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Fantasy: Latham’s outrageous home form makes him the top pick

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Last updated on 30 Mar 2023 | 09:33 AM
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Fantasy: Latham’s outrageous home form makes him the top pick

Here are a few tips that could help you create your fantasy XI for the third ODI between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Hamilton

The third ODI between Sri Lanka and New Zealand will be played at the Seddon Park in Hamilton and it’s a game of huge consequence not just for the touring Lankans, but also South Africa and Ireland.

With a win, Sri Lanka will take their Super League points tally to 91 points and that will mean South Africa will have to whitewash the Netherlands in order to secure direct qualification. It’ll also be bad news for Ireland, who will fall 23 points behind Dasun Shanaka’s side should the visitors eke out a victory on Friday (March 31).

Sri Lanka winning is a big ‘if’ though, considering in the last two completed ODIs, they’ve suffered two of their heaviest defeats, losing by 198 runs and 317 runs respectively.

Pitch and conditions

First things first, Seddon Park has been a fortress of sorts, of late, for the Kiwis, who have won each of the last seven completed matches at the venue.

And barring an odd game in 2019 - between India and New Zealand - in which the team batting first got bundled out for 92, it’s proven to be a pretty decent batting track.

268 has been the average batting first score in the last six years but in the last three completed matches, the batting-first scores have been 333, 264 and 347.

Whether we get a big first innings score tomorrow might depend on who bats first, though. Mind you, the last two times they’ve batted, Sri Lanka have been bundled out for 76 and 73 respectively.

On the bowling front, unsurprisingly Seddon Park has proven to be a pace-friendly venue. Since 2017, nearly 67% of the wickets have been taken by the seamers. They’ve also boasted a better bowling average and bowling strike rate than their spin counterparts. 

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: Tom Latham (capt), Chamika Karunaratne (vice-capt)

For grand leagues: Daryl Mitchell (capt), Henry Shipley (vice-capt)

Stats that matter

> Since the start of 2020, Tom Latham averages 111.40 in ODIs at home. He perished for 5 in the first ODI, but has registered scores of 145*, 140* and 110* in six of his seven previous ODIs.

> In his 10-match ODI career, Blair Tickner has gone wicketless just twice. He enters the third ODI having picked 5 wickets across his previous two 50-over matches.

> Chamika Karunaratnee, too, is in outstanding form with the ball having taken 7 wickets across his previous 3 ODIs. He was the start with the ball for the tourists in the first ODI of the series as he scalped an impressive four-wicket haul.

> Lahiru Kumara has taken four consecutive two-fers in ODI cricket. The tearaway has, in fact, taken at least one wicket in each of his last 8 ODIs.

Grand League punts

> Latham’s overall ODI form might look a bit iffy but he’s been close to untouchable at home of late. It’d therefore be silly to not gamble on him.

> Lahiru Kumara, at this point, is a bank in ODI cricket. He is a must-have.

Top Criclytics Projections

Probable XIs

New Zealand: Chad Bowes, Henry Nicholls, Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (c and wk), Mark Chapman, Rachin Ravindra, Henry Shipley, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner

Sri Lanka: Nuwanidu Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Dilshan Madushanka

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