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Fantasy: RVD and Nortje to the rescue (once again)

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Last updated on 31 Jan 2023 | 11:30 AM
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Fantasy: RVD and Nortje to the rescue (once again)

Here are a few tips that could help you create your fantasy XI for the third ODI between South Africa and England

The series might already be in the bag, but there are 10 vital ODI Super League points to play for, which South Africa, without a shadow of doubt, will be eager to pocket. They’re edging closer to automatic qualification for the 2023 World Cup but victory on Wednesday will ensure they leapfrog West Indies in the table and go to 8th spot. With England looking woefully out of sorts in 50 over cricket, having lost each of their last 5 ODIs, the Proteas would certainly be confident that they can inflict a whitewash and sleep more peacefully. A cracking contest awaits us!

Ground Details

The third ODI will be played at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley, a venue that has hardly seen any international cricket in recent times. Only one international match has been played at the venue since 2018 and that was an ODI between South Africa and Zimbabwe which the hosts won by 5 wickets.

The last 5 ODI scores at the venue have been 117, 278, 279 and 299, but it’s hard to read too much from these scores as they’re spread over a 11-year period. It would, therefore, be more relevant to look at List A data.

A total of six List A matches have been played at the Diamond Oval since 2020 and it’s proven to be a largely low-scoring venue, with the average first innings score (in this period) reading 229. However 6 of these 7 matches have been won by the team chasing, indicating that the wicket, generally, tends to get better as the contest goes on. It could hence prove to be a ‘bowl-first’ wicket. 

On the bowling front, pacers (29.3 avg and 5.2 ER) and spinners (32.3 avg and 5.3 ER) have had near-identical numbers in the said period, so it’s hard to come to any conclusion.

Suggested Team

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: Rassie van der Dussen (capt), Temba Bavuma (vc)

For grand leagues: Anrich Nortje (capt), Harry Brook (vice-capt)

Stats that matter

> In ODIs at home, Anrich Nortje has taken a stunning 27 wickets in just 11 matches. He’s NEVER gone wicketless and astonishingly, he’s picked ‘at least’ 2 wickets in 10 of the 11 matches he’s played at home. He will enter the third ODI having taken 13 wickets in his previous 4 ODIs in South Africa.

> Likewise, Rassie van der Dussen is an absolute beast at home; he averages a ludicrous 94.90 in 20 innings. His 38 in the second ODI was an anomaly, for it was only the second time he’d been dismissed under 50 at home since March 2020.

> Rabada too is a guaranteed wicket-taker in ODI cricket. In his last 15 ODIs, the speedster has picked at least one wicket in 13 occasions. 

Grand League punts

Given their utterly ridiculous home form in the 50-over format, van der Dussen and Nortje are must-haves in the XI. Feel like making them the captain? Go for it. It would be criminal to not have Rassie as either your skipper or vice-skipper, especially. But one name that can be gambled on is Harry Brook. A batter currently in the form of his life, Brook misfired in the first ODI but bounced back emphatically in the second. Based on what he’s shown at the international level thus far, it might just be worth taking a gamble on the kid.

Here are the Top 10 Criclytics Projections

Probable XIs

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Wayne Parnell, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada

England: Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Olly Stone, Reece Topley

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