Who doesn’t love weekends? And this one just got better with two great matches – RCB v RPS and KXIP v DD on Saturday. The fourth weekend of the IPL is already upon us and with it comes the realization that we’re now closer to the end than we are to the beginning.
Match tip #35: RCB v RPS
The teams: Saturday kicks off with Bangalore v Pune; RCB v RPS. Sitting in 7th and 6th place on the table respectively, both sides will be hoping for a change in fortune. Led by present Indian captains, local fans will be disappointed to see their performances till date – MSD and Kohli will want to turn things around. Kohli himself is 1st on the list of highest scorers this year, yet Bangalore has no bowler with an economy rate below 8, which continues to be a concern against an RPS batting lineup that is starting to find form.
The Venue: The Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. A small ground with a good batting wicket. In the last game here, KKR was able to chase down a target of 185 with ease.
Our picks for your fantasy cricket team
Virat Kohli – 7 Matches, 433 runs at an average of 72.16 and a strike rate of 137.02. He has racked up four half-centuries already, and Kohli and ABdV have nearly 60% of all RCB’s runs. You can’t afford to leave him out of your fantasy team.
Ajinkya Rahane – Leading from the front despite having changed multiple opening partners, Rahane has raced to 5th highest on the list of run scorers for 2016. Despite historically being criticised for being more a test player than T20, he has scored 343 runs at a strike rate of over 126, higher then even Gautam Gambhir. He has become the go-to batsmen for MSD at the top of the order with his consistency and determination.
Rajat Bhatia – Our wildcard pick for this game, Rajat Bhatia has had a stellar IPL so far. Despite getting very few overs in a 2 games, Rajat has the best economy rate among bowlers with 10 overs or more this year. Giving just 6.4 runs an over, his spell against Delhi (4-0-22-2) may have been overshadowed by other performances but still delivered good value for an uncapped player.
Match Tip #36: KXIP v DD
The teams: Kings XI Punjab v Delhi Daredevils. KXIP have racked up just the 2 wins in now 8 games, and will be starting to seriously doubt their chances of a playoff spot. Despite Maxwell finally coming good with 68 off just 42 balls against KKR, Punjab was still unable to chase down 164, a target that most sides would relish. Sitting in 8th place with no batsman in the top 14 run-getters, KXIP needs a quick change in fortune. Delhi meanwhile chose to swap 4 players after 2 consecutive wins, which some will say resulted in a loss to RPS.
The Venue: IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. Traditionally a wicket which assists seamers, Mohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah each picked up 3 wickets here in the last game; in fact only 1 out of the total 13 wickets that fell, went to a spinner. Expect sides to load up on pace.
Our picks for your fantasy cricket team
Mohit Sharma – Despite a slow start, Mohit came to the party with two 3-wicket hauls in his last 3 games. He has raced away to 10 wickets, making him the 5th highest wicket taker at the moment, and though he may sometimes be expensive, wickets are the key to fantasy league points.
JP Duminy – With two 40+ scores already, JP Duminy has showed why he is indispensable to any middle order lineup. JP is extremely hard to get out, as is evident from his 75.50 average in the IPL this year. With a highest of 49*, Duminy will want to capitalize on a start and convert to a big score on Saturday. He can be handy with the ball too.
Karun Nair – Our wildcard pick for today, Karun Nair has been a star for Delhi so far. He followed Dravid from the Rajasthan Royals, and has embodied some aspects of what Dravid was known best for. Averaging more than 34, Karun has racked up 2 half centuries already this year, at a healthy strike rate of nearly 127.
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Please do read our post on the key overseas players in each team after the auction, which should give you some food for though! And sign up with OyeCaptain for free to pick your team for the games and win cash prizes!
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(Original artwork by Ishita Mohanty. She tweets here.)