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Fantasy: Bank powerful batters, pacers to do the job at Wankhede

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Last updated on 02 Jan 2023 | 02:08 PM
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Fantasy: Bank powerful batters, pacers to do the job at Wankhede

Here are a few tips that could help you create your fantasy XI for the first T20I between India and Sri Lanka in Mumbai

India and Sri Lanka begin 2023 with a three-match T20 International (T20I) series, starting with the first one at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The Wankhede has traditionally been a high-scoring venue with the team batting first going on to register 200 in four of the last five matches. Also, it will be an uphill task for Sri Lanka as they have not won a single match in India since 2016. Infact, they have lost 10 of the 11 matches since then, with one match being washed out.

However, in the last two games, Sri Lanka have a slender 3-2 advantage.

T20I head-to-head

Overall: Matches 26 | IND won 17 | SL won 8 | NR 1

Last 5 matches: IND won 2 | SL won 3

Ground details

The Wankhede Stadium has been an excellent one for the fast bowlers, who picked up close to 70% of the wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 striking once every 20.2 deliveries, 29.5runs apart. The spinners (7.7) conceded less runs over than the pacers (8.8), but they were significant inferior when it came to the balls per wicket (26.3) and runs per wicket (33.7) ratio.

Hence, it could make sense to stock your side with fast bowlers and plenty of top-order batters. The team batting will be eyeing a score in excess of 185-190. The bowling side will be in the game of they manage to restrict the opposition to anything less than that.

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: Suryakumar Yadav (c), Wanindu Hasaranga (vc)

For grand leagues: Maheesh Theekshana (c), Arshdeep Singh (vc)

Stats that matter

India had the best run-rate in T20Is in 2022 scoring at 9.2 an over, while Sri Lanka struck at just 7.5 per over.

Suryakumar Yadav was one of just five players to score over 1,500 T20 runs last year. Out of those, 1,164 runs came at the international level at a staggering strike-rate of 187.4. Any T20 team without Surya will be incomplete given that he is currently best batter in the world in this format. He would want to kick-start 2023 in fine fashion as well.

With 34 wickets in 19 games, Wanindu Hasaranga finished as the leading wicket-taker among spinners in 2022. He did so at an average of 15.4 and struck every 12.7 deliveries, conceding 7.4 runs an over. Hasaranga had a good outing in the recently-concluded Lanka Premier League (LPL) as well, picking up 10 wickets at an economy rate of 6.41 and smashed 118 runs at a strike-rate of 163.88 for Kandy Falcons. 

Grand League Punts

Could be a risk that could very well pay off. Maheesh Theekshana’s skiddy deliveries especially if he bowls early on could have the batters on their toes throughout. He was Sri Lanka’s most successful bowler in T20Is last year after Hasaranga and also had a good outing in the LPL picking up 10 wickets giving away just 6.62 runs per over. He could very well be the x-factor for Sri Lanka early on.

Only Yalinde Nkanya of Tanzania with 45 scalps has picked up more wickets than Arshdeep Singh (33) since the India pacer’s debut. He has upped his game in all facets of the game and as a result, could be a handy weapon both in the powerplay and also at the death. With no Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the squad, all Arshdeep will lead the bowling attack in the series and look to play a pivotal role in India’s victories.

Here are the Top 10 Criclytics projections:

Probable XIs:

India: Ruturaj Gaikwad/Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson/Rahul Tripathi, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (c), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik

Sri Lanka: Kusal Mendia, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka/Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Chamika Karunaratne, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kasun Rajitha/Dunith Wellalage, Lahiru Kumara, Pramod Madushan/Nuwan Thushara    

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