Fantasy: Balance key on slow Karachi track

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10 Jan 2023 | 11:29 AM
authorcricket.com staff

Fantasy: Balance key on slow Karachi track

Here are a few tips that could help you create your fantasy XI for the second ODI between Pakistan and New Zealand in Karachi

After conceding the first One-Day International (ODI) by six wickets, New Zealand look to bounce back in the second game against Pakistan at the National Stadium, Karachi. Batting first, the Blackcaps put up just 255 on the board and on a slow surface, the hosts were patient in their approach and knocked over the runs comfortably. 

Pakistan have won 56 of the 108 ODIs against New Zealand and also have a 3-2 advantage in the last five matches.

Ground details

It could be an excellent wicket to bat on early in the innings, but gets slow as the innings progresses. However, once in, the onus will be on the batters to go on and convert it into something substantial.

As many as eight wickets fell to the fast bowlers in the first ODI, striking once every 40.4 runs, 40.6 deliveries apart. However, it was the spinners who got both teams back into the game especially in the middle phase, choking the batter successfully. As a result, their economy rate of 4.2 is significantly better than the pacers who have gone for six an over. 

While spinners have struck once every 37 runs, which is a tad better than the pacers, they have picked up a wicket every 52.8 which is where the fast bowlers are significantly better.

Suggested team

While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.

Captaincy suggestions

For small leagues: Babar Azam (c), Michael Bracewell (vc)

For grand leagues: Naseem Shah (c), Tom Latham (vc)

Stats that matter

Babar Azam had a splendid 2022, scoring 679 runs in just nine innings at 84.88 to go with a strike-rate of over 90. He also scored five fifties and three centuries along the way. Babar started off 2023 also well, scoring 66 off 82 deliveries, putting on 78 with Fakhar Zaman and another 60 with Mohammad Rizwan too. He will hope to continue his good form in this game too.

Michael Bracewell could be a handy player in Karachi as he showed in the first game. He scored a handy 43 at better than run-a-ball and with the ball, gave his side a chance with figures of 2 for 44 in his 10 overs. On a slow track in Karachi, he could once again be key in both departments

Naseem Shah has already picked up two five-wicket hauls in just four ODIs so far. The pacer struck early and then continued to pick up wickets whenever he was brought into the attack, much to the captain’s relief. In his four ODIs so far, Naseem has 15 wickets at 11.20 along with an economy rate of 4.66.

Tom Latham over the last year or so has transformed his game in the 50-over format. He managed 558 runs in 13 innings in 2022 at a strike-rate over 100, with two fifties and a couple of centuries too. He looked good in the first ODI too, scoring 42 off 52. Other than Bracewell, Latham was the only one who looked convincing with the bat.

Top Criclytics Projections

Probable XIs:

Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Haris Sohail, Agha Salman, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf

New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (c), Tom Latham (wk), Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner, Henry Shipley, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson

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Pakistan vs New ZealandNew Zealand tour of Pakistan, 2022/23New ZealandPakistanTom LathamNaseem ShahMichael BracewellBabar Azam

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