Cricket is well and truly back with all the 3 formats coming thick and fast There are a lot of matches to look forward to in the coming week. Here’s a Fantasy Guide for Big Bash Opening fixtures and NZ vs WI 2nd Test
Match 1: NZ vs WI, 2nd Test
1st Test Result: New Zealand won by innings and 134 runs
1.1 Top performers, Best fantasy picks
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson averages 66 runs per game in Wellington in 21 tests, which is definitely not a good sign for West Indies. He has also scored a double century at this venue.
Tom Latham did his business quietly as he always does with a calm and composed 86. No other New Zealand batsmen fared in the 1st test but Ross Taylor looked very good in his brief stay and he might be a good pick in fantasy teams for the 2nd test.
The southpaw Tom Latham averages 43 in 7 tests in 2020 but his average stands above 50 in the previous two years. He also averages 51 in Wellington in 15 tests in his career where the 2nd test will take place. His best score of 264 came in this very venue as well.
Ross Taylor has a phenomenal record at Wellington where he averages 63 runs per game in 22 tests. He has scored 8 50s and 3 centuries in this venue.
West Indies bowlers bowled their heart out with very little luck. It might not be a bad idea to leave out all of Windies bowlers. If you want to pick one, Alzarri Joseph can be a decent pick as he is a handy lower-order batsman. The best bets from West Indies can be Darren Bravo, Jermaine Blackwood, Alzarri Joseph, and Jason Holder.
Jason Holder's average with the ball in 2018 and 2019 were 12 and 17 respectively. Those are mind-boggling numbers but his average has been pretty poor in 2020 where he takes a wicket per 36 runs. His batting average has gone down as well but he is the best available option from the Windies side.
Top batsmen – Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor
Top bowlers – Kyle Jamieson, Alzarri Joseph, Trent Boult
1.2 Scoring pattern at the venue
1.3 Winner prediction: New Zealand
Match 2: Hurricanes v Sixers, BBL
2.1 Top performers, Best fantasy picks
Hobart’s skipper Matthew Wade is coming in from a remarkable T20I series against India. Wade scored his fair share of runs and also captained the national side for the first time in that series. The skipper has scored 392 runs at this very venue at a healthy strike of 150 and at an average of close to 34.
D’Arcy Short might not have the best time with the bat in the recent T20Is but his caliber cannot be even doubted. Short is a must-have when Hurricanes are playing at Hobart. He averages 44 at Bellerive Oval. He has scored 737 runs in 18 games at this venue.
Riley Meredith is someone you must look out for in this edition. 2020-21 must be Meredith’s third season but it can surely be his break-through year. He has so far picked up 27 wickets across 21 T20s he played at a strike rate of 16.8.
Josh Philippe, the wicket-keeper batsman is rated highly and touted as ‘Australia’s Next Big Thing’. No one can forget his match-winning knock in last year’s finals against Stars. The 23-year-older has scored 798 runs in the league with seven fifties at marvelous average and strike rate of 33.2 and 140 respectively.
Sean Abbott, the second-highest wicket-taker in BBL and the spearhead of Sixers’ bowling attack, is well capable of swinging his long handle. This turf is tailor-made for a player like Abbott. His economy at Hobart is also thrilling as he bowls at 7.5 RPO and at a strike rate of 16.
Top Batsmen – Matthew Wade, D’Arcy Short, and Josh Philippe.
Top Bowlers – Sean Abbott and Riley Meredith.
2.2 Scoring pattern at Bellerive Oval, Hobart
2.3 Winner prediction: Hobart Hurricanes
Match 3: Melbourne Stars vs Brisbane Heat BBL
3.1 Top performers, Best fantasy picks
Chris Lynn, the skipper of Brisbane Heat, has been one of the most exciting players in Big Bash. Lynn scored 1833 in the period of 2019-2020 at a dazzling strike rate close to 150 with an average of 35 RPO.
The T20 specialist from England, Lewis Gregory after making a mark in the PSL and T20 Blast is pumped up to make a solid BBL debut for the Heat. Lewis, the English all-rounder has played over 100 T20 games. He has bagged 109 T20 wickets at a strike rate of 17. Plus, he is way more than a handy batter who has scored close to 1500 runs with a best of 76 not out on quite a high strike rate of 147.
Glenn Maxwell, Australia’s MVP against India is recent white-ball assignments against India, looks supercharged. You really cannot keep the Big Show out of any eleven. Truly, the best exploiter of spin bowling and more than a handy bowler himself.
Andre Fletcher the muscular wicket-keeper batsman has been brought in as the replacement of Jonny Bairstow. He has played over 200 games in the fast-moving format and has shown the world what his real worth is.
Afghanistan’s chinaman bowler Zahir Khan is as deceptive as his mentor Rashid Khan. Zahir Khan’s inclusion surely strengthens the spin stocks of his franchise but his wicket-taking abilities are eye-popping. Zahir was also in the Heat campaign in the last two seasons and would be vital against them.
Top Batsmen – Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Andre Fletcher
Top Bowlers – Zahir Khan, Lewis Gregory
3.2 Scoring pattern at Manuka Oval, Canberra
3.3 Winner prediction: Melbourne Stars
Match 4: Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder
4.1 Top performers, Best fantasy picks
Apart from Melbourne Stars, Adam Milne clocks at high 140s and is an exciting bowler to watch out for. In 96 T20s, he has scalped 116 wickets at an economy 7.65 RPO.
Syndey Thunder's Alex Hales was the second run-scorer in the last edition with a tally of 576 runs. Hales was also an integral part of Karachi’s Kings in their maiden PSL’s triumph this year, where he scored a ton. Hence, Hales’ form makes his inclusion a no-brainer.
Top Batsmen – Alex Hales, Glenn Maxwell, and Andre Fletcher.
Top Bowlers – Zahir Khan and Adam Milne.
4.2 Scoring pattern at Manuka Oval, Canberra
4.3 Winner prediction: Melbourne Stars