Palms sweat, eyes drool, breath fastens and the mind just goes into ecstasy when AB de Villiers takes centre stage. The genius of the man is so exhilarating that you can’t help but question the ability of other batsmen playing the game. His ability to judge length so quickly(just as it is released from the bowler’s hand) and then move around the crease to tonk it to any part of the ground is surreal to say the least. Watching him bat is a bitter sweet experience for mere mortals, who bask in the glory of his brilliance but also start feel dwarfed by his existence and class.
Axar Patel and Sandeep Sharma rocked the RCB batting line up before the ABD show, and it was painful to see that not one batsman from the RCB side stepped up to compliment AB when he was in ‘carnage’ mood. With just 148 on board, it was always going to be an uphill task for the RCB bowling line up, and Amla and Vohra made sure that that was exactly the case.
Both these players romped to a quick start, wiping out RCBs chances in the first 8 overs itself, and then Maxwell just came in and finished off the job in grand style, scoring a quick fire 43 to make 2 in 2 for the Kings XI side.
Virat Kohli’s absence is terribly hurting RCB as they do not seem to have that anchor at the top who can control the entire innings. But once he is back, and with AB in scintillating form, they could be a huge force to reckon with. They just need to find one more win before VK makes a comeback.
KXIP on the other hand look completely sorted. They have all bases covered and are playing some attacking cricket under the guidance of Virender Sehwag. All they need to do is keep the intensity high and not let a few stray games upset their clarity of thought.
Let’s get to business now!
IPL Fantasy League
Transfer out: Shane Watson, ABD, Yuzi Chahal, Iqbal Abdullah
Transfer in: Ben Stokes, Imran Tahir, Ajinkya Rahane(only if RPS bat second), Shradal Thakur
Now, I don’t have any player from this game in my side, so I’ll have to do a bit of shopping today. The two foreign players that I could transfer out are ABD and Shane Watson, as RCB play a game on Friday, while my other two foreign recruits, Jos Buttler and Maxi have a game tomorrow and day after respectively.
Players in the consideration set for tonight’s game: Imran Tahir, Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, Chris Morris, Sam Billings, Rishab Pant.
The first player that I get in for this game is Imran Tahir. Tahir has been a revelation in the shortest format of the game and it was a shame that he wasn’t picked up by any franchise in the auction. RPS then landed gold when they picked him up later, and he’ll be raring to prove his worth against the franchise that let him go. Also, that Delhi don’t have a very strong batting line up should work in his favour. He could run through the opposition today.
Now, as I can only transfer out one more foreign player, I’ll need to make a choice between Ben Stokes, Chris Morris and Sam Billings and Steve Smith.
I immediately rule out Sam Billings here because Stokes and Morris offer me double scoring opportunities with their all round abilities, and even if I have to go with a pure batsman, Steve Smith is a better option.
So, now this is a straight toss up between Chris Morris, Ben Stokes and Steve Smith. I rule out Steve Smith because Chris Morris and Ben Stokes offer me some safety with regards to scoring points, as even if they fail in one department, they can very well make up for it in the other one. Also, in both the games, Smith hasn’t really gotten off to bright starts, scoring 28 of 28 in the first game(he was dropped at that stage), and scoring 24 for 27 in the second one. Thus, I am hoping it wouldn’t be a very big loss to leave him out tonight. Also, DD have a very superior bowling line up, so they should be able to take care of the Smith threat.
That brings us to one from Morris and Stokes. Very tough choice, but it slightly tilts in Stokes’ favour because of his batting position(Number 4 as compared to a number 7 for Morris). Both bowl two overs at the death and while Morris is a tab bit superior to Stokes with regard to death bowling, I think Stokes could still provide more points as he’ll be facing more deliveries.
Now, I’ll be getting in Ajinkya Rahane into my team, but only if RPSG bat second. Delhi don’t have a very sound batting line up and thus could be bundled out for a meagre total, and those are the kind of matches that Rahane feasts on. But I leave him out and safe the transfer if RPSG bat first.
Shradul Thakur is all set to make the 11 for this game, especially with Dan Christian’s bad night with the ball, and maybe Faf Du Plessis could return to the top of the order. Anyway, bringing in Rahane would mean that I have only 650,000 in the bag and hence will have to hope that Thakur makes it to the 11(as per the reports), so that I don’t unnecessarily miss out an uncapped player pick.
If you don’t get Rahane in, go with Rahul Chahar as your uncapped pick.
Captain: Ben Stokes(for his all round abilities)
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