It’s the dawn of a new era in the IPL, an era which is governed by standards, standards that were laid out in the initial few years of ‘experimentation’. We have entered the phase of ‘consolidation’ now, and franchises like KKR and RCB will need to carve their legacy out in the next few years, identify a new core and build on it in the years to come.
Both teams do have a solid core for themselves, with KKR’s core probably a little more varied(injury prone though) than RCB’s core, as the Bangalore franchise still heavily depend on the batting genius of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
Kohli though believes that RCB have a very sound team this time round with more balance in the side than ever. RCB have been known for their batting exploits over the years, but Kohli believes that this the probably the season when RCB’s bowling would come off age and take off a lot of the pressure off RCB’s start studded batting.
KKR are under new leadership, with Dinesh Karthik being given the opportunity to finally take centre stage in Indian cricket. He has been the other wicketkeeper, the other batsman, the other player for so long, now is his chance to show the world what they missed in the ‘MS Dhoni era’.
The match promises to be a cracker of a contest with so many big hitters on display and it would be fascinating to see how the rivalry of Johnson and Kohli pans out in the middle.
RCB won’t have fond memories of playing at the Eden Gardens from last year, where their batting line up crumbled like nine pins, succumbing to a score of just 49.
Kohli would be hoping that this ‘clean slate’ can help the team forget those scars of the past and beat KKR in their own den.
Let’s get to business now!
IPL Fantasy League
Transfer out: DJ Bravo, Colin Munro, Andrew Tye, Mayank Agarwal
Transfer in: ABD, Virat Kohli, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, Basil Thampi, Suresh Raina
Now, I already have Shubman Gill and Kuldeep Yadav in my team for this game.
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers will be the first players that I would bring in for this game. The duo has done so much for the Bangalore franchise, and with the form that they are in, they should be able to set the IPL on fire once again.
Want to go into their statistics? Why waste time? Spend that time enjoying their batting or fretting over other fantasy picks. Just get them in!
As far as this match goes, Kohli and ABD will be my only two picks from the RCB side. McCullum could be a hit and miss and I don’t want to take that 50-50 chance at this moment.
Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal both could be brilliant picks, but the newly laid Eden Garden surface isn’t quite spinner friendly and thus I wouldn’t bring them in at this moment.
Chris Lynn would be the first KKR player that I bring in for this game. The destructive opening batsman has fully recovered from his shoulder injury and is raring to go for KKR after an injury curtailed season last time round.
The KKR batsman played 12 IPL games and has a healthy average of 38.4 scoring them at a strike rate of 158+. He could go ballistic tonight, get him in!
Now, how do we address the Sunil Narine conundrum. Coming off another ‘reported action’ issue, Narine will need some time to settle into his own. Also, there is no confirmation about Narine opening the batting this time round and hence his ‘fantasy potential’ reduces a bit.
Let’s avoid him at this point until we get a hang of how Dinesh Karthik wants to use him.
Andre Russell is returning to cricket action after a long time, having received a one-year ban for a doping violation, and then suffering a hamstring injury during the PSL.
However, with dual scoring opportunities at his disposal(with bat and ball), you just cannot afford to leave him out. With Starc ruled out of the tournament, Russell could be given death bowling duties and should also open the bowling on that seamer friendly track at the Eden Gardens.
And his explosive batting? Again, that is not something that is up for argument as time and again he has shown that he can take the game away from the opposition from any stage of the match, coming in at 3 to the up the ante or when the team is tottering during the middle overs.
For the uncapped player, I’ll get in Manan Vohra, provided there is some indication that he is opening the batting, however that looks highly unlikely, as Parthiv Patel is set to open the batting with BMac.
However, my team combination and the budget constraints do not allow me to get any uncapped player from this fixture.
I’ll be getting in Basil Thampi from the SRH vs RR game which is scheduled to be held tomorrow.
Match Powerplayer: Virat Kohli
Second Innings Power player: Chris Lynn(if KKR bat second)/ABD(if RCB bat second
Transfer out: Andrew Tye, Suresh Raina, Lokesh Rahul, Chris Morris
Transfer in: Virat Kohli, ABD, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn
Now, I already have Kuldeep Yadav in my team for this game.
I’ll be making the same substitutions as in the official IPL Fantasy League, i.e. getting ABD, Kohli, Lynn and Russell in for this game.
Batting Powerplayer: Virat Kohli(I leave out ABD as he’ll be batting at number 4)
Bowling Powerplayer: Andre Russell(if KKR bowl first)/Kuldeep Yadav(if KKR bowl second)