The 2021 edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) begins on August 26th (Thursday). The season kicks off in a grand fashion with two of the most consistent sides in the league’s history - Trinbago Knight Riders and Guyana Amazon Warriors - taking on each other. Trinidad have been the most dominant side in the CPL annals with four title wins. On the other hand, Guyana have made it to five finals but their hunt for glory continues.
The first game of the tournament presents a number of uncertainties. We try to cover you up with significant stats that can help you to build the most efficient Fantasy XI for this contest.
Ground Details and Team Combination
All the 33 games of CPL 2021 will take place at St. Kitts’ Warner Park. The venue has been a host to nine T20s since 2019, including four T20Is and five CPL games in 2019.
It has been a ground with something for both batsmen and bowlers. However, a couple of high-scoring games have escalated the average run-rate here to 8.8, the second-highest amongst the nine T20 venues in the Caribbean since 2019.
Spin has taken only 1.7 wickets per innings here in the said period. But, a recent trend observed during West Indies’ home T20 season hints at a big role for spinners throughout this tournament.
Not to forget, both teams have a number of left-handers which increases the value of off-spinners for this game. Hence, a good mixture of all-rounders including spinners is the way to go.
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Based on your preferences, the platform will guide you to create the ideal fantasy XI.
You can expect Mohammad Hafeez to deliver his four overs in this contest given the presence of three left-handers in Trinidad’s top-order. He has had his ups and downs with the bat but is a crucial part of this Guyana setup, averaging 36.4 in the format since 2020.
Our Criclytics Players Projector predicts Hafeez could score 20-30 runs and pick 1-2 wickets in this match
The skipper, Kieron Pollard is the rock of this TKR squad. He is the prime white-ball batsman in West Indies when judged in concoction of form and experience. He averaged 51.8 in CPL last year, going at a towering strike-rate of 204.9. In addition, he is a bowling asset as well. He bowled 20 overs last season, picking eight wickets and is could well be their sixth bowling option.
Getting past TKR in the death overs is not easy but Naveen Ul Haq must be loaded with confidence after a successful stint in the T20 Blast where he is the highest wicket-taker with 26 scalps. In CPL 2020, he picked 11 wickets in 10 games at an economy of 6.4. From playing the supporting role to Paul in 2020, he is now the spearhead of their pace department.
Here are the top-10 picks as per Criclytics projected points-
Colin Munro versus Mohammad Hafeez can be an interesting battle. The left-hander is a key part of Trinidad’s top-order. However, he has struggled to get going against the restraining line and length of Hafeez, losing his wicket to the off-spinner twice.
Guyana Amazon Warriors: Brandon King, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Mohammad Hafeez, Nicholas Pooran (c/wk), Shoaib Malik, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair, Odean Smith, Naveen-ul-Haq, Imran Tahir
Trinbago Knight Riders: Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine, Colin Munro, Darren Bravo, Tim Seifert, Kieron Pollard (c), Denesh Ramdin (wk), Isuru Udana, Akeal Hosein, Jayden Seales, Yasir Shah