IPL 2017 Preview: Part 1

The IPL 2017 is nearly upon us – it kicks off on Wednesday, 5 April 2017 with current champions Sunrisers Hyderabad taking on last year’s runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore.

To get you in the mood, we’ve put together a preview of all the teams. Here is the first part covering Royal Challengers Bangalore, Surnrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants. Part 2 will be up on the blog on Tuesday.

Buckle in and enjoy the ride.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Skipper:                                 Virat Kohli

2016 Finish:                          Runners Up

Best Finish Ever:                  2009, 2011 and 2016 runners-up

First Match:                           Sunrisers Hyderabad vs. RCB at Hyderabad, April 5, 2017 at 8pm IST

Team Balance:                      As always, explosive batting, limited marquee bowlers (in fact, just the one)

Players to Watch:

  1. Tymal Mills: The 12-crore man, Mills is a T20 specialist, though he picked up just 7 wickets in 5 matches in the PSL, so will look to deliver this IPL.
  2. AB de Villiers: Need we say more? IPL average nearly 40, strike rate nearly 150.
  3. Tabraiz Shamsi: Though he might struggle to make the playing XI, Shamsi is a useful lesser known bowler whose Chinaman can prove tricky to read

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Skipper:                                 David Warner

2016 Finish:                          Champions

Best Finish Ever:                  2016 Champions

First Match:                           Sunrisers Hyderabad vs. RCB at Hyderabad, April 5, 2017 at 8pm IST

Team Balance:                      Top order and fast bowling heavy; light on spin and lower order batsmen

Players to Watch:

  1. Mustafizur Rahman: Nearly unplayable, he picked up 17 wickets at 6.90 in 2016 with his outstanding yorker.
  2. Shikhar Dhawan: Though his Team India spot is up for grabs, there’s no debating his IPL prowess. 500+ runs in 2016, 3000+ all time.
  3. Rashid Khan: He might struggle to make the playing XI, but this Afghan bowls a mean googly and would relish any chance he gets in the IPL.

Mumbai Indians

Skipper:                                  Rohit Sharma

2016 Finish:                          #5 of 8 for the second year in a row

Best Finish Ever:                  2013 and 2015 Winners

First Match:                           Rising Pune Supergiants vs. Mumbai Indians at Pune, April 6, 2017 at 8pm IST

Team Balance:                      Light on overseas batsmen; all-rounder and bowler heavy

Players to Watch:

  1. Krunal Pandya: The older Pandya surged to success in 2016 – he will want to pick up where he left off with both bat and ball
  2. Lasith Malinga: IPL’s all time highest wicket taker by some distance, his toe-crushing yorkers are feared by all
  3. Parthiv Patel: Quietly, PP has racked up 500+ runs for MI in just 2 seasons.

Rising Pune Supergiants

Skipper:                                  Steven Smith

2016 Finish:                          #7 of 8

Best Finish Ever:                  Sadly, #7 – 2016 was their first ever IPL

First Match:                           Rising Pune Supergiants vs. Mumbai Indians at Pune, April 6, 2017 at 8pm IST

Team Balance:                      Light on Indian batsmen and overseas bowlers

Players to Watch:

  1. Adam Zampa: Few will forget his 6-19 in the 2016 that shot him into the limelight
  2. Faf du Plessis: Tremendously experienced, with nearly 4000 T20 runs and 20 half centuries
  3. Ben Stokes: The 14.5crore buy, he will need to perform with both bat and ball to justify his price tag

India v England T20 Series: Questions over Indian Team Selection

After a successful Test (4-0) and ODI (2-1) Series, Kohli’s India walked into the first T20 at Kanpur full of confidence but lost by 7 wickets. Just as we said in our preview, T20 England is an entirely different beast.

Virat Kohli has an outstanding 63% win rate in test matches (after 22 tests at the helm), an 80% win rate in ODIs (after 20 ODIs at the helm), so will want to quickly turn around his 0% success rate after his first T20 as skipper.

One key element of a skipper’s responsibility lies in team selection, and India’s 7-wicket loss in Kanpur leaves us wondering whether others would have fared better in the starting XI. Today we look at the 4 men from the 15-person squad who didn’t make the cut in Kanpur. Read More …

Preview: India v England T20 Series (and a new fantasy cricket league)

Are you missing your usual fantasy cricket fix? Check out the free-to-enter fantasy cricket league for the three India v England T20s on Fanzoo Sports to play and have the chance to win prizes from Zomato! 

72 days since their first game of cricket in India and after losing both the ODI and the test series, England finally registered a win on the board in the final ODI to salvage some pride. The following statement will therefore come as a bit of a shock: England will fancy their chances in the T20s against India.

Yes, that’s right. Historically India struggled in tests and were dominant at limited overs cricket in the sub-continent, while England was primarily a test-playing nation. The recent story is different. India has grown to be a formidable Test side at home while England (with their batting firepower) are now an excellent T20 side. Having cruised to the World T20 finals less than a year ago, England start the T20 series as favourites.

In recent T20 outings, however, both sides have seen mixed results. India’s second string team scraped through 2-1 against Zimbabwe and lost to the West Indies either side of that series, once in the US and once in the World T20 semi final. England, too, have won just 1 of their last 3 games, beating Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in between losing to the Windies in the World T20 final, and to Pakistan by 9 wickets in September.

Ahead of the three match T20 series between India and England that kicks off Thursday, here are 3 things the 1 Tip 1 Hand Team is watching closely: Read More …

India v New Zealand ODI series: Fantasy Cricket Tips and Preview

India v New Zealand ODI series 2016 (16 October – 29 October 2016)

The Teams

Coming off a crushing 3-0 loss in the test series, New Zealand will be banking on their explosive batting line-up for a fresh start in the ODI series.

The Indian ODI team looks fairly different from the test team – Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Bhuvi are injured, Raina is ill with viral fever and Ashwin, Shami, and Jadeja are all rested for the first three ODIs. 

While the Kiwis are #7 in tests (India are ranked #1), New Zealand are the #3 ODI team (India are just below at #4). The pressure will be on M.S. Dhoni’s men to win by a 4-1 margin and leap-frog the Kiwis in the ODI ranks.

The Venues

Dharamsala, Delhi, Mohali, Ranchi and Visakhapatnam.

Our Fantasy Picks

Here are our top 3 fantasy cricket picks from each side for the ODIs. Read More …

West Indies-Australia-South Africa Triseries: Preview and Top Fantasy Cricket Tips

It’s been a few days since the IPL wrapped up and if you are still suffering from IPL Withdrawal Syndrome (yes, it’s a thing!), perhaps the ODI Triseries between West Indies, South Africa and Australia starting on 3 June to will help ease your symptoms. And for those you missing your daily fix of fantasy cricket, OyeCaptain is running leagues for the triseries as well.

The Teams

Australia, South Africa and the West Indies. The West Indies are still the subject of selection politicking – despite not having played in the domestic ODI tournament, Pollard and Sunil Narine were picked for this triseries while the other “rebels” DJ Bravo, Chris Gayle and DJ Sammy were not.  The Windies will also be disappointed after missing out on qualification for next year’s Champions Trophy in England and will be out to prove a point. South Africa, led by the magnificent AB de Villiers, will be competitive but their team composition has issues of its own – they have apparently rested Dale Steyn but he is playing T20 cricket in England! At present, the World Champions Australia look the most settled of the three teams and will be the ones to beat. Mitchell Starc should make his return from injury to strengthen the Aussie bowling line-up.

The Venues

Guyana, St. Kitts and Barbados. The pitches in the West Indies have become much slower and lower than in the heydays of the West Indian pace attack. Expect the spinners to dominate proceedings with the quicks having to rely on changes of pace and cutters to pick up wickets. Batting will not be easy and anything above 275 will be competitive on these difficult pitches.

Our Picks for your Fantasy Cricket Team

We have picked our top Fantasy Cricket XI from across the three teams for the entire tri-series so make sure these guys are in your teams! Enjoy!

Read More …