| On Updated : Dec 14, 2020 1:05 AM IST

WEEK 3 December: Fantasy Cricket Guide for IND vs AUS 1st Test, NZ vs PAK T20Is and LPL Semi Final 2

The upcoming week is a busy week for fantasy cricket players. Many of the top International teams will battle it out across different formats in the coming week. This along with a string of domestic T20 tournaments like Lanka Premier League and Big Bash League will provide a golden opportunity for Fantasy cricket players to make maximum profit from these matches if they invest wisely. To help you in that regard, we bring you the Fantasy Guide that will guide you for the India vs Australia 1st Test, NZ vs PAK T20Is, and the Lanka Premier League second semi-final that will take place in the coming week.

Match 1: AUS vs IND, 1st Test

The most important match of week three is the pink ball Day/Night Test in Adelaide between India and Australia. After equaling themselves on the white ball series, India and Australia will face off against each other in a 4 match Test series for the prestigious Border Gavaskar Trophy. The first of those Tests starts on December 17th in Adelaide.

1.1 Top performers, Best fantasy picks for AUS vs IND Dream11 Team Prediction

World’s number one ranked Test batsman Steve Smith is the main man to look forward to in this Test. He averages close to 85 against India (84.06 to be precise) and has accumulated 1429 runs against them from just 20 innings. Moreover, he has a tremendous record in Adelaide, where he has scored almost 491 runs from just 11 innings. He has to be one of the sure candidates for the Captain/ Vice Captain choice of your fantasy teams for this fixture.

The next big player from Australia is Marnus Labuschagne. Highly regarded as a Test match specialist, this 26-year-old had a dream run in International cricket in the last year. Currently ranked number four on the ICC Test rankings, he has scored 1459 runs from just 23 innings since making his debut. He has played just one innings in Adelaide and scored a massive 162 on that occasion against a strong Pakistan bowling unit.

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From India, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara are the two main batsmen to pick in your fantasy teams. Adelaide Oval is one of Virat Kohli’s favourite hunting grounds down under. He averages close to 72 and even has three centuries to his name in this venue. He has played just six innings there and has scored 431 runs in total in those outings. Cheteshwar Pujara was the main difference between the two teams when they met here in 2018. He was the man of the match in the last India Australia Adelaide Test with scores of 123 and 71 in both innings.

World’s best Test bowler Pat Cummins is the main bowler to look forward to in this Test match. He has taken 71 wickets from 16 matches played in Australia and has a tremendous track record against the dangerous Virat Kohli. Nathon Lyon and Mitchell Starc who has 50 and 29 wickets at this venue are also valuable picks to try out in your fantasy teams.

As far as Indian bowling is concerned Jasprit Bumrah and Mohamad Shami are the bowlers worth investing your money in. They looked mighty impressive with the pink ball in the practice match and has had tremendous success in Adelaide in the past. Bumrah has 6 wickets from the only one match that he has played at this venue, whereas Shami has 8 wickets from 2 matches.

Indian off-spinner Ravichandra Ashwin is also a decent option to try out for Adelaide Test. He has 11 wickets to his name at this venue from just 2 games.

Top batsmen – Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Marnus Labuschagne, Cheteshwar Pujara

Top bowlers – Pat Cummins, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Nathon Lyon

ICC Test Rankings:

IND- 3
AUS-1

1.2 Scoring pattern at the venue

Average score per innings:

1st Innings: 387
2nd Innings: 356
3rd Innings: 356
4th Innings: 215

  • The Adelaide oval is the best batting wicket in Australia. It plays very flat on the first three days and as the match wears on, it brings the spinners into the game.
  • The team batting first has won the match in Adelaide two out of three times.
  • The venue has seen the most number of Test hundreds after Lords and MCG. So expect plenty of runs to be scored on this ground.
  • India has played 12 Test matches at this venue and has won just two and has drawn three.

1.3 Winner prediction: Australia

Match 2: New Zealand vs Pakistan T20I Series

After a convincing win against West Indies in the T20I series, New Zealand will host Pakistan for a three-match T20I series starting on 18th December. Despite few COVID cases making headlines in the Pakistan camp, the series will go ahead as planned and will see the return of New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson to the T20I side.

2.1 Top performers, Best fantasy picks for NZ vs PAK Dream11 Team Prediction

In the absence of captain Babar Azam, veteran Mohammad Hafeez is the main Pakistan batsman to look forward to in this encounter. He has scored 865 runs from 26 innings at an average of 48.06 in this calendar year.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is the top pick from the host nation. He won’t be available for the first match but will lead the side for the 2nd and 3rd T20I. 2020 has been one of his best years as a T20 batsman. He has scored 477 T20 runs and averages more than 47 in this calendar year.

Devon Conway, who made his debut in the last series is one of the un-orthodox picks that may work wonders for you in the fantasy leagues. He was the leading run-scorer in New Zealand’s premier T20 competition- Super Smash, where he racked up 543 runs. He also impressed with scores of 41(29) and 65*(37) in the two T20Is that he played against West Indies.

Attacking wicket-keeper batsmen Glenn Philips who scored a century in the 2nd T20I against West Indies is also a valuable pick for your fantasy teams. He recently had a good CPL and looks in fine touch. Young batsman Haider Ali is the other Pakistani batsmen to invest your money in. He averages 34.35 in 2020 in the T20 format and has scored 645 runs in total this year t a fairly good strike rate of over 150.

Pakistan pace bowling duo of Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf are two of the leading wicket-takers in the T20 format in 2020. Shaheen has picked up 48 wickets in this calendar year at an economy of 7.45, whereas Rauf leads the chart with 52 wickets coming in at an average of 19.31 and at an economy slightly over 8 rpo. These two are the main Pakistan bowlers to look out for in the series against New Zealand.

Lockie Ferguson is out of the series with an injury and New Zealand has assembled a weak bowling unit for the first T20I. But from the 2nd T20I onwards they will have the services of Trent Boult. He was mighty impressive in the recently concluded IPL, where he took 25 wickets from just 15 matches at an economy of just below 8. He is the New Zealand bowler to pick in your fantasy teams. For the first T20I, Scott Kuggeleijn is the man to try out.

Top Batsmen – Mohammad Hafeez, Kane Williamson, Devon Conway, Haider Ali
Top Bowlers – Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Trent Boult

ICC T20I Rankings:
PAK- 4
NZ- 6

2.2.1 Scoring pattern at Eden Park, Auckland (1st T20I)

  • Average 1st innings score: 169 (T20Is)
  • Nature of the Pitch: Eden Park is an ideal batting wicket and a graveyard for bowlers. It is slow in nature compared to the other grounds in New Zealand.
  • Who can exploit conditions: Over the last few years New Zealand has been pretty dominant at home. With a batting-friendly wicket in place, it is expected to suit New Zealand’s style of play.
  • The team which has batted second has won matches at this venue on 60% of the occasion.

2.3.1 Winner prediction: New Zealand

2.2.2 Scoring pattern at Seddon Park, Hamilton (2nd T20I)

  • Average 1st innings score: 168 (T20Is)
  • Nature of the Pitch: Even though the pitch in Seddon Park has an even covering of grass, it has proved to be an ideal batting wicket.
  • Who can exploit conditions: Over the last few years New Zealand has been pretty dominant at home. With a batting-friendly wicket in place, it is expected to suit New Zealand’s style of play.
  • It is ideal for both batting first and chasing.
  • New Zealand has won 7 out of the 10 T20Is played in Seddon Park.

2.3.2 Winner prediction: New Zealand

Match 3: Dambulla Viiking vs Jaffna Stallions, Lanka Premier League 2020

The inaugural edition of the Lankan Premier League is finally coming to a close. The best four teams from the competition have sealed their place in the semi-finals. The Dambulla Viiking will take on the Jaffna Stallions in the second Semi-Finals.

3.1 Top performers, Best fantasy picks

Dambulla captain Dasun Shanaka is the main batsman in focus for this fixture. He is right now the third leading run-scorer of the tournament with 273 runs.  He averages 45.50 and has a healthy strike rate of 164.45. His teammate Niroshan Dickwella is the next batsmen that you should have in your fantasy teams. Opening the batting for the Viiking, he has so far scored 241 runs at a healthy strike rate of 146.95.

From Jaffna, the young talented opener Avishka Fernando is the batsman to invest your money in. He has scored 209 runs from just 7 matches, with a high score of 92.

The Jaffna captain Thisara Perera was the main difference between these two sides when they met in the league stages. He scored 97 runs in that match in just 44 balls. He is one of the must-haves in any fantasy team. In 6 innings that he has batted so far in the tournament, he has scored in total 215 runs at a terrific average of 43. To add to that, he has scored all these runs at an unbelievable strike rate of 215.

Dambulla all-rounder Samit Patel is another option that will give you enough fantasy points for this fixture. He has picked up 7 wickets and has scored 178 runs for his team so far in this competition. He along with Thisara Perera are the most suitable options for captain or vice-captain choice for this fixture.

The main bowler to pick in your fantasy teams for this fixture is Jaffna leggie Wanindu Hasaranga. He is the leading wicket-taker of the tournament with 13 wickets. From Dambulla Viiking, Pakistan pacer Anwar Ali is the bowler to watch out for. He has picked up 8 wickets from 6 innings that he has played for the Viiking. Duanne Olivier from Jaffna although expensive has a habit of picking up wickets. He too can be good choice in the bowling department.

Top Batsmen – Dasun Shanaka, Niroshan Dickwella, Thisara Perera, Avishka Fernando.
Top Bowlers – Wanindu Hasaranga, Anwar Ali, Samit Patel

League Stage Standings:
Dambulla Viiking: 2nd
Jaffna Stallions: 3rd

3.2 Scoring pattern at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota

  • Average score: 164
  • The ground dimensions are smaller and the wicket is an ideal batting wicket.
  • The league stage saw many 200+ scores being chased down easily. So a high scoring encounter is expected.
  • When the last time these two sides met in the league stage, it was Jaffna who won the match by a huge margin of 66 runs.

3.3 Winner prediction: Jaffna Stallions

Both teams have a pretty decent batting unit, but the presence of a strong bowling unit is expected to shift the advantage in favour of the Stallions.

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Midhun M Menon @Mid_On_

An engineer who watches, plays, and writes cricket. Out here to tell you interesting stories from 22 yards from the perspective of a 22-year-old guy.