Don't choose very costly bowlers
Continuing from previewing the batsmen, this piece will be the preview to the bowlers who can be included in the line-up. A couple of things to be revisited here are that the period lasts till the second match of 26th April, after which the number of substitutions automatically get refreshed to six irrespective of how many remain before that. The second follows from this and that is the fact that given that it is wise enough to spend all the available transfers during the period, it would also make sense to go into the last day or so with some left in order to make the best possible line-up from amongst those playing on that day.
If one looks at the point system in greater detail, one would find that scoring points as a batsman is much easier than as bowler; as is the case in real life too – it is a game for the batsmen! A batsman who scores 30 will get as many points as a bowler getting rid of three batsmen; a bowler scoring ten runs getting only three points to his kitty, where as a batsman picking up a wicket earning him four. This, essentially translates to a simple fact and that is, it makes further sense to invest more heavily in batsmen or those who can give the ball a fair whack and yet have the uncanny knack of picking up wickets.
However, the above strategy has its own set of exceptions; those who will pick wickets despite any other factor. Dale Steyn is one bowler who falls under this category with his whirlwind action and the ability to generate pace off the deck and in the air. To add to it, his team features in five matches during this period, making him an irresistible pick for me. Brett Lee wouldn’t be around during the initial part of the tournament and so there wouldn’t be any point in picking him, where as Glen McGrath is a tad too expensive at 5 stars, despite being out of cricket for a year now. >
To counter the five-star Steyn, I shall go in with another player of lower cost, and there will be a toss-up between Piyush Chawla, Ashok Dinda, Amit Singh and Pragyan Ojha. The latter costs three stars and will play only three matches, where as Amit Singh is an unknown quantity and one is not too sure about his participation in all the matches. From amongst Chawla and Dinda, it would be an eenie-meenie-mo for me, so you can go ahead and take your pick. Remember that Chawla is a spinner, and most of tracks in South Africa do not assist the tweakers; unless of course, you are a Johan Botha!
The other option is to pick them up both!
Makhaya Ntini would understand the conditions like the back of his palm, and could end up taking a couple of wickets every match. The problem though is that he is a tad out of form, in fact, he hasn’t been in his own ODI team, making his selection a dubious one. Amit Mishra is costly at four stars while his team plays in only three matches, and the same can be said about any Deccan Chargers’ bowlers.
Instead, I would probably have one of the trio; Morne Morkel, Siddhartha Trivedi or Munaf Patel in my starting eleven. There are cons to all the three selections; Morkel may not make it to the starting eleven of the side, Patel is wayward on best of occasion and very unpredictable, while Trivedi is a medium pace novice – and not a spinner as a certain Shilpa Shetty had alluded – who may need time for personal growth. You need to take your own pick here!
In my next piece, I shall preview the wicket-keepers and the all-rounder for the first period.
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