We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
The pitch at Manchester in the final ODI between India and England produced a spectacle. Both teams lost batters in the powerplay, all of which were taken by the pacers. However, as the ball lost its shine, the batters took the centre stage and changed the complexion of the game.
Probable XI for England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Phillip Salt, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Brydon Carse, Reece Topley
Probable XI for South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Janneman Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo/ Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj (c), Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
Since April 2021, Rassie van der Dussen averages a whopping 85 in ODIs. He has scored three hundreds in 14 innings – of which the 134 in the first game is his career-best.
Jonny Bairstow has scored 425 at 53 at the venue, including two hundreds and as many fifties in 9 innings. In his last 10 ODI innings, he has scored 511 runs at 51. His recent form and fortune make him a popular pick as a captain in fantasy leagues.
Three of Anrich Nortje’s four wickets came at the death, that is, in a span of eight deliveries. The performance did not spring any surprise, as he strikes at 26 in ODIs.
Aiden Markram was the vice-captain of the Ultimate Team on My11Circle. He produced 108 fantasy points with the help of 77 runs and two wickets. South Africa have been smart at using his dual skills.
The Fantasy Duo
Bairstow and Jason Roy are often picked together in fantasy cricket because of their impressive numbers in the ODIs. The opening duo has collected 14 half-century stands and have done it at a fiery run rate. While Bairstow continued his purple patch with the bat, the unconfident Roy gave his all to polish his fading form and hit 43 off 62.
Spin to Win
The spin trio of Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Markram took 5 for 120 between them. Despite England playing all sorts of attacking strokes, the South African spinners maintained composure and choked them with disciplined lines. Given the Manchester wicket has a reputation for producing turn, the spinners are likely to be in the thick of things.
Joe Root looked the most comfortable against the South African spinners. After a string of low scores in the ODIs against India last week, scoring 86 off 77 must have boosted his confidence. That being said, he averages a mere 23 in 8 innings at the venue.
In his 18-ODI career, Janneman Malan has already scored three hundreds and four fifties. He has the ideal approach for an opener. He takes his time before dealing in boundaries.
Jos Buttler has a hundred and two fifties at Manchester. Against South Africa, he has been an all-or-nothing player: he has a hundred, two ducks, and three single-digit scores.
Liam Livingstone has not been firing with the bat, but he has been repairing the damage with his leg-spin. Interestingly, he was given the ball at the death. He dismissed both van der Dussen and Markram in the 46th over.
South Africa scored over 300 runs in both warm-up games and maintained the same brand of cricket in the first ODI – all this while keeping wickets in hand. With the pitches in England being flat this summer, South African managed to trap the home team in a spin web. They bowled as slow as they could and enticed the Englishmen into playing false strokes – something the English spinners have failed to do this season. For England to level the series, their bowlers will have to pull up their socks.
Time: July 22, 5:30 PM IST