With the Indian T20 League about to start its 15th season, fantasy cricket buffs around India are fine-tuning their selection strategies.
Here, we look at 4 players who have switched teams and who could have a huge impact on their sides fortunes both on the field and on fantasy apps through the 2-month-long tournament.
S. Iyer (Delhi to Kolkata): A year ago, Shreyas was captain of the Delhi Team, poised to lead them into a new season of the Indian T20 League. Then, in an ODI against England in Pune, he dislocated his shoulder and missed the first half of the league season. In his absence, Pant led Delhi brilliantly. Even when Shreyas returned for the second half, Pant kept the captaincy as Delhi topped the table. Before the mega auction, Delhi retained Pant but not Shreyas. Instead, he went to the Kolkata team for Rs. 12.25 crore. Kolkata have made him captain, and with 2,375 Indian T20 League runs already to his name, Indias most in-form batter has a point to prove, especially to Delhi.
du Plessis (Chennai to Bangalore): It was in 2011 that du Plessis had his first taste of the Indian T20 League with the Chennai team, even though he didnt play a game. Since then, he has mostly been an integral part of the side, except for the 2016 and 17 seasons when Chennai were banned and he followed Dhoni to the Pune team. He may now have retired from international cricket, but du Plessis showed why hes such a valuable asset by finishing as the second-highest run scorer in the 2021 Indian T20 League season. Chennai were desperate to buy him back at the auction, and there was interest from Delhi too, but it was Bangalore that were successful, with a Rs. 7 crore bid. With Kohli having given up the franchise captaincy, Bangalore had little hesitation in handing over the reins to their new signing. It could be an inspired choice.
S. Thakur (Chennai to Delhi): A favorite with those who play the game on a fantasy cricket app because of his all-round ability, its as a bowler that Thakur has shone as in the Indian T20 League. In the last 4 seasons, he took 55 wickets in 48 matches for the Chennai team and was one of Dhonis go-to bowlers along with Chahar. His medium pace doesnt look especially threatening, but he has a happy knack for picking up wickets at crucial times. With the Delhi team having lost Avesh to the new Lucknow franchise, Thakur is an experienced and skilled replacement. Having bought him for Rs. 10.75 crore, Delhi will expect him to fit right in.
H. Pandya (Mumbai to Gujarat): For 7 seasons, Hardik was a key part of a dominant Mumbai team that won 4 titles, scoring 1476 runs at a superb strike rate of 153.91 and taking 42 wickets. There were a few raised eyebrows when Mumbai opted not to retain him before the mega auction 2022. A poor 2021 season where he made just 127 runs and didn’t bowl at all probably influenced the decision. The 2019 Hardik 402 runs at a strike rate of 191.42 and 14 wickets would have been retained without a second thought. But the injuries that have stopped him from bowling have impacted his India ambitions as well. By signing him for Rs. 15 crore, Gujarat have offered him a clean slate. Expect him to make the most of it.
While you follow these stars through the Indian T20 League, download the Howzat fantasy app and challenge your friends and the experts in contests that offer attractive prizes, every single day of the Indian T20 League season.