safari staff
11 Jan 2023 | 09:50 AM

Fantasy: Kohli, Iyer are your go-to men

Here are a few tips that could help you create your fantasy XI for the second ODI between India and Sri Lanka in Kolkata

India hammered Sri Lanka by 67 runs in the first One-Day International and would now be eager to seal the series by winning the second encounter on Thursday (January 12). The Men in Blue amassed 373/7 in their 50 overs before Sri Lanka themselves got to 306/8 despite being reduced to 179/7 before the end of 33 overs. Skipper Dasun Shanaka slammed a stunning century and would now want his team to stage a comeback in Kolkata.

Ground details

Eden Gardens hasn’t hosted an ODI since September 2017 but that have been four T20Is played at this venue since 2020. The batters here have scored runs at an average of 26.6 and a strike rate of 141.8. The format is different but we could once see a high-scoring affair. The spinners here have better numbers in the shortest format of the game, so it would be ideal to have at least one of Yuzvendra Chahal or Wanindu Hasaranga in your team.

Suggested teams

While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from’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: Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer (vc)

For grand leagues: Shubman Gill (c), Pathum Nissanka (vc)

Stats that matter

Shreyas Iyer should be an indispensable part of the Indian set-up, with 724 runs in the year 2022, averaging a staggering 55.69 while still maintaining a strike rate of 91.5. Not just that, the right-hander has a solid record against spinners. He scored 28 off 24 in the first ODI but it was only because India had slammed 173 runs in 23 overs before his arrival.

Virat Kohli is steadily returning back to his best. For nearly three years, Kohli didn’t have a single century in international cricket. Now, in just five months, he has had three. The former India skipper smashed 113 off 87 deliveries in the first ODI, bringing up his 45th ODI hundred. He now has nine centuries against Sri Lanka in this format.

Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka loves playing against India. The all-rounder managed scores of 45, 56* and 23 in the T20I series and then smoked his second ODI century in the first encounter. On top of that, the seamer also picked up one wicket in the first ODI.

Grand League punts

In just 16 ODIs, Shubman Gill has slammed 757 runs at an average of 58.23 and a strike rate of 100.53. He got 70 off 60 in the first ODI and would now want to get a big hundred in the second game.

Pathum Nissanka too is starting to make an impact in the 50-over format. The right-handed opener, who scored 72 in the first ODI, has got 563 runs in 12 innings at an average of 51.18 since 2022.

Probable XIs

India - Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami/Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Sri Lanka - Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dunith Wellalage/Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha/Lahiru Kumara, Dilshan Madushanka.

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