Analysing the opponent and coming up with strategies to exploit their weaknesses is something that all team management’s do. But all those strategies go out the window when you are involved in a game that hangs in the balance. Captains tend to play to the strengths of their team, even if that leads to playing into the hands of the opponent. Because in crunch situations, you don’t want to leave things to chance, you want to do whatever you are best at, and then see how it goes. An unfamiliar, rational plan doesn’t quite tick in pressure situations, because if it doesn’t come off, you come off as a fool, someone who didn’t believe in his core strengths.
Gautam Gambhir isn’t your run off the mill captain, someone who would think conventionally, instead he is someone who staunchly reads the game, and comes up with solutions that may not seem very wise at that point, but dig a little deeper and you’ll understand that this is a man who takes his ‘analysis’ very seriously.
Sunil Narine had opened for the Melbourne Renegades in this year’s BBL and scored a brisk 21 at the top of the order, hitting 2 fours and 1 six in the process. The West Indian’s explosive batting wasn’t being put to much use at number 9 and chasing a rather stiff target, Gambhir felt that Narine up top could provide that much needed impetus to the KKR innings.
Axar Patel’s brilliance in the powerplay overs could be another reason for Gambhir to opt with Narine up top.(Narine and Gambhir are the only two left handers in the KKR side). With two left handers operating, Maxwell was forced to not go with his premier spinner, something that helped KKR in taking full toll of the field restrictions. Axar has bowled miserly in the first six and could have put the brakes on the scoring had Uthappa opened with Gambhir.
KKR romped to a wonderful 8 wicket victory, with Gambhir scoring a delightful half century, aided by cameos from Narine and Pandey. Earlier in the day, the KKR bowlers put up a brilliant show in the middle overs, especially Umesh Yadav who cleaned up the entire middle order in a single over(taking 3 wickets), causing KXIP to settle for a below par score.
KXIP were outwitted by a shrewd captain last night. They shouldn’t read much into that loss, as they have been playing a great brand of fearless cricket. They just need to reconsider their plans a little once things start to function out of the ordinary.
Let’s get to business now!
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians
Two IPL heavyweights take on each other at the Chinnaswamy today, but all the limelight has been hogged by a certain Virat Kohli, who would be making his comeback from a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the final test of the India-Australia series. As Harsha Bhogle said, Virat Kohli’s return is probably the biggest news of the IPL(so far).
Virat Kohli’s return means that RCB once again boast of the best batting line up in the competition and with ABDs brilliant knock last time round, opposition bowlers would be fearing a Virat-ABD carnage today.
Mumbai Indians have been buoyed by Malinga’s return but Malinga hasn’t really had a lot of success at the Chinnaswamy, going for 7.95 runs an over(as compared to his career economy rate of 6.74). It’s all about tackling ABD in the death overs, if he can do that, he has probably won the game for his side.
Nitish Rana, Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya have lifted Mumbai’s spirits and have emerged as match winners, taking Mumbai home without any significant contribution from their captain, Rohit Sharma.
While toss will play a huge role, the encounter will be decided on how the Mumbai Indians’ bowling fairs against the RCB batting
Let’s get to business now!
IPL Fantasy League
Transfer out: Glenn Maxwell, Manan Vohra
Transfer in: ABD, Krunal Pandya
Now, I already have Rohit Sharma, Jos Buttler, Kedar Jadhav, Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah in my side for this game.
The first player that I bring in is ABD. I don’t really need to justify his selection, do I? Just get him in, it would be a cardinal sin of you won’t.
Now, here comes the Kohli conundrum. Do you get him in despite his injury layoff, or do you wait for him to settle into the IPL a little bit and bring in from the next game(depending on how he performs today).
Maybe, a lot of Fantasy owners decided to play the waiting game with ABD, and didn’t pick him for his first game, and he just punched all those owners right in the face. You don’t mess with all these top guys, all you do is use your mouse/trackpad and bring these geniuses right in.
My team combination at this point is such that in no way can I bring in Kohli into my side, none at all. I have used every possible combination(of course I won’t be transferring out someone who is playing today), so all I can do is hope that Kohli falters big time today. If you do have the chance, get him in.
I leave out Chris Gayle for this game because he will be up against a very potent bowling line up and he has always been uncomfortable against Harbhajan Singh in the power play. I wouldn’t want to risk getting him in at this stage.
Shane Watson has looked a shade of himself all through this tournament, getting smacked around in the death overs and not contributing much with the bat as well. And with Kohli back into the scheme of things and Jadhav firing wonderfully well at number 4, his fantasy potential with the bat too has considerably gone down.
For the uncapped player, I get in Krunal Pandya. Pandya has an excellent record against ABD and with so many right handers in the RCB top 6, he should be getting his full quota of four overs in. The short Chinnaswamy boundaries and the meek RCB bowling line up should make him help himself to some runs as well.
Captain: ABD(at number 3 you just have to captain him everytime)
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