A lot of eyebrows were raised when the BCCI continued to select IPL and Ranji stars for back-to-back Zimbabwe tours. The Zimbabwean coach and administration vehemently opposed the selection of the second string Indian side as it maybe came across as a mark of disrespect for the Zimbabwean cricket team. But for India, the agenda was clear, they wanted to test their bench strength out and that is exactly what they have done in this tournament, though MSD would love for a few other players to get a good hit in the middle as well.
So, while the Indian selection seemed disrespectful to the Zimbabweans and they vowed to swoop the 2nd string Indian side off their feat, the young Indian contingent were more focused on what needed to be done on the field, rather than indulge in all the off field banter.
The youngsters repaid the faith instilled in them by the BCCI and played the ball on its merit rather than focusing on who was behind the ball. The Zimbabweans missed a trick here; they started focusing more on the reputation of the player rather than their own game and thus succumbed to two rather drab losses.
Now, with the series in the bag for the Indian’s, they would want to test their ‘bench bench’ strength by giving a few bowlers and maybe Mandeep Singh a look into the side. But again, with Dhoni’s reluctance to change a lot, it is anybody’s guess as to what side will be picked for tomorrow’s encounter.
Even if the players on the bench are not picked, Dhoni would like to shuffle the batting order a bit in order to give some time to Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav in the middle, both of whom look like bright prospects for the Indian middle order in the future.
Also, when it comes to bowling, Bumrah should be reste, making way for Unadkat or Jayant Yadav.
The Zimabaweans have a lot of issues to deal with it, the biggest being injuries to both Craig Ervine and Sean Williams. While that brings about a big hole in their middle order, their bowling too needs some corrections. Wellington Masakadza could be drafted in to take advantage of the spin friendly wicket.
Let’s get to business now!
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This game is going to be very tricky from a Moneyball9 Fantasy point of view as you don’t really know as to which players form the Indian side will be picked for this game. I’ll try my best to take into account everything before finalizing my squad. But do watch out for the team news during the toss and finalise your Moneyball9 team only after that.
Chibabha is the first batsman that I bring in for this game. He is sure to get a game and he not only opens the batting, he bowls his quota of 10 overs as well (if needed) and thus makes for a very interesting prospect as he’ll be given ample chances to prove his worth.
I think Manish Pandey will get a good look in tomorrow and if he gets to spend time at the crease, he’ll surely make it count. Get him in!
Ambati Rayudu will be my third batsmen for this game. I had only Rs 7000 left for this pick(as this was my last pick) and hence he is the only batsman that fits the bill. He has been constantly deployed at number 3 and thus should get enough time and deliveries to make some significant impact.
KL Rahul will be the obvious choice for this spot but in case he is dropped you could opt for Kedar Jadhav, who is bound to be promoted up the order tomorrow! And even if Rahul plays, I suggest you go in with Jadhav because of his low Moneyball9 price tag of Rs 4500
Axar Patel has been in decent form in this tournament and operates brilliantly during the middle overs to stop the run flow and to chip in with a few wickets. While he hasn’t been used with the bat, he could be promoted to number 5 to get some runs under his belt.
If he doesn’t play Elton Chigumbura seems the next best option. The Zimbabweans will loose a lot of wickets, giving Chigumbura sufficient time in the middle to get some runs.
Yuzi Chahal will be my first pick in this category. He has been a revelation in this tournament, bowling with a lot of guile and in the process getting a lot of purchase from the wicket. If you leave him out, he could make you regret it.
Tendai Chatara will be the second bowler that I opt for. The only Zimbabwean bolwer to have caused any sort of trouble to the Indian batsmen. And if Zimbabwe bowl first, he could exploit the early morning freshness in the pitch to his advantage.
Dhaval Kulkarni will be the third bowler I get in for this game. His swing bowling has always been great and when the conditions suit him, he turns into beast.
Jaydev Unadkat, in all probability, is bound to get a game tomorrow in place of Jasprit Bumrah. And thus he’ll be my flexible player for the day. Like DK, he too is known for his swing bowling and loves bowling the in swingers to the right handers.