IPL WEEKEND PICKS
This time around we have a weekend packed with action. Two double-headers and eight teams to dissect. As per usual I’ll segregate via the ground the matches are being played at, it’s the biggest determinant in the type of the result we will get. It allows you to structure your squad accordingly (to favour bat or ball) and more importantly gives you a better chance of nailing captaincy.
FanTeam weekend IPL Contests begin Saturday 7th May at 11.00am BST 12.00 noon CET.
I’ve been a Fantasy Football content creator for over a year now, and regularly produce content over at Fantasy Football Hub. I played Cricket at a relatively high level in England, and have captained my sides; that is where my knowledge stems from.
For some reference I won the inaugural IPL monster event!
Saturday – Punjab Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, Lucknow SuperGiants vs Kolkata Knight Riders:
Sunday – Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Capitals:
Punjab Kings vs Rajasthan Royals:
The ground started as one which favoured bowlers slightly. It was producing some slightly difficult pitches to bat on and batting sides weren’t scoring heaps of runs as they were at Brabourne. However, the Wankhede seems to be transitioning back to its old self and producing a belter of a track to bat on. Scores at the ground in recent times bar the odd exception have exceeded 170 consistently.
Both sides have explosive options with the likes of Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer and the list goes on…
I favour a side with primarily a batting stack.
Traditionally I love having Bairstow as the wicket-keeping option given how deadly he can but given “the Buttler” is the best player in the world at the moment he’s non-negotiable and a premium captaincy option.
Livingstone with his ceiling and quality alongside Dhawan are locked in the side. So is Sanju Samson, he’s looked incredible without registering as many runs as the performances he’s produced deserved. I sense a very big score coming for him soon and it’s very difficult to go without him.
Rajapaksa is priced quite cheaply and I really like him as a batsman. The aggression and confidence which he bats with shows me he will go far in his career, the flair he possesses is rare and is a brilliant pick for your side.
The problem with these two sides is that most other batsmen they have in their ranks are in very poor form. Riyan Parag is the exception and could certainly be a gem of a differential, given his recent runs and fielding displays.
Ashwin, Rabada and Chahal are all locks for me. Ashwin and Rabada are in great form plus can both score significant runs for their team. Chahal is the purple cap holder for a reason. Boult, Arshdeep and Chahar are the options I’d select from to fulfill the bowling quota. All in decent form but historically the most talented players amongst those remaining.
I imagine Mitchell will attract interest but given his bowling display last game and lack of runs I’m not too confident in him.
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Same strategy, attack the batsmen.
This game is a simpler selection. I’m avoiding Williamson, whilst I have unbelievable respect for the player he is, it just doesn’t look like he’s going to turn this dire form around soon and given his expensive price prohibits other options.
Du Plessis, Maxwell and Kohli, the top three are all selected from Royal Challengers Bangalore. Whereas with the Sunrisers it’s four of the top five; Sharma, Tripathi, Markram and Pooran.
Maxwell is the “big show” for a reason and has the highest ceiling of any player, especially with him finding his form in the last game by picking up two wickets. The openers compliment each other nicely, Kohli as the anchor and Faf as the aggressor. Kohli slowly seems to be regaining some form, whilst the manner/tempo in which he plays isn’t too beneficial for the team in my opinion, it certainly pays dividends as a fantasy selection.
The Hyderabad four have all chipped in with a solid amount of runs at various points in the season and any of them can fire big. You don’t want to miss out on them and with Maxwell, Sharma and Pooran not being Batsmen it helps fill your quotas nicely. I’d suggest dropping one at the maximum if you wanted extra coverage via the bowlers
The other end of the batting order is slightly harder to choose from. I’m in favour of splitting the attacks here. If Washington Sundar is fit, he’s in the side given his all-round contributions. Umran Malik bowling at 157 kph is such an exciting prospect. Whilst it hasn’t translated into consistent returns yet, you get rewarded with a huge ceiling for his selection and as such I would go there.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore attack is absolutely fantastic and it’s so difficult to pick between them. I’d say all the bowlers are at least one level above Ahmed hence I’d avoid him and go for the other three.
Lucknow SuperGiants vs Kolkata Knight Riders:
This ground has produced slightly lower scoring contests than others apart from one game recently. I certainly fancy Lucknow Super Giants to win this one, the Kolkata Knight Riders batting line up doesn’t scream strength with neither Finch or whoever seems to accompany him at the top being able to find consistent form.
LSG are flying and find themselves second in the table and have so many good assets to choose from. Therefore, not only will I be prioritizing assets who bowl to a larger extent than normal (batsmen always take a large precedence in the IPL, hence the need for the word “relative”) but also Lucknow SuperGiants assets and stacking my team with them.
The top three from Lucknow SuperGiants find a place in the side; KL Rahul, Quinton De-Kock and Deepak Hooda. Shreyas Iyer and Nitesh Rana join them in selection. Apart from De-Kock all these players have been really firing, De-Kock whilst he hasn’t been bad is yet to find his best form but has picked up quite a few starts (15-30). Given his ceiling he’s still a no-brainer for me especially considering KKR’s poor wicket-keeping options. With Andre Russell being the most devastating batsmen in the world he has to find a place in the side given his ceiling. If he has a good day and you don’t have him, you’re not winning any money. Furthermore, given his death bowling abilities and the details about the ground already spoken about, he certainly has an avenue to return points in that manner.
Krunal Pandya has proved consistent with both bat and ball so is an easy selection, especially given his promotion in the batting order. Bishnoi, Chameera and Holder complete my Lucknow SuperGiants stack. The trio all have the capability to haul considerably with the number of wickets they can take.
Finally, Sunil Narine completes my Kolkata Knight Riders squad. A quality spinner and on a pitch like this can certainly cause Lucknow SuperGiants a lot of problems.
DV Patil Stadium:
Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Capitals:
A ground more similar to Maharashtra than the Wankhede.
This is what I believe to be the simplest selection yet. A very balanced game with obvious candidates for selection and those who don’t really warrant a place at all.
Pant is the selection for wicket-keeper, simply in far better form than Uthappa and is a better player. MS Dhoni bats too far down the order for him to be considered a real option.
Given Moeen Ali’s involvement as an all-rounder and performance last time out and he certainly warrants a place. Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad are in great form at the top of the order, not much more needs to be said.
Similarly, David Warner and Rovman Powell are in blistering form especially coming off their win and are valuable assets.
On a pitch like this the spinners will certainly be useful, hence Jadeja, Theekshana and Kuldeep Yadav are all good options. Khaleel Ahmed given his ability to pick up wickets at any stage make him dangerous and Shadul Thakur is the last man selected given his potential returns with bat and ball.
I hope this article has given you some food for thought, especially those who know very little about the IPL but want to play in the weekend contests
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Best of luck in the IPL weekend contests.