Time: October 11, 3:30 PM IST

Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

Pitch report

There was a thick film of grass in Saturday night’s game. The Bangalore openers had a tough time negotiating the swing, often struggling to score runs at a brisk rate. However, this will be a day game. The dry conditions will make batting less painful.

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Power players

First things first, Ben Stokes is available for selection. He practised with the team after completing the mandatory six-day quarantine. In 34 matches, he has scored 635 runs including the highest score of 103* and taken 26 wickets. His inclusion not only bolsters the middle-order but also gives his captain an extra bowling option.

If Jofra Archer can take a three-wicket haul at Sharjah, he can achieve anything on any pitch – even if there is no iota of grass on it. Well, the Dubai pitch has plenty of grass resting on it, not only producing seam movement but also providing extra bounce for the pacers. In the only game he has played at the venue, his figures read 2 for 18 in 4 overs. He will be pitted against one of the most destructive openers of the league. Here’s a fantasy tip for the day: a three-wicket haul is as effective as a half-century in fantasy sports. Choose your power players wisely.

Not for once has Jonny Bairstow played defensive cricket, no matter which pitch he has played on. There have been a few mindless strokes, but otherwise, he has been in ominous touch. He has smashed 241 runs in 6 games comprising 3 half-centuries. To make matters more interesting, his 97 against Punjab came at the very venue.

David Warner hasn’t been playing the aggressor’s role we know him for. Instead, he has been keeping the innings glued so their frail middle-order does not get exposed early. The ploy has not worked well on a few occasions, but Warner has been consistently fetching points in fantasy leagues. After having decent starts to the tournament, he now has scored fifties in the last two games.

Smart picks

In the list of top 10 wicket-takers this season, Rashid Khan is the only player who has an economy of below 5 RPO. He has taken 8 wickets in 6 matches.

Rahul Tewatia has collected the second-most fantasy points for Rajasthan. He has scored 144 runs and scalped 5 wickets in 6 matches.

Although Jos Butler, Sanju Samson, and Steven Smith have had their moments, they have failed to live up to the expectations. Given their standards, their shot selection has been rather bizarre. While Samson and Smith have scored two fifties, Butler has managed the highest score of 70.

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Probable XIs

Hyderabad: David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, T Natarajan, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma/Basil Thampi

Rajasthan: Jos Buttler (wk), Robin Uthappa/Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith (c), Ben Stokes, Mahipal Lomror, Rahul Tewatia, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Varun Aaron, Kartik Tyagi


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