Well, well, well. IPL 2017 is here and as every year I am going to have a lot of fun playing fantasy cricket. Only this year, I am going to write a blog about it.
I am going to play this year’s fantasy cricket on Fandromeda.com because I love their clean interface, sensible points scoring system and interesting rules (one free sub each match and the concept of batting and bowling stars). We have 80 subs for the league stages.
I follow five commandments while playing fantasy cricket which I will cover in another post. This year my starting XI looks like this:
- No Warner – A tough choice. With only 4 overseas players allowed, Warner doesn’t make the cut. Firstly, I don’t expect this to be a high scoring match so the all-round ability of Watson is more appealing to me. Moreover, he will bat in the top order this time. Secondly, Pune plays two matches very quickly so it makes sense to have both Smith and Stokes in my eleven. Lastly, I expect big things from Rashid Khan this season so can’t keep him out. I have made him my bowling star as well.
- No representation from Punjab, Delhi and Kolkata – Punjab and Delhi play their matches relatively later in the tournament. So I have not given any spots to players from these teams. As and when their matches approach I’ll sub them in. As far as Kolkata is concerned, it is just a coincidence that none of their players found a place in my team. Woakes and Gambhir are players I might be interested in. Shakib too, provided Kolkata uses him well.
- Wicket-Keeper – In the absence of ABD, De Kock and Rahul there is a shortage of good keepers initially. I ‘d love to pick Billings provided Delhi opens with him. Meanwhile, the only other options were Buttler, Patel and Karthik. I have gone with Karthik because of his domestic form and for the fact that he doesn’t eat up an overseas spot. Rishabh Pant could also be an interesting choice if he opens.
- Krunal Pandya – I rate him. He often gets promotion up the order and consistently bowls 2-3 overs each match. Moreover, as an allrounder, he lends balance to the side (we need 7 batting and 6 bowling options minimum at Fandromeda) at very low cost.
- Shikhar Dhawan & Yuvraj Singh – I am not a big fan of Dhawan. However, he has been out of the national team and would be hungry to perform. Thus, he gets the nod ahead of someone like Gambhir (who has no realistic chance of getting a call up). On the other hand, Yuvraj could be a different player this season with his confidence restored. His bowling has the potential of adding some valuable points.
- Rahane, Smith and Stokes – As I mentioned earlier, Pune plays their first two matches very quickly so I am favouring it’s players. Rahane always gives a good return, and at his price he is a no-brainer. It is a toss up between Smith and Faf but I have gone with Smith because the added responsibility of captaincy might prompt him to bat up the order. Lastly, in the absence of good fast bowlers I expect Stokes to bowl his full quota of overs every match (and in death overs as well), which combined with his batting makes him a mighty attractive player.
- Rohit – He is an IPL stalwart. Might take a few games to get going as he is coming off an injury but it is a risk worth taking.
- Bumrah – Almost always bowls at the death. This, combined with his excellent yorkers, could see him rack huge points for your fantasy side. Don’t be surprised if he finishes as a top-3 wicket takers this season.
If you’d like to compete with me, join my league on Fandromeda: Fours Sixes et al.