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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Turner

GameDay Squad IND Fantasy Cricket: Around the Traps!

The week that was in Fantasy IND Cricket!


Fantasy Cricket

Round 1


Royal Challengers Bengaluru 173/6

Chennai Super Kings 176/4

CSK won by 6 wickets (with 8 balls remaining)


The defending champions CSK took on RCB at home in the opening match of IPL 2024. The top scorers at each position were Faf du Plessis (BAT) 47, Anuj Rawat (WK) 62, Cameron Green (AR) 69 and Mustafizur Rahman (BWL) 98.

Those coaches that started Rahman would have been delighted with the four wickets that he took. He bowled one over in the powerplay, taking two wickets, one over in the middle stages, taking another two wickets and two overs at the death. Looking ahead, Rahman is likely to be used in a similar way. This is great for GDS coaches as bowlers tend to strike more often in the powerplay and death overs due to the batsman taking more risks.

Other players that looked to be good starting options when their team plays are Faf du Plessis, Cameron Green, Dinesh Karthik, Rachin Ravindra, Ravindra Jadeja and Deepak Chahar

Bounce back candidates for the next match include Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ajinkya Rahane and Daryl Mitchell.


Round 2


Delhi Capitals 174/9

Punjab Kings 177/6

PBKS win by 4 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)


The top scorers at each position were David Warner (BAT) 44, Abishek Porel (WK) 44, Sam Curran (AR) 81 and Arshdeep Singh (BWL) 53.

Sam Curran was the star of the show in this match, and he scored 63 runs off 47 balls as the PBKS were successful in their run chase. The concerning thing about his performance was that he only bowled the one over, but I don't think this will be the norm. Curran should be considered as one other the top all-rounder options for whenever PBKS play.

Other players that looked to be good starting options when their team plays are David Warner, Shai Hope, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Liam Livingstone, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh.

Bounce back candidates for the next match include Mitchell Marsh, Axar Patel, Shikhar Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow.


Kolkata Knight Riders 208/7

Sunrisers Hyderabad 204/7

KKR won by 4 runs


The top scorers at each position were both Rinku Singh and Mayank Agarwal (BAT) 42, Heinrich Klaasen (WK) 87, Andre Russell (AR) 133 and Harshit Rana (BWL) 84.

After averaging 49 points in 2023 and being ranked as the top wicket keepers in six of his twelve matches, Klaasen started the 2024 season with the form that he showed last season. We saw him powerfully hit 63 runs off 29 balls, including 8 sixers in this match. One of the great fantasy aspects of Klaasen's game is his ability to clear the boundary regularly and being able to get his innings off to a fast start from ball one. There are risks starting Klaasen as he does come in at six in the Sunrisers batting line-up. The ceiling he can offer coaches can make starting him worth the risk.

Other players that looked to be good starting options when their team plays are Phil Salt, Andre Russell, Harshit Rana, Mayank Markande and Thangarasu Natarajan.

Bounce back candidates for the next match include Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer and Mitchell Starc.


Round 3

Rajasthan Royals 193/4

Lucknow Super Giants 173/6

RR won by 20 runs


The top scorers at each position were Yashasvi Jaiswal (BAT) 29, Sanju Samson (WK) 105, Riyan Parag (AR) 54 and Trent Boult (BWL) 52.

Sanju Samson was the rock of the Royals' innings with an unbeaten 82 runs not out off 52 balls. If you started him, you would have likely found yourself near the top of the leaderboard for this round. Last season Samson was ranked 7th in the wicketkeeper rankings with an average of 38 points. He played 14 matches and was ranked the top wicket keeper on four occasions. I just want to point out that his performance in this match was his best in the IPL over his last 15 matches. Moving forward, I think Samson will be a boom or bust player this season. This is nothing against his talent, he just lacks the consistency compared to other wicket keepers from other teams.

Other players that looked to be good starting options when their team plays are Trent Boult, Dhruv Jurel, KL Rahul and Nicholas Pooran.

Bounce back candidates for the next match include Quinton de Kock, Marcus Stoinis and Krunal Pandya.


Gujarat Titans 168/6

Mumbai Indians 162/9

GT won by 6 runs


The top scorers at each position were Rohit Sharma (BAT) 64, Wriddhiman Saha (WK) 31, Azmatullah Omarzai (AR) 68 and Jasprit Bumrah (BWL) 79.

Bumrah showed us why he is still one of the best exponents of the white ball in the world. Off his four overs he took 3/14 and this included fourteen dot balls. He will likely not be taking three wickets every match but he's a must start in my opinion. Bumrah has shown that he is one of the best bowlers in the IPL over the last decade and has taken 148 wickets in 121 matches.

Other players that looked to be good starting options when their team plays are Sai Sudharsan, Azmatullah Omarzai and Rohit Sharma.

Bounce back candidates for the next match include David Miller, Rashid Khan and Ishan Kishan.


Round 4


Punjab Kings 176/6

Royal Challengers Bengaluru 178/6

RCB won by 4 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)


The top scorers at each position were Virat Kohli (BAT) 116, Anuj Rawat (WK) 50, Sam Curran (AR) 61 and Harpreet Brar (BWL) 62.

After being dismissed for only 21 runs against CSK in his first match, Kohli bounced back and scored 77 off 49 balls as RCB chased down PBKS competitive total of 176. After having two months off all cricket, it doesn't seem that he has lost a beat and remains one of the world's best batsmen. This will likely not be Kohli's last big innings of the tournament as he scored two centuries and six fifties in 2023. He's a man for the big occasion and I believe he will once again average 50+ points and rank as one of the top five batsmen this season.

Other players that looked to be good starting options when their team plays are Shikhar Dhawan, Sam Curran, Harpreet Brar, Kagiso Rabada, Anuj Rawat and Mohammed Siraj.

Bounce back candidates for the next match include Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Harshal Patel, Faf du Plessis and Cameron Green.


Round 5


Chennai Super Kings 206/6

Gujarat Titans 143/8

CSK won by 63 runs


The top scorers at each position were Ruturaj Gaikwad (BAT) 57, Wriddhiman Saha (WK) 63, Rachin Ravindra (AR) 90 and Tushar Deshpande (BWL) 60.

After breaking onto the international cricket scene in last year's CWC, Rachin Ravindra continues to impress. He scored a quick fire 46 runs off 20 balls at the top of the CSK batting order and managed to take three catches in the field. Ravindra scored 90 points in this match, and this takes his average in the IPL to 78 points, this is second highest average among all all-rounders in the IPL. Ravindra will continue being one of the first selected players in GameDay Squad whenever CSK play!

Other players that looked to be good starting options when their team plays are Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shivam Dube, Tushar Deshpande, Mustafizur Rahman and Wriddhiman Saha.

Bounce back candidates for the next match include Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Shubman Gill, Azmatullah Omarzai and Umesh Yadav.


 

The look ahead!


Round 6

Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Mumbai Indians

Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad


Must start - Heinrich Klassen, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah

If you have these players, they should all be strongly considered for your GDS Starting XI.


Target - Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pat Cummins, Travis Head and Gerald Coetzee

Kumar failed to pick up any wickets against KKR. He bowled two good overs for seven dot balls in the powerplay and was unlucky not to take a wicket. Kumar came back at the death for his final two overs and found an unstoppable Andre Russell at the crease. He was hit for 44 runs over his final two overs and Russell scored 34 of these. Any other day, Kumar may have taken a wicket or two in the powerplay or death overs and I think will see him bounce back against the Mumbai Indians.


Avoid - Shahbaz Ahmed and Tim David

The role that Ahmed played in the first match against KKR hasn't seemed to have changed from the role he played last season for RCB. In 2023, he rarely batted inside the top five and only bowled a total seven overs across his ten matches. Only once did he bowl more than one over in a match. Until I see an uptick in his production, he is an avoid for me.


Round 7

Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals

Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur


Must start -Trent Boult, Kuldeep Yadav, Mitchell Marsh and Axar Patal

If you have these players, they should all be strongly considered for your GDS Starting XI.


Target - Shai Hope, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Khaleel Ahmed and Ravichandran Ashwin

Ashwin wasn't overly impressive with the ball in the first match against LSG and finished 1/35 over his four overs. The main reason why I mention him is because there were only a total six players with an all-rounder position designation used by these teams in their first matches. Riyan Parag was the top scoring all-rounder in RR's last match with 54 points and this surpassed his 2023 season high of 33 points. Over his seven matches last season he averaged 14 points and only once did he finish as a top four all-rounder in a match. I'm fading Parag in the match as I need to see more consistent performances with the bat from him to have him ranked above Ashwin. If you don't have an Ashwin card already, I would be trying to acquire him ahead of this match.


Avoid - David Warner, Riyan Parag and Tristan Stubbs

Avoiding David Warner might seem like a hot take but there is some method behind the madness. Last season he averaged 30 runs for an average of 39 points outside of Delhi. This might not seem all that bad but when he averaged 44 runs for an average of 55 points in Delhi, there is quite a difference here. Warner has also had some difficulties facing Boult in the past in T20s. Warner has been dismissed by Boult one three occasions for an average of 25 runs. If Boult can bowl like he did against the LSG top order in the powerplay, he might be able to take the wicket of Warner early on.

Round 8

Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders

M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru


Must start - Virat Kohli, Andre Russell and Harshit Rana

If you have these players, they should all be strongly considered for your GDS Starting XI.


Target - Faf du Plessis, Cameron Green, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj, Mitchell Starc, Phil Salt and Anuj Rawat

Maxwell has been off to a slow start with scores of 10 points vs CSK and 49 points vs PBKS. The main aspect of his game that has let him down is his batting as he only averages 1.5 runs across his two innings. It's only a matter of time that he clicks with bat, and he is one of the most destructive players with the willow in T20s. A few coaches may have gone a little cold on him but I believe he still deserves a start in GDS coaches' starting XI.


Avoid - Rajat Patidar and Ramandeep Singh

Singh had a good game against SH, and he scored a quick 35 runs off 17 balls. If the first KKR match is anything to go by, I think he will be used as the impact player once again. Because he is the impact player, he will only have a batting role, and this limits his upside compared to other all-rounders in this match. I think most coaches will likely start Russell, Maxwell and Green as three of their four all-rounders. Even though Singh ranked as one of the top four all-rounders in his first match, I think Narine offers more upside and is a better starting option.


Round 9

Lucknow Super Giants vs Punjab Kings

Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium


Must start - KL Rahul, Sam Curran and Harpreet Brar

If you have these players, they should all be strongly considered for your GDS Starting XI.


Target - Nicholas Pooran, Shikhar Dhawan, Quinton de Kock, Liam Livingstone, Naveen-ul-Haq and Kagiso Rabada

QDK was dismissed in the first over against RR for just the four runs. Even though this performance burnt many GDS coaches, QDK still offers a very high ceiling and I think he's close to being a must start whenever LSG play! Over his last ten T20 matches, it hasn't been pretty reading and he averages 21 runs. Over these matches he has only had one score of 26+ runs and that was an impressive 83 not out. Even though he is in a form slump, he was impressive in the CWC in India at the end of last year and I think we will see him start rewarding those faithful GDS coaches very soon.


Avoid - Jonny Bairstow and Marcus Stoinis

Bairstow hasn't got off to the best of starts at PBKS and averages 14.5 points across his first two matches this season. He still has the ability to take to any on bowling attack, but we just haven't seen it over the past 1-2 years. There are a lot of good options at the WK and WK/BAT positions for this match and he'll likely not make my starting XI. Until he starts to put some good performances together, he is an avoid for now.


Round 10 - Double Header

Gujarat Titans vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad

Delhi Capitals vs Chennai Super Kings

Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam


Must start - Heinrich Klassen, Shubman Gill, Rachin Ravindra, Rashid Khan and Mustafizur Rahman

If you have these players, they should all be strongly considered for your GDS Starting XI.


Target - Sai Sudharsan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rishabh Pant, Mitchell Marsh, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and Mohit Sharma

Sharma has had a quiet start to the season and averages 34.5 points over his first two matches. He has taken three wickets so far but has yet to finish as one of the top three bowlers in a match. If you don't already have him, you might be able to buy low on him at the moment. In 2023, he ranked 2nd in the bowler rankings with an average of 51 points and I think we will see him average near this by the end of the season.


Avoid - Azmatullah Omarzai and Ajinkya Rahane

Both of these players are good all-rounders in GDS, and I've even started both of them already this season. I'm only avoiding them for this round as I believe there are better all-rounders to choose from. When you have the likes of Ravindra, Khan, Marsh and Jadeja available, I can't find room for either Omarzai or Rahane in my starting XI.


 

Fantasy Cricket


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