We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Although the wicket has been a touch on the slower side, runs have still come thick and fast at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. Out of 44 wickets to fall in the last three matches, only 9 belonged to the spinners.
Probable XI for Hyderabad: Abhishek Sharma, Kane Williamson* (c), Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram*, Nicholas Pooran* (wk), Shashank Singh, Washington Sundar, Marco Jansen*, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik, T Natarajan
Probable XI for Chennai: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Mitchell Santner/Moeen Ali*, Dwayne Bravo*, Dwaine Pretorius*, Mukesh Choudhary, Maheesh Theekshana*
Much of Hyderabad’s resurgence should be ascribed to the brilliance of Umran Malik and T Natarajan. While Malik has terrorized the opposition with his lightning pace, Natarajan has been clinical at the death. Between the two, they have taken 30 wickets in this edition. If Hyderabad bowl first, these two could generate serious fantasy points in tandem.
On the batting front, Rahul Tripathi and Aiden Markram have been incredibly consistent. In the process of going hard, Tripathi has added 228 runs with a strike rate of 174 and that too consistently at an average of 45.6. Meanwhile, the South African has been a rock at No.4 (246 runs) and has been dismissed only twice in 8 innings.
Abhishek Sharma has been giving the required impetus (143 runs in the last 3 innings) at the top for Hyderabad. He also won the Player of the Match award for smashing 75 off 50 balls against Chennai earlier in the competition.
Although Hyderabad has been consistently winning, Kane Williamson hasn’t been at his very best this season. In his last three innings against Chennai, he has scored only 69 runs. However, he is known to put a price on his wicket, which helps fantasy players nudge ahead.
Maheesh Theekshana has been a strike bowler (8 wickets), especially in the powerplay. If Chennai are to exert pressure on Hyderabad, the mystery spinner will have to strike early once again.
Despite Chennai’s narrow loss to Gujarat, Ambati Rayudu’s 73 off 33 balls sent a strong message to his detractors. Given his recent exploits, he could make a difference in fantasy leagues.
In 8 matches, Dwayne Bravo has 14 scalps to his credit. Interestingly, 9 of those have come at the time of defending a score.
Captaincy probably hasn’t brought out the best in Ravindra Jadeja. With only 112 runs and 5 wickets in 8 matches, the star all-rounder has been a major disappointment in fantasy leagues.
Barring a knock of 73 against Gujarat, Ruturaj Gaikwad has been experiencing a lean run (17.25 average) in this edition. When the two sides met a few weeks ago, he was cleaned up by T Natarajan.
It took a special effort from Gujarat to stop the winning juggernaut of Hyderabad. Despite the loss, Hyderabad find themselves at the No.3 position in the points table.
On the other hand, Chennai have won only two out of eight matches in this edition and are languishing down the points table.
Although the four-time champions have an edge (15-11) in the head-to-head count, Hyderabad convincingly beat Chennai earlier in the tournament.
Time: 1 May, 7.30 PM IST