When does a lion end is rule? Is it when he deems himself unfit to rule the roosts, or is it when the animals around him stop revering in his aura? Maybe it has more to do with motivation, the motivation of leading a jungle, the motivation to keep being the fiercest of all. Because lack of motivation renders even the brightest of individuals to become mere mortals. Yuvraj Singh was slowly but surely treading that path of mediocrity, where he just seemed to be lacking that motivation to rule the world as he once did. But all that seemed like a flash in the pan last night.
A rejuvenated Yuvraj Singh walked out to bat in the IPL opener last night. The big back lift was back, the smoothness of the flow of the bat seemed like it had never left home and the ball was dancing to the ‘Yuvi tune’. Though his performance made me ache as a Fantasy manager(I did not have him in my time), it made for some pleasant memories to rush back.
The Sunrisers dominated RCB all through the game, and that too without any major contribution from David Warner(and the absence of Mustafizur Rehman), something that they’ll take great heart in. Moises Henriques and Shikhar Dhawan provided some much needed impetus at the top of the order, setting up the stage for some Yuvi magic and boy did he respond to that!
A mesmerising 62 of 27 balls from the magic wielding willow of Yuvraj mean that RCB had to chase 207 without the services of ABD and Kohli.. And as expected, they couldn’t really muster a solid run chase, falling apart in the absence of their ‘cohesion driver’ Virat Kohli.
But RCBs loss will have to be attributed to their shoddy display in the field, where they dropped two sitters and twice let the ball fall in the infamous ‘no man’s land’.
SRH will be buoyed by the middle order display, which had been a major absentee in last year’s winning campaign. They come off as serious contenders once again. RCB on the other hand need their Virat-ABD fix and quickly. Chahal and Mills were the only two positives from yesterday’s game.
Let’s get to business now!
Rising Pune Supergiant vs Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians have always been slow starters, despite always having a balanced side. It’s like their backroom staff loves to make things interesting by opting for the wrong combination in the first half of the tournament, only to be labelled ‘comeback kings’ later on. Rising Pune Supergiant have had more than just a name change, they have had a leadership overhaul with Steve Smith replacing MS Dhoni at the head of the battalion, and it just feels like RPSGs fortunes would heavily depend on how smoothly that transition is carried out.
IPL Fantasy League
Transfer out: David Warner, Aniket Chaudhary
Transfer in: Ben Stokes, Ankit Sharma
Now, I already have Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith and Adam Zampa in my team for this game.
Players in consideration, in no specific order: Ben Stokes, Faf Du Plessis, Rajat Bhatia, Rahul Chahar, Mitch McCleneghan, Jos Buttler, Krunal Pandya, Ambati Rayudu.
I have gone for Steve Smith over Faf Du Plessis purely because of time that Smith has recently spent in India, and on top of that he’ll be playing at Pune, where Australia thrashed India earlier this season.
Mumbai are known to be very notorious with their batting order and so you can never really say where their best players would bat(especially Buttler). Till the MI management send out a clear signal as to where Buttler would bat, I would not draft him into my side. His form off late has also been very pale and hence I would advise you to not opt for him in this game.
Also Read: Do’s and Don’ts for the IPL Fantasy League
Rayudu is not a player that I would bank on, especially for Fantasy purposes, and with two Indian batsmen already in my side, I don’t think I need another one at this moment.
Pollard again is used in a very bizarre fashion by the Mumbai Indians, mostly giving him just 3-4 overs to make an impact, and while he could run away with a quick fire 20-30, it isn’t worth wasting a transfer on this early in the season.
Mitch McCleneghan is a wonderful bowler in the T20 format, using the bouncer to good effect to rattle the inexperienced domestic players, and in the process feeding on a lot of cheap wickets, but with Southee and Bumrah in the side, I don’t think he’ll be used a lot at the death, thus I won’t be getting him in for this fixture(But watch out for him for the rest of the tournament).
Now, I will be making just one change for this game and with RPS playing two matches in 3 days, it only makes sense to get one more RPSG player into my side. Ben Stokes has been the most talked about player this IPL, and why not, he attracted the highest bid during the auctions and despite him not having the best of T20 records(a batting average of 14.36 and a bowling economy of 9.03), I expect him to be a ‘Fantasy dream’.
He’ll be bowling his full quota of 4 overs, 2 of which will be bowled in the death. And he’ll bat in the top 5, giving him ample opportunity to give you a minimum return of 80 points every game. Get him in, big players generally rule big tournaments. I’ll be transferring him in at the expense of David Warner.
For the uncapped transfer, I’ll wait for the team sheets to come in as I am not quite sure which set of uncapped players will be used by both sides. But if you have Rahul Chahar making it to the RPS squad, get him in. He is a brilliant leg spinner and could rise steeply during the course of the next 8 weeks. Your other options are Rajat Bhatia, Ankit Sharma and Krunal Pandya.
If Ankit Sharma does indeed feature, I’ll get him in for Aniket Chaudhary to help me with my budget constraints, if not, I’ll transfer out Bhuvi and get in Krunal Pandya, if MI bat first, else I bring in Rajat Bhatia.
Captain: Ben Stokes(because of his all round abilities)
But if the pitch report suggests that there could be some turn on offer, I would go with Adam Zampa as my captain.
I’ll be making just one change here and that’ll be Ben Stokes for David Warner!
For the batting star the two most obvious choices are Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane(as they’ll be opening the innings for their respective sides). Mumbai seem to have the more potent attack and thus Rahane could fall to one of McClenghan, Bumrah or Southee and hence Rohit Sharma gets the nod, despite him not having played competitive cricket for a long time.
For the bowling star, I’ll be going with Bumrah, as he is probably the best death bowler around and is bound to fetch you at least 60 points every time he steps onto the field
Happy Team Picking 🙂