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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Turner

Game Day Squad's Fantasy Cricket Wicket-Keeper Rankings

With the opening game of the T20 Cricket World Cup only a matter of days away it's time to delve into GameDay Squad Wicket-Keeper Rankings for Fantasy Cricket. These rankings are based upon the players performance in T20 Internationals over the last 12 months and a little narrative. In this blog we will identify some wicket-keepers that GDS coaches should be targeting and some that should be let go through to the keeper.


Fantasy Cricket

Risers


Phil Salt (England)

GDS Average 93 points (5 matches)

Salt has had a brilliant last 12 months and has shone on the international stage and in the IPL. In the T20 series against the West Indies he averaged 66 runs across the five matches, and this included two centuries. In the IPL he was ranked 1st in the wicket-keeper rankings and 6th overall. Salt had an average 58 points and scored four fifties in his eleven matches for KKR. Going by these numbers, Salt will likely be in a lot of GDS coaches starting XIs every time England play. However, it's worth noting that England have three world class wicket-keepers in their squad, the others being Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler. With Buttler being the England captain, Salt and Bairstow might be battling it out for a starting spot if all three aren't selected to start. It would be ideal for your squad if you have the cards of both Salt and Bairstow.


Finn Allen (New Zealand)

GDS Average 49 points (14 matches)

The hard-hitting Kiwi looks to have locked down one of the opener spots for the Black Caps off the back of some very good performances. Against Pakistan earlier this year he scored 137 and broke the New Zealand record for the most runs scored. Over the last 12 months he has averaged 34.8 runs and has scored one century and one fifty. It is still unclear when Devon Conway will play as he is still out of action due to injury. We might see Allen make way for Conway if Conway is to play in the World Cup. However, Williamson has also spent a lot of time away from the game due to injury over the last 12 months and we might just see Allen start most matches. In New Zealand's CWC group we have Afghanistan, PNG, Uganda and the West Indies. If Allen starts against all of these teams, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a couple of fifties, maybe even a century.


Nicholas Pooran (West Indies)

GDS Average 43 points (13 matches)

Pooran is an explosive top order wicket-keeper / batsman that has shown good form across T20Is and in the IPL. In the last 12 months the West Indies have had T20 series against India, England and Australia. Over these series he came in at either three or four in the batting order, scoring two fifties and averaging 28 runs. In the IPL he ranked 4th in the wicket-keeper rankings and 16th overall with an average of 52 points. Over his fourteen matches for LSG he averaged 35.6 runs and scored three fifties. It seems that Pooran is the West Indies first choice wicket-keeper and I believe he should be seriously considered as a starter every time the West Indies play.


Hold


Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan)

GDS Average 49 points (10 matches)

Rizwan has opened the batting for Pakistan in eight of his last ten matches and has an average of 39.5 runs. Over these matches he scored three fifties and had two scores of less than 10 runs. The downside is that he isn't always behind the stumps while in the field, it really depends on if Azam Khan is selected in the starting XI. Let's look at round 6 for a moment as the fixtures for this round are USA vs Pakistan and Namibia vs Scotland. When you look at the available wicket-keepers for this round, I have Rizwan ranked considerably higher than the rest at this position and I believe he is a must start for this round. For the remainder of the tournament, Rizwan should be a solid starting option whenever Pakistan play.


Monank Patel (USA)

GDS Average 63 points (5 matches)

Patel is the opening batsman and one of the inform players for the USA. Many coaches may overlook many players from the lesser-known teams on the international stage but I believe Patel can be a valuable asset for coaches. The main reason for this is due to USA vs Canada being the only fixture in round one. Going by recent performances Patel has shown a lot more potential to score well compared the Canadian wicket-keeper Shreyas Movva. Outside of round one, I think there will be better starting options compared Patel. However, if you want to put out the best starting XI for round one, I believe Patel is a must start.


Kusal Mendis

GDS Average 46 points (9 matches)

Mendis wasn't in the best form earlier this year and averaged 26 points in the series against Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. However, in Sri Lanka's most recent T20Is series against Bangladesh, Mendis averaged 60 runs, and this works out to be an average of 85 points. The point I'm trying to make goes for all wicket-keeper batsman, sometimes it might not just be their day. Mendis is a real talent and can dispatch the ball to all parts of the ground. He will likely open for Sri Lanka in most matches and I believe he should be seriously considered as a starter every time they play.


Fantasy Cricket

Fallers


Quinton de Kock (South Africa)

GDS Average 5 points (1 match)

Since the CWC in India where QDK scored four centuries, his T20 form has been nothing to write home about. In AUS Cricket (BBL) his highest score was 51 points with an average of 23 points and in IND Cricket (IPL) his highest score was 107 points with an average of 33 points. Across these T20 competitions, QDK has been incredibly inconsistent and has only had three fifties in seventeen innings. However, his name carries a lot of weight in GDS and quite often he is picked on name value alone without his recent form being considered. QDK can absolutely win a coach a round in GDS but in his current form slump, he is more likely not to make the squad of the round. He is a brilliant batsman that can hit some form at any time. I won't be arguing with anyone who wants to start him, I'll just point out that he is a very risky option going by his current form.


Devon Conway (New Zealand)

GDS Average 22 points (8 matches)

Conway missed the entire IPL due to injury and as of right now it's unknown when he will play again. He's been named in the New Zealand squad so the expectation is that it will be during the T20 CWC. Injury aside, his form in T20Is wasn't great over the last 12 months. In his last seven innings he has failed to make it to double figures on five occasions. Conway is a quality batsman and before I consider starting him, I would like to see him have a successful return from injury and show some form.


Litton Das (Bangladesh)

GDS Average 32 points (10 matches)

Das has been out of form in T20Is for some time and hasn't scored more than 50 runs in this format for over a year. In saying this, he is still the number one wicket-keeper option from Bangladesh. After looking into which rounds Bangladesh are playing in GDS' World Cup Cricket, I think there will be better options in every round when Bangladesh play. On top of this, Bangladesh have been struggling in the T20 format this year and they are currently down 2-0 to the USA in a three-match series. If you are lacking options at the wicket-keeper position, Das will be able to do an ok job for your squad. I just think there will be better wicket-keeper options that offer a higher ceiling in the rounds when Bangladesh play.


Wicket-Keeper Rankings

  1. Phil Salt (England)

  2. Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka)

  3. Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan)

  4. Rishabh Pant (India)

  5. Finn Allen (New Zealand)

  6. Jos Buttler (England)

  7. Nicholas Pooran (West Indies)

  8. Jonny Bairstow (England)

  9. Josh Inglis (Australia)

  10. Quinton de Kock (South Africa)

  11. Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Afghanistan)

  12. Heinrich Klaasen (South Africa)

  13. Devon Conway (New Zealand)

  14. Scott Edwards (Netherlands)

  15. Matthew Wade (Australia)

  16. Sanju Samson (India)

  17. Monank Patel (USA)

  18. Lorcan Tucker (Ireland)

  19. Litton Das (Bangladesh)

  20. Pratik Athavale (Oman)


 

Fantasy Cricket


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