Every season the IPL is subject to a lot of scrutiny with regard to the money involved in the tournament, the cheerleaders, the stray fixing accusations and the fact that the sport is getting too commercialized. But when a young kid, fresh from the domestic circuit, gets backed by his team to lead the charge at the top of the order, and then puts up a refreshing performance for the world to see, it all just seems worth it.
Not Smith, not Dhoni, not Stokes, not Rahane; Rahul Tripathi has been the reason for RPS’s sudden rise to the top this season. A nonchalant middle order batsman, Tripathi was never known to the big hitter that you see on your screens today. He has predominantly been a middle order batsman, manoeuvring the bowlers during the middle overs and taking the aerial route only when absolutely necessary. But that is the beauty of the shortest format, it helps you dig out reserves that you didn’t even know were available.
On a difficult pitch at the Eden Gardens last night, the demons just ceased to exist when Tripathi took strike. Spinners and seamers were all dented as Tripathi just grew in stature last night. He has 7 30+ scores in the last 8 innings, and yesterday he displayed his ability of carrying his bat all through as well, winning the game with ease in the process.
Gautam Gambhir credited Tripathi’s performance but was quick to assert that KKR need to get that intensity in their play back pretty quickly. Also, oppositions seem to have worked out the Narine equation at the top of the order, and thus Lynn’s return couldn’t have come at a better time for them.
RPS on the other hand would be buoyed by the number of match winners they have been able to unearth this season, but it still feels like they haven’t really clicked as a unit until now, and finding a new hero every game wouldn’t be that plausible.
Delhi Daredevils vs Gujarat Lions
Surprisingly, this is the first meeting between these two sides this season, despite both teams having played 9 games.
There is a common thread that binds these two teams together, and that is the faith that they show in their local talent.
Gujarat have gone the bowling way, whereas Delhi have heavily invested in their local batting talent, and it is heartening to see that the local boys have responded in a postive way. Samson, Nair, Pant, Iyer, Thampi, Nathu have all had bouts of success this season, and it is these kinds of opportunities that will help them take their game to the next level.
Both teams are languishing in the bottom half of the table, and a loss today could mean curtains for their chances of making it to the playoffs.
Let’s get to business now!
IPL Fantasy League
Transfer out: Manish Pandey, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur
Transfer in: Chris Morris, Amit Mishra, Basil Thampi
Now, I already have Rishab Pant and Shreyas Iyer in my team for this game. With Pant getting bumped up to the number 3 spot, it looks like we could be in for a big one tonight.
Chris Morris hasn’t been in the best of forms with the ball, going wicketless in the last 3 games, but the fact that he bowls during the death and features in the top 6, does make him an indispensable property. Also, with DD playing another home game on Saturday, it could be criminal to not get him in.
For the second transfer, I’ll be getting in Amit Mishra, but only if DD bowl first. The Kotla track was gripping and turning a fair bit in the last game, providing a lot of assistance to spinners. Against a line up ridden with foreign stars, Mishra could just run through their side with his trickery. But get him in only DD bowls first, as the track got a lot easier to bat on in the second innings in the last game.
For the uncapped player, I’ll be getting in Basil Thampi. Thampi has been brilliant with the ball this season, bowling well upfront and in the death overs. I would opt for him ahead of Ishan Kishan because of the Delhi bowling unit that Kishan will be up against.
I won’t be getting in any Gujarat player into my side for this game, as they don’t feature in the next 4 games and hence wouldn’t make much sense to bring them in for just one game, at such a crucial juncture in the competition. Also, McCullum and Finch aren’t great players of spin, something that the Delhi team is sure to test them with. Thus, I leave them out.
As far as Raina is concerned, Delhi has all the ammunition to throw him off his feat, as Morris, Rabada and Shami are all great exponents of the short ball, something that has troubled Raina all through his career.
Captain: Chris Morris
Transfer out: Kuldeep Yadav
Transfer in: Amit Mishra
Now, I already have Sanju Samson, Rishab Pant, Chris Morris and Suresh Raina in my side for this game.
Amit Mishra will be my first pick for this game, and that is primarily because of the way the ball was gripping the surface in the last game at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Also, with so many overseas batsmen in the GL side, who don’t play leg spin that well, it is only fair that I get in Amit Mishra.
I won’t be making any other transfers for this game, as all my players(except Manish Pandey) feature either today, or tomorrow, or in the first game on Saturday. If you want to make that extra transfer, you could transfer out Pandey and get in Shami, but then I wouldn’t be able to transfer out either of them until DD’s next game and hence would be stuck with 5 DD players. Hence, I resist the temptation of getting in the in form Shami.
Batting Star: Rishab Pant
Bowling Star: Chris Morris