Deadline: April 9, 7.30 PM IST
Mumbai haven’t won the season opener since 2012. It, statistically, might not be the case on Friday, as they have won 8 of the last 10 matches against Bangalore. And that brings us to an important question: does the prediction of results matter in fantasy cricket? Well, no. It’s the performances of the players you choose that take precedence.
AB de Villiers’ last four scores against Mumbai read 70* (41), 75 (51), 55 (24), and 15 (12). Devdutt Padikkal’s last two scores against Mumbai are 52 (35) and 74 (35). Bangalore won only one of these four games and that too was a one-over eliminator. It doesn’t matter if you support Mumbai, but if you leave out ABD or Padikkal, your chances of winning fantasy leagues become remote.
All eyes, however, will be on the Chennai pitch, which has been the Bermuda Triangle for batsmen against spinners. Neither can they save their wickets, nor can they score runs at will — albeit you are Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma.
Adil Rashid dismissed Kohli twice in five games in the recently concluded India-England series, and Rohit has a reputed weakness against leg-spin. Mumbai have Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar to pit against Kohli, and Bangalore have Yuzvendra Chahal to toy with Rohit’s defence. That being said, Kohli is the highest run-scorer in T20Is as well as the Indian T20 League, while Rohit has only a handful of accolades fewer than his counterpart.
Mumbai, all things considered, have a clear edge over Bangalore, especially in the pace department. Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult took 52 wickets between them in the previous season. Be it with the new ball or at the death, Rohit does not have to scratch his head to employ a go-to bowler. Both get the job done for him at every juncture.
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan have been making news for the last 6 months, at both domestic and international levels. SKY started his career with a six off Jofra Archer, while Kishan was no less in aggression. Both know only the attacking brand of cricket. While Kishan blasted 516 runs, SKY managed a mere 26 runs fewer in the previous season.
There are many breathtaking all-rounders to choose from. Hardik Pandya is an ominous touch. Kieron Pollard can achieve the unachievable. And Glenn Maxwell can reverse-sweep the ball out of the venue. To put things into perspective, we are in for a cracker of a contest.
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on recent performances, impact, and credit points.
Mumbai: Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, James Neesham, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Azharuddeen (wk), Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal