Transfers made – 0; Transfers remaining – 47
Uncapped preference order – 1. Shahbaz Nadeem 2. Shreyas Iyer 2. Suryakumar Yadav 4. Ankit Rajpoot
Captain – Chris Morris
With Gautam Gambhir and Manish Pandey already in my team, I don’t see the need for Robin Uthappa, especially when the Kolkata Knight Riders are set to take a short break after this match. The right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman did look good against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, but he rode his fair share of luck, too. You could also bank on the variety that the Delhi Daredevils have in their bowling attack to get the better of him.
If you are looking for a long-term wicket-keeping option, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get him in, though. I am happy with Rishabh Pant for a couple more matches, as he provides me with the much-needed budget cushion with the likes of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers coming back into the picture.
I don’t see Narine lasting longer against Chris Morris and Pat Cummins, and being an overseas player, he doesn’t merit a selection based only on his bowling, either. Kuldeep Yadav will continue to give you steady returns. Since teams have started to see wrist spinners off, it isn’t compulsory that you should have him on your team.
It is surprising that Chris Woakes and Trent Boult are being given an extended run despite not contributing as well as they should. While Boult might continue to play, given that he provides variation with his left-arm pace, Woakes needs to do a lot better if he hopes to stay in the team, with Shakib Al Hasan, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Rovman Powell waiting in the wings.
Coming to the Daredevils, Chris Morris is easily their best option. The way Sanju Samson was dismissed in the last match again raises questions about how dependable he is. Sam Billings, on the other hand, could turn out to be a good differential, but with Kuldeep and Narine in the opposition team, I don’t see him causing much damage even if he gets off to a good start.
The Knight Riders usually play spin well, which eliminates Amit Mishra from the equation. As far as team changes are concerned, Karun Nair is the only player whose spot is in question, and I expect his reputation to carry him around for a few more matches.
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kings XI Punjab
A true batting deck, pop-gun bowling attack and one of world’s best batsman opening the innings – do not think twice about captaining David Warner today. Being the team’s go-to bowler both with the new and old ball, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the team’s next best option.
While teams are now getting smarter against Rashid Khan, that he is so cheap makes it easier to carry him along and also helps you with budget and combination issues. Kings XI is one of those teams that could still find it difficult to play him, as they have a number of overseas players in their middle order. With SRH playing twice at home in 3 matches, Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques and Yuvraj Singh all look value to me.
As far as Kings XI are concerned, Hashim Amla could very well get dropped for Martin Guptill if the New Zealand opener has recovered from his injury. Even Matt Henry looks good to get a game, given how Kings XI have struggled with their bowling in the last two matches.
Eoin Morgan coming back into the playing XI makes the middle order way too crowded, and as it happened against the Delhi Dardevils, anyone could play anywhere depending on the situation. This reduces the value of Glenn Maxwell, Eoin Morgan and David Miller, and I have therefore decided to not bring any of them into my team. Axar Patel has plenty of left-handers to deal with in the next two matches, and hence he could be nullified too.
Deepak Hooda and Bipul Sharma are better uncapped picks than KC Cariappa as they play for the team that is likely to win the match today and hence could be easier to get points.