Two teams that have been in the news for all the wrong reasons before the IPL kick off their campaign against each other at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium tonight.
SRH vs RR was supposed to be the coming together of the two Aussies, David Warner and Steve Smith, a match that would have been dominated by the Australian flavour, but that is exactly what the world(and even Australia) are trying to get rid off now, as the flavour has turned from sour to bitter.
New captains but old war horses replace Warner and Smith, and both franchises have opted for more than able replacements(Alex Hales for SRH, Heinrich Klaasen for RR) to take their place in the side.
Also, from two flamboyant captains, both franchises move to their more subdued counterparts, as Ajinkya Rahane and Kane Williamson aren’t known for being to over the top with their demeanour on and off the field.
But do they play and captain with the same intensity and can they develop a winning culture in these news look teams? We’ll have to wait and see.
SRH look pretty settled and have most of their core back again playing for them. RR on the other hand are on this comeback trail and will be hoping that they can set the ball rolling from game 1.
Let’s get to business now!
IPL Fantasy League(Fantasy Tips for SRH vs RR)
Transfer out: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Rahul Tewatia, Trent Boult
Transfer in: Ben Stokes, Rashid Khan, Shikhar Dhawan, Deepak Hooda
My Fantasy team did take a little hit yesterday, especially in the second game, as Sunil Narine went bonkers and I hadn’t roped him in because I wasn’t quite sure how KKR would use him this time round.
But with at least one over at the death and the opening batting slot, you just need to have him in your Fantasy team from the next time round.
Now, I already have Basil Thampi in my team for this game, as I had transferred him in as my uncapped sub for the KKR vs RCB game.
Coming to the schedule bit of it, both RR and SRH play twice in the space of 4 matches and hence you will need to transfer in at least 4 players for this game, and ensure that you do not transfer out any KKR player for this game, as they are scheduled to play tomorrow.
From the SRH squad the players that I would have in my consideration set are Rashid Khan, Kane Williamson, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvi.
I wouldn’t fret too much about Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan at the moment as I am not quite sure about their batting positions in the SRH line up.
Manish Pandey could slot into that number 3 role but when you have Wriddhiman Saha in your side, you tend to feel that he is valuable as a batsman at number 3 or not at all, and hence he could fit into that number 3 role, thereby giving Manish Pandey a little less time in the middle and hence reducing his ‘fantasy potential’.
Yusuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan could be great picks later on in the tournament, depending on form and how they are used both while batting and bowling.
From RR, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jaydev Undakat and D’arcy Short would be in my consideration set.
The first player that I would get in for this game is the million dollar Englishman, Ben Stokes.
Stokes was in a middle of a controversy for a long time, having been banned by the ECB to play for the national team because a pub brawl, but his return to the English side in New Zealand did help them with their balance and Stoke would be looking towards the IPL for a platform to get back to his usual self in International cricket.
A lot of eyebrows were raised when Stokes was picked by RPSG last time round, but he paid them back in gold, winning matches single handedly for them with both bat and ball.
Get him in, his all round abilities are too much to overlook, and will give you a guarantee of at least 100 points before you have to transfer him out.
Now, with Lynn and Russell already in my squad, I can get in only two overseas players for this game.
If Stokes is the first, I will have to chose one from Rashid Khan, D’arcy Short , Jos Buttler and Kane Williamson.
I will have to give Rashid Khan the nod here, as his trickery has bamboozled batsman all over the world and he is the leading T20 bowler in the world at the moment.
Now, let’s get down to the Indian players.
Ajinkya Rahane, Bhuvi , Jaydev Unadkat and Shikhar Dhawan are in my consideration set with regards to the Indian players.
In the T20 mode, according to form and history, Dhawan and Bhuvi are better than Rahane and Unadkat.
Shikhar Dhawan has been in fine form in the last 2 months, tearing apart South Africa’s bowling attack on the away tour and then helping himself to some more runs in the Nidahas trophy in Sri Lanka.
He has often been look down as an opener who can’t really perform consistently but his performances and records point to the contrary. Get him in!
The situation with Bhuvi is a little tricky here and getting him in would require another transfer and I will want to save a few of them having already made a host of them for the initial few games.
So, I will get in Bhuvi only if SRH bowl first, this way he is sure to bowl at the death and run away with a few cheap wickets. Else, I will leave him out for this one.
For the uncapped player, I get in Deepak Hooda, who has been in fine form in the domestic circuit and was also picked for the Indian side in the Nidahas Trophy.
Match Powerplayer: Ben Stokes
2nd Innings Powerplayer: Shikhar Dhawan/Rashid Khan(depending on what SRH does in the 2nd innings)
Fandromeda(Fantasy Tips for SRH vs RR)
Transfer out: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Colin Munro, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
Transfer in: Shikhar Dhawan, Ben Stokes, Rashid Khan, Bhuvi, D’arcy Short
I don’t have any player for this game in my side and with the upcoming fixture list I will be making a few changes to my side today.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rashid Khan and Ben Stokes would be my first three picks for this game, for reasons already mentioned in the IPL Fantasy League section.
Now, I would make one more substitution here as we some leeway with respect to transfers in the official IPL Fantasy League.
I will get in one of D’arcy Short and Bhuvi into my side. I tried getting in both of them but budget constraints prevent me from doing that(or else I’ll have to get rid of both my DD players, Boult and Munro and they have a game coming up on Wednesday).
I go in with Bhuvi, if SRH bowl first, this way there is a guarantee that he will be able to bring to the fore his supreme death bowling skills. Else, I go in with D’arcy Short, who I have picked ahead of Jos Buttler as Buttler will most likely bat at number 6 and hence that brings down his impact potential drastically.
Short could also give us a couple of overs of spin during the middle stages.
Batting Powerplayer: Shikhar Dhawan/D’arcy Short(whoever bats second)
Bowling Powerplayer: Bhuvi/Ben Stokes(whoever bowls first)