Predicted Playing XI: Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine, Colin Munro*, Tim Seifert* (wk), Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard (c), Sikandar Raza*, Dwayne Bravo, Khary Pierre, Fawad Ahmed*, Ali Khan
The Pollard effect on Seifert and Bravo: Though Trinbago have Kieron Pollard at No.6, he pushes himself up in the batting order on a regular basis depending upon on match situation. This promotion in the batting order will directly affect Darren Bravo and Tim Seifert on their fantasy points scoring potential by taking away their game time.
Conversely, a batting order as good as this works in the opposite direction as well at times. With options as good as Seifert, Bravo and Raza available around him, Pollard may not be inclined to come out at his usual position every single time, especially if the team finds itself in strong positions in the game.
Here is a scenario for example: if Trinbago are well positioned in a chase and they need under 7 runs per over, the management could see it as an easy requirement and just send out one of its other internationals, resulting in Pollard losing stat-padding opportunities. Such moves don’t affect the team, but with fantasy users, there is always the danger of losing out on easy points.
Substitutes (by order XI of playing XI chances): Jayden Seales (E), Tion Webster, Akeal Hosein, Anderson Phillip, Pravin Tambe*, Amir Jangoo (E)
Jayden Seales a potential threat to Ali Khan’s spot: The tournament rules this year mandate franchises to give a total of 5 games for the emerging players; in Trinbago’s case, the options are Jayden Seales and Amir Jangoo.
Amir Jangoo, with his career record so far and the batting options he is competing against, may not find a place in the squad; Tion Webster – already in the bench – is the front-runner for the first batting vacancy. Jayden Seales, who raised a few eyebrows in the 2020 U19 World Cup with the pace he generated, will be getting most, if not all, of the 5 opportunities as a result. And when he does, Ali Khan is likely to be at the receiving end of it.
Will Sunil Narine open? New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman Tim Seifert – an opener by trade presents a couple of new possibilities:
1. Seifert slotted as Lendl Simmons’ opening partner (Fantasy potential: Seifert (up), Munro (same), Narine (down).
2. Colin Munro, who has been batting at No.3 for TKR, could be pushed up to give the team a Left-Right combination at the top, with Seifert taking Munro’s role at No.3. (Fantasy potential: Seifert (up), Munro (up), Narine (down)
Or they could just continue with the most obvious, and least creative fix: Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons and Colin Munro as top 3 with Seifert floating around in the middle order. That will result with fantasy potential: Seifert (down), Munro (same), Narine (up). If you have Narine in your season fantasy teams, this is what you would ideally want.
Dwayne Bravo’s batting position: Dwayne Bravo could bat as low as No.8 this season, so while you would usually see him as an all-rounder, in this tournament you will be better served if you consider him as a bowler who can bat. As a result, his batting might not carry as much of a value as it has in the previous couple of reasons, where he crossed the 200-run mark each time. The 36-year-old’s fantasy potential would, therefore, be mainly driven by the cheap wickets he gets at the death.
Pre-season Fantasy Ranking Order:
1. Sunil Narine – Possibility of great all-round value if the 32-year-old opens the innings. On the off chance he doesn’t, with one of the two tournament venues being his home ground and the other a slow deck with big boundaries, he presents value just on his bowling ability.
2. Kieron Pollard – The team’s first choice power-hitter at the death and one of the two options for the 6th bowler role, with Sikandar Raza being the other.
3. Lendl Simmons – Back in form (CPL 2019 – 430 runs at an average of 39 and a strike rate of 150, T20Is in 2019 – 199 runs at an average of 66 and a strike rate of 169) and a guaranteed opening spot.
4. Fawad Ahmed – Extraordinary track record in T20 circuit since 2017 (113 T20 wickets at an average of 21 runs per wicket and an economy rate of 6.9 runs per over) and proven in CPL as well (32 wickets at an average of 16.3 runs per wicket and an economy rate of 6.3 runs per over).
Despite playing for St Lucia Zouks, a bottom-rung team with a batting-friendly deck as its home base, Fawad Ahmed had an outstanding season last year picking 10 wickets at 22 runs per wicket and economy rate of 6.4. Coming into a stronger set-up and bowling on decks more suited to his style, he is up for a more rewarding season this time.
How moving to Trinbago could make Fawad Ahmed an even better fantasy option:
5. Dwayne Bravo – The team’s go-to option at the death, which improves the chances of him being amongst the wickets, especially when part of a team as good as Trinbago.
6. Colin Munro – As compared to CPL 2017 (366 runs at an average of 37 and a strike rate of 135) and 2018 (567 runs at an average of 51 and a strike rate of 140), Munro had a poor season last year, scoring only 230 runs at an average of 33 and a strike rate of 128.
With Brian Lara Cricket Academy having a reputation of producing low scoring games, thanks to the nature of the deck and its big boundaries, it will not be a surprise to see his performances dip as we go deeper into the tournament. The decks in general are expected to get slower too, which will not help Munro.
7. Khary Pierre – Delivered the most number of overs for Trinbago last year (43.2) and has picked up 21 wickets in the last two seasons combined. The left-arm spinner will be an integral part of the team considering the matches are going to be played at only two venues, with pitches likely to get slower and slower as the tournament progresses.
8. Darren Bravo and Tim Seifert – Refer to the “The Pollard effect on Bravo and Seifert” part of the article.
9. Ali Khan – Refer to the “Jayden Seales a potential threat to Ali Khan” part of the article.
10. Sikandar Raza – There is not much to gain from a player who bats at No.7 and bowls some part-time off-spin.
Overload value with TKR: Positive
Overload value explained: While making your fantasy teams, be it daily or seasonal, you will, from time to time, encounter situations where you will have to decide on getting in more than a certain number of players from a team into your squad. With TKR, one of the tournament’s pre-season favourites, you could go ahead with, say, even a 7-4 split in daily fantasy, as they are expected to dominate the season.