Predicted Playing XI: Johnson Charles, Shai Hope (wk), Justin Greaves, Jonathan Carter, Corey Anderson*, Jason Holder (c), Mitchell Santner*, Rashid Khan*, Ashley Nurse, Raymon Reifer, Hayden Walsh Jr
Batting depth: The first thing that strikes you when you look at the Tridents is their batting depth. Ashley Nurse and Raymon Reifer – who combined to score 296 runs in CPL 2019 at a strike rate of 147 – are at No.9 and 10. Hayden Walsh, at No.11, is no mug with the bat either.
From a fantasy point of view, however, such a setup ahead of the season adds a degree of unpredictability over the lower order bowling all-rounder options.
Here is a list of some of the pre-season uncertainties surrounding the Tridents batting order:
Mitchell Santner, with most teams, is a bowling all-rounder. With Tridents, however, Santner is a specialist bowler who could be pushed down the batting order in favour of the more attacking lower-order batting options such as Rashid Khan and Ashley Nurse. This could adversely affect his fantasy points scoring potential.
Ashley Nurse was amongst the defending champions’ top 5 run-scorers last season. This season though, he will compete with Santner and Rashid for game time. With Tridents underusing him as a bowling option (delivered only 14.2 overs in the whole tournament last year), the chances of him being a reliable fantasy option is not great.
Jason Holder had a poor season with the bat last year (50 runs at an average of 5.5 and strike rate of 91). There is a possibility that he could drop himself down the order, with Santner coming in and Reifer being another alternative for the holding’s role as a batsman. With Rashid and Nurse following the power-hitting duo at the death, Holder’s fantasy potential could take a substantial hit if he does not start the season well.
The impact of new spin options on Hayden Walsh Jr: Hayden Walsh was one of the breakout stars of T20 cricket last year, ending his CPL season with 22 wickets at an average of 12.6 and economy rate of 8.3. His returns had a lot to do with the fact that he was the only full-season spin bowling option the Tridents had. Now with Rashid Khan and Mitchell Santner coming in, the wickets could be shared between the trio.
Substitutes (by order of playing XI chances): Nyeem Young (E), Kyle Mayers, Shamarh Brooks, Keon Harding, Joshua Bishop (E), Shayan Jahangir
The tournament rules this year mandate franchises to give a total of 5 games for the emerging players. In Tridents’s case, the options are Nyeem Young and Joshua Bishop.
With a slow left-arm spinner in Mitchell Santner already in the XI, Nyeem Young, the pace bowling all-rounder, is the clear front-runner for the emerging player spot.
Clock is ticking on Shai Hope: For a brief period in 2018, Shai Hope showed he could add value to T20 teams at the domestic level. The 26-year-old, however, hasn’t been able to sustain that promise, and unless he finds a way to revive his attacking game, this could well be the beginning of the end.
Pre-season Fantasy Ranking Order
1. Rashid Khan – This is a no-brainer. Rashid Khan is the best T20 spinner in the world cricket now, and arguably the greatest ever to have played the format. His late order hitting is a bonus.
2. Hayden Walsh Jr – That he was the leading wicket-taker of the tournament last year and considering the quality of the bowling unit the 28-year-old is part of now, Walsh is amongst the safest fantasy bets of the season.
3. Jason Holder – One of the only two pacers in the XI, which guarantees him the death bowling role, and could bat as high as No.6. If the Tridents’s captain finds his batting touch back, he could even replace Walsh at the No.2 spot.
4. Johnson Charles – Had a great season last year in terms of run accumulation, opens the innings, and is the fourth leading run-getter in the history of CPL.
5. Shai Hope (if he opens the innings) – Hope’s T20 strike rate doesn’t help the team’s cause. But from a fantasy point of view, even 30 runs at a strike rate of 120 and a couple of catches, courtesy of being the keeper, could do the trick.
6. Raymon Reifer – Being one of the only two pacers in the team, Reifer, with his batting ability, is a minimum guarantee in the first half of the tournament. Depending on how Tridents use him, the left-arm pace bowling all-rounder might move up or down the order as the season progresses.
7. Jonathan Carter – The left-hander showed enough promise in CPL 2019 to warrant a promotion to No.4 this season. If he does get it, with his power hitting ability, he could surprise a few.
8. Mitchell Santner – Santner will be an asset to the Tridents, especially against right-handers. Whether he brings value from a fantasy point of view depends on how Tridents employ him as a batsman. A regular No.6 role could go a long way in pushing him to the top 5 here.
9. Corey Anderson – With his fitness history, the team management would not risk using him as a regular bowling option. At No.5 on what is expected to be a competition dominated by spin bowlers, there is not a lot of value in the Kiwi power hitter as a specialist batsman.
10. Ashley Nurse – For reasons already discussed (refer to the “batting depth” part of the article), Nurse is at a lowly No.10.
11. Justin Greaves – Justin Greaves has the potential to raise a few eyebrows this season, but for that to happen, the team needs to open with him and give him a good, solid run in the role. With the emerging player rule interference, it is unlikely to happen.
Overload value with BT: Positive
Overload value explained: While making your fantasy teams, be it daily or seasonal, you will encounter situations where you have to take a call on getting in more than a certain number of players from a team into your squad. With Barbados Tridents, one of the tournament’s pre-season favourites, you could go ahead with, say, even a 7-4 split in daily fantasy, as they are expected to do well this season.
Budget pick: Jonathan Carter
Differential: Jonathan Carter
Potential steal: Justin Greaves