Crucial first period may see two RCB batsmen
There are two strategies by which one can try and be a selector in this Sports Pundit IPL Fantasy. One is to choose three teams and pick players from those sides, making it easier to focus on the matches rather than going haywire with all the teams. This also increases the probability of getting in players who score more runs, pick more wickets and hold more catches. The other way of going about it is to select players across all the eight teams and divide the side almost equally; choosing more from teams that would end up playing more matches. I would suggest this tactic is one is gunning for the ultimate glory, instead of just wanting to do well over a short period of time.
The first period will see Bangalore Royal Challengers feature in five of the fifteen matches, making it the hot favourite from which I would choose my players. The last season had seen the team crash out of the tournament and finish seventh, yet had Rahul Dravid finish in the top-15 of the top-run getters list. And with the rigors of captaincy off his shoulders, I wouldn’t hesitate in picking Dravid, especially given that it is not the strike rate but the number of runs he scores that will play a part in deciding who does well. The one factor that one needs to consider here is that Dravid may need to go back to India in the middle of the tournament to be with his wife who is expecting their second child. It may happen in the middle of the tournament, but for now, even at 5 stars, Dravid will make it to my team. >
The first period ends on the 3rd of May, while the English team leaves for their country in the first week of May as well to host the West Indies. In this case, Kevin Pietersen should get to play in all the five matches that the RCBs feature in, and one expects him to bat at the number three position. Unfortunately, he costs 5 stars as well, and it would be a huge hole in one’s pocket to have both Dravid and Pietersen. I would suggest that one of the two high-profile players should make it to the team. My other RCB player to choose would be Robin Uthappa, who should make it to the starting XI of most matches – and have no problems with the maximum foreign-player rule either. His ability to use the long handle could make him – at 3 stars – an invaluable buy.
Almost in the same mould, and even more economic than Uthappa is Murali Vijay of Chennai Super Kings. He had shown in his debut against the Australians that he is the man for the future; what with his broad looking blade leaking runs like a punctured pot. From the Kolkata Knight Riders, I shall have a toss-up between Brad Hodge and Cheteshwar Pujara, but the factors going for Pujara is his form in the warm-up matches, the low cost and an almost inevitable chance of playing in all the matches. There is a strong possibility that Hodge could be shuffled around in some of the matches.
The most difficult decision to make is choosing batsmen from Kings XI Punjab, with last year’s revelation Shaun Marsh coming back from injury and unavailable till the end of the first period due to the Pakistani series, and most of the other regular batsmen playing as all-rounders or wicket-keeper in the Sports Pundit IPL Fantasy. One may face the same issue with the Rajasthan Royals, unknown faces combined with Shane Warne’s unpredictable captaincy making it difficult to decipher who will end up playing all the matches. What I shall do instead is to have players from Deccan Chargers or Delhi DareDevil who will feature in the three matches their teams play in, and then transfer a player or two for the last day of this period.
Remember, the transfers do no carry forward to the next period and so it might make sense to use all of them!
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