With the dew playing such a huge role at the humid Wankhede stadium, it is almost a sin to lose the toss, as you’ll end up playing catch up cricket all along. And something similar transpired at the Wankhede last night as well. Rohit Sharma got the rub of the green with the toss and had done more than half the job for his side. Sunrisers were put into bat and knew that only a score in excess of 180 could help them make a match out of this. But when they could manage only 158 on a flat Mumbai wicket, we all knew that there could be just one winner in this already tilted affair.
Rohit Sharma has taken the mantle of winning tosses very seriously, and while it does do half the job for his side(especially in Mumbai), he needs to be reminded that that is not what he is picked for. He has been in abysmal form with the bat and needs to find his touch very soon, as the coin won’t always sing to his tunes.
Also Read: Huge update on Virat Kohli’s IPL status
Sunrisers don’t need to read too much into this loss as the dew rendered their strong bowling line up useless, as on any other ground they would have been favourites to defend a total of 158. The only dilemma now for them is how to draft Mustafizur into the side when Moises returns. While Henriques hasn’t been of great value with the ball, he is certainly indispensable at the number 3 spot, and has shown what he is capable of in the first two games.
Ben Cutting’s lower order striking ability combined with his crucial 3 overs during the middle stages is enough to warrant him a guaranteed spot in the side. And with Rashid Khan bamboozling the batsmen with this trickery, it seems like the Fizz will have to wait for his chance, for now.
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab
KKR started of this campaign as probably the most settled side in the tournament, and with their pro activeness of opening with Lynn, it seemed as if KKR had played all the right cards and was on course for another successful season, until Lynn fell on his shoulder. Things started to fall apart from then, bowlers started bowling the wrong lines, fielders started to floor chances that they would have taken in their sleep and a lot of anxiety creeped into the system. KKR will need to start afresh, and the fact that they are playing at home today should help their cause.
Not many expected KXIP to have the start that they have had. Virender Sehwag has instilled a fearless attitude in his players and Maxwell has been leading from the front in propagating that propaganda. If they keep that ‘clarity of thought’ going it could get really difficult for rival teams to get the better of them.
Let’s get to business now!
IPL Fantasy League
Transfer out: Ajinkya Rahane, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar/David Warner, Vijay Shankar
Transfer in: Manish Pandey, Sandeep Sharma/Trent Boult, T Natarajan/Manan Vohra
Note: I transferred in Malinga last night(though it wasn’t mentioned in my post) as SRH were bowling second, and I had suggested taking transferring in Henriques in that case, but as Henriques didn’t play, and that I could have gotten two games from Malinga before transferring him out, I got him in.
Now, I already have Glenn Maxwell and Kuldeep Yadav in my team for this game.
A new, seam friendly wicket has been laid at the Eden Gardens, and thus it won’t be very conducive for spin, as it had been for as long as I can remember. Do not read too much into the ‘seam friendliness’ too, and decide for yourself only after you have seen the first game pan out.
My substitutions would depend a lot on the pitch report. I am tempted to get in Hashim Amla as my first player for this game, but if the pitch is conducive for seam bowling, he would be up against Trent Boult, Chris Woakes and Umesh Yadav up front, and thus going in with Amla in that case doesn’t seem very safe to me.
The first player that I get in for this game is Manish Pandey. With Chris Lynn certain to not play tonight, Manish should slot into his preferred number 3 spot, providing him with ample opportunity to score big. He was in wonderful touch in the last game against the Mumbai Indians and on a track that could help the ball come into the bat after the initial few overs, Pandey could wreak havoc. Also, the fact that KKR play the day game on Saturday, means that I could use him for two games before I have to transfer him out.
Now, as KKR play twice in 4 games, I would want to bring in at least one more player from the KKR side into my team. With the seaming conditions on offer, it would make sense to bring in one from Chris Woakes or Trent Boult into my side.
With Chris Lynn injured and KKR searching for that final overseas player fix, it could mean that there could be a little juggling with the overseas player spot(tonight and maybe for the next game as well). It could very hard to fathom as to which of the 3 overseas players would definitely feature in both the games. So, if you are really low on transfers(less than 50), do not go for any of these two players.
Another player who could be in your consideration set is New Zealand all rounder Colin de Grandhomme. He is someone who can tonk the ball at will during the death overs and also bowls good medium pace, with the ability to seam the ball around. If he plays, and the conditions are genuinely a little seamer friendly, you could consider getting him in(This is if you have more than 60 transfers left)
If KKR bowl first, I’ll be going ahead with Trent Boult, purely on the basis of his superior IPL experience and the fact that he bowls at least 2 overs at the death. With Umesh Yadav likely to make a comeback, I don’t see Woakes getting to bowl too much at the death and thus he sits out.
But if KXIP bowl first, I’ll be going with Sandeep Sharma, who has been silently pegging away with wickets at the top and also during the death overs. He could very well be your trump card for the night.
For the uncapped player, it would be a straight toss up between Manan Vohra and T Natarajan. T Natarajan was extremely effective during the TNPL, bowling 6 yorkers in the super over. He will be deployed during the death overs and thus becomes an indispensable entity. But I’ll be able to do this only if I bring in Sandeep Sharma, i.e. if Kings XI bowl first(because of the squad balance issue).
If KKR bowl first and I get in Trent Boult, I’ll have to bring in Manan as my uncapped player, who did really well in his last outing.
Captain: Trent Boult(if KKR bowl first)/Sandeep Sharma(if KXIP bowl first)
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