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Fantasy: Expect batters to rule the roost at Newlands

article_imageFANTASY PREVIEW
Last updated on 22 Feb 2023 | 05:35 PM
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Fantasy: Expect batters to rule the roost at Newlands

Here are a few tips that could help you create your fantasy XI for the first semi-final of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup between Australia and India in Cape Town

It’s crunch time, folks. The knockout stages of the T20 World Cup is here and on Thursday, we’ll be kicking off proceedings with arguably the most anticipated match-up, the rematch of the 2020 T20 World Cup final: India vs Australia. 

In case you don’t quite know, the Aussies have lost all of ONE match in T20Is since March 2021, that defeat too coming in the Super Over. So yes, this is a side that simply does not know what a loss looks like. They’re also two-time defending champions, having won both the 2020 and 2018 editions.

India have looked shaky so far this T20WC, but they’re the side that handed the Aussies the solitary L. They also ran the champions really close in the final of the Commonwealth Games, so they’ll believe that they can pull off a major upset.

Whichever side you’re on, we’ve got a cracking encounter lined up!

Ground Details

The first semi-final between India and Australia will be played at Newlands, Cape Town, and it will be the tenth match at the venue. Yep, the ground has seen plentyyyyy of cricket.

While India have already played twice at the venue, against Sri Lanka and West Indies, Thursday will be Australia’s first game at the Newlands.

So what can we expect?

The Newlands, it has to be said, has proven to be a relatively high-scoring ground in this World Cup. 149 has been the average batting-first score but it has seen three scores of 150+, a 150 being chased and another 140 also being chased successfully. England scored 213 against Pakistan while two games prior to that, New Zealand racked up 189 against Bangladesh.

The wickets have continued to hold up well so there’s no reason to believe that we’ll witness something different on Thursday.

On the bowling front, it’s one venue where spinners have done considerably better than the pacers. Their average (24 vs 31.6), economy rate (6.7 vs 7.0) and strike rate (21.7 vs 27) have all been better than that of the quicks. 

Both teams have plenty of spin options so neither side will mind some assistance for the slower bowlers.

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: Alyssa Healy (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain)

For grand leagues: Tahlia McGrath (Captain),  Richa Ghosh (vice-captain)

Stats that matter

> In T20Is against India, Grace Harris has an average of 30.00 and a SR of 183.67. Her last three knocks vs India - 64* off 35, 27* off 12 and 41 off 18

> Smriti Mandhana is in red-hot form with scores of 87 and 52. Despite missing the first encounter with injury, she is the second-highest run-getter of this World Cup with 149 runs.

> In this T20WC, Mandhana’s SR of 135.5 against spinners is the best among all Indian batters

> Thursday will also be the battle of two in-form wicket-keepers. Healy (146 runs @ 73.00) and Richa Ghosh (122 runs @ 122.0) are both among the best performers for their respective sides.

> Shafali Verma has a terrific record against both Megan Schutt (89 off 51 balls) and Darcie Brown (37 off 24 balls), Australia’s new ball bowlers.

Grand League punts

> Both teams are stacked with batters that are guaranteed to go ballistic. Opting to go with one of Healy, Mandhana, Ghosh or Harris (who enjoys an outstanding record vs India) as skipper / vice-skipper will be a pretty safe call.

> Both Megan Schutt and Renuka Thakur are must-haves; they are wicket-taking machines, albeit in different phases of the game.

> Ash Gardner might not have put up impressive numbers thus far but given her all-round value, it’ll always be prudent to take a gamble on her.

Here are the Top 10 Criclytics Projections

Probable XIs

India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Richa Ghosh (wk), Deepti Sharma, Devika Vaidya / Radha Yadav Pooja Vastrakar, Shikha Pandey, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Renuka Thakur Singh

Australia: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Ashleigh Gardner, Ellyse Perry, Tahlia McGrath, Grace Harris, Georgia Wareham, Alana King, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown

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