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Fantasy: Expect an even battle between pace and spin

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Last updated on 11 Jan 2023 | 07:21 PM
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Fantasy: Expect an even battle between pace and spin

Here are a few tips that could help you create your fantasy XI for the first T20I between Zimbabwe and Ireland in Harare

Ireland and Zimbabwe begin their 2023 season with a three-match T20I series in Zimbabwe after commendable T20 World Cup performances. Andy Balbirnie's men will look extend their record of five wins against Zimbabwe from nine clashes so far while the hosts will look to start off the year with a win at home. The Harare Sports Club will host all the matches starting with the first T20I on Thursday (January 12).

Ground details

The Harare Sports Club has been a venue where chasing has been tough for any team. In the 18 matches played in the last 12 months at the venue, the average first innings score has been 153 while the most successful chase has been 160. Both spinners and pacers have been successful at the venue. Pacers have picked up 116 wickets from 36 innings which is not too far away from spinners who have scalped 98 wickets. However, spinners have a better economy of 6.6 to pacers' 7.4. So, its better to pick six batters and four frontline bowlers with two spin options.

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: Harry Tector (c),  Richard Ngarava (vc)

For grand leagues: George Dockrell  (c), Luke Jongwe (vc)

Stats that matter

- George Dockrell has been in splendid allround form off late. He has the best strike rate of 139.3 among the visiting batters since January last year and  scored 432 runs from 26 matches and claimed five wickets.

- Captain Balbirnie has been the most consistent performer for Ireland in the last 12 months scoring 617 runs from 27 matches which included four fifties.

Grand League Punts

- Mark Adair is the best Irish bowler against Zimbabwe by a distance. The pacer has scalped 16 wickets at an economy of 7.8 in just six matches.

- The terrific form of Blessing Muzarabani, Luke Jongwe and Tendai Chatara has been Zimbabwe's biggest strength in the bowling department. The pace trioka have claimed 17 T20I wickets each in the last 12 months with economies ranging between 6.4 - 8.4.

- Richard Ngarava has been phenomenal at the death for Zimbabwe. The leftarmer has claimed eight wickets from 12 matches last year at an exceptional economy of 7.6 after bowling 17 overs in that phase of the game.

Top Criclytics Projections

Probable XIs:

Zimbabwe: Craig Ervine, Wesley Madhevere, Ryan Burl, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Innocent Kaia, Luke Jongwe, Tendai Chatara, Richard Ngarava, Wellington Masakadza, Tony Munyonga, Brad Evans.

Ireland: Andy Balbirnie, Stephen Doheny, Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Mark Adair, Graham Hume, Benjamin White, Tyrone Kane, Ross Adair.

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