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Fantasy: Latham, Kohli and Kuldeep could be key picks

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Last updated on 17 Jan 2023 | 09:08 AM
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Fantasy: Latham, Kohli and Kuldeep could be key picks

Here are a few tips that could help you create your fantasy XI for the first ODI between India and New Zealand in Hyderabad

India welcome New Zealand yet again. How many times have they exactly met in the last two years? Plenty and most recently played a three-match ODI series only last November. But here we are, India welcome them yet again in what could be a marquee series for preparations ahead of the coveted ODI World Cup at home. 

New Zealand are without some stars but not without sheen. Tom Latham-led side have a star-studded line-up, even at the absence of Kane Williamson. Plus, the BlackCaps are coming into this series on the back of a 2-1 win over Pakistan in Pakistan. It only makes for a fascinating contest. 

Ground Details

After loitering up north against Sri Lanka, the caravan has now started down south, with the first ODI in Hyderabad at the picturesque Rajiv Gandhi Stadium. What to look forward to? Well first, an ODI. The last ODI at the venue was way back in 2019, between India and Australia. 

Only six ODIs have been played at the venue, with the average first-innings score being 278. But for teams to defend a total here, they will need at least a total in excess of 300. Unlike other venues, pacers have a significant advantage at the venue, with 51 wickets against the 27 wickets taken by the spinners. 

Middle-order batters have found success here, with an average of 44.1 while the top-order batters average only 39.9 in Hyderabad. 

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: Shubman Gill (capt), Tom Latham (vice-capt)

For grand leagues: Virat Kohli (capt), Michael Bracewell (vice-capt)

Stats that matter

-    In the first 20 matches, no Indian batter has scored more runs than the 23-year-old Shubman Gill, who has amassed 894 runs with an average of 59.6, and a strike-rate of 103.7 – more than anyone else on the list. His last six scores in the 50-over format: 116, 21, 70, 13, 45* and 50. 

-    India have adopted a rather aggressive powerplay approach with the bat thus far. In the three clashes against Sri Lanka, the Men in Blue averaged a staggering 72.3 with a run-rate of 7.2. To set some context, Sri Lanka in that very same series averaged 16 with a run-rate of 4.3. Will that continue? 

-    Virat Kohli, how can we ignore the numbers here? After two years of century drought, Kohli finally broke that with a century against Bangladesh. But ever since, the right-hander has looked like a completely different beast altogether with two ODI centuries, nearing Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries. On 46 ODI centuries, can Kohli equal the record? 

-    Since the start of the year, India have struck eight times in the powerplay. After 2021, a year where the Indian bowlers had an average of 95.8 in the powerplay, everything has changed. This year, the Men in Blue average just 16 with the ball in the powerplay, with a big thanks to Mohammed Siraj, who has tormented teams. Since 2021, Siraj has picked up 23 wickets in the first ten overs, with Deepak Chahar second on five wickets. That’s the difference. 

Grand League punts

-    Virat Kohli, how can we ignore the numbers here? After two years of century drought, Kohli finally broke that with a century against Bangladesh. But ever since, the right-hander has looked like a completely different beast altogether with two ODI centuries, nearing Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries. On 46 ODI centuries, can Kohli equal the record? 

-    The thing with Michael Bracewell that has hurt New Zealand is his consistency. Ever since he scored that stunning 127* against Ireland, all eyes were fixated on him. But since then, the all-rounder has never scored a half-century in the 50-over format. With no Williamson in this series, it might provide Bracewell an opportunity to bat time. 

Here are the top 10 Criclytics Projections

Probable XIs

India XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Umran Malik, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami

New Zealand XI: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Mark Chapman, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (wk) (c), Glenn Phillips, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Doug Bracewell/Blair Tickner, Lockie Ferguson

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