We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
7 out of 13 games at the Wankhede Stadium have been won by the teams chasing. It’s a clear indication that the wicket has been honest throughout the 40 overs, thereby eliminating the toss factor. Out of the 33 wickets to fall in the last three games, only 9 have belonged to the spinners.
Probable XI for Punjab: Mayank Agarwal (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow*, Bhanuka Rajapaksa*, Liam Livingstone*, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Rishi Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada*, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, Sandeep Sharma
Probable XI for Rajasthan: Jos Buttler*, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Karun Nair/Rassie van der Dussen*, Shimron Hetmyer*, Riyan Parag, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult*, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Sen
Kagiso Rabada will be a hot pick in fantasy leagues, following his consecutive four-wicket hauls in the last two matches. He is perhaps the only Punjab bowler who can strike at any point during the game.
Despite throwing caution to the wind, Liam Livingstone averages 32 this season, including the highest score of 64. Moreover, his boundary-hitting ability also generates bonus fantasy points. Funnily, he also has the knack for breaking partnerships with the ball.
Shimron Hetmyer has been playing the role of a finisher with aplomb. Only once has he been dismissed for a single-digit score this season. Additionally, remaining unbeaten has also pushed his average to 65. Given Rajasthan’s middle-order struggles, he could be promoted up the order.
With three centuries and as many fifties in 10 matches at a strike rate of 150.76, Jos Buttler is leading the run-scoring chart in this edition. While all his hundreds have resulted in a Rajasthan win, all his half-centuries have been in a losing cause.
One doesn’t know what to expect from Sanju Samson. In a matter of minutes, the talented batter can sway from displaying flashes of brilliance to committing ultimate self-destruction. However, despite his impulsive approach, he has added 298 runs at 33.11. With the gloves, he has inflicted 10 dismissals.
Punjab will continue to pin hopes on Shikhar Dhawan for a strong foundation at the top. In his last 6 innings, he has three single-digit scores and three half-centuries.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin have played an integral role in Rajasthan’s success this season. The spin duo have bagged 27 wickets between them. It will be interesting to see if the explosive Punjab batters can hold their own against the wily spinners.
Rajasthan will be disappointed with Devdutt Padikkal’s inconsistency in this edition. Although the southpaw got a few starts, he has managed only 220 runs in 10 innings.
By consistently failing, Jonny Bairstow is testing Punjab’s trust and patience. He has been dismissed for a single-digit score on four occasions out of seven. Furthermore, his highest score in this edition is a mere 32.
Arshdeep Singh’s economical bowling has helped Punjab pull off some close wins. However, with only 4 wickets in 10 games, he hasn’t been an asset for fantasy players.
Rajasthan lead Punjab (13-10) in the head-to-head front. In the ongoing edition too, Rajasthan are placed well above Punjab in the points table. That said, Rajasthan will be desperate to get back to winning ways after two consecutive defeats. On the other hand, Punjab will be high on confidence after beating the table-toppers Gujarat in their previous encounter.
Time: 7 May, 3.30 PM IST