cummins and Bhuvi have come a long way as wicket takers in the last few years. While Bhuvi’ s success can be attributed to death bowling skills, Cummins’ control has improved manifolds, and like Umesh Yadav he seems to be a real threat.
Rabada is Steyn’s heir, and what do you do to Steyn’s heir? You close your eyes and pick him in your side.
More on these players in the next article.
PowerPlayer: Joe Root
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