Widely popular in West, fantasy sports introduction in India dates back to 2001 when ESPN Super Selector was launched as the first fantasy sports portal of India. At that time, Bollywood star Amir Khan fielded his own team for the first time but had no idea what it could become in the coming years. In the journey of 17 years, fantasy sports has traveled a long way and is currently booming with 20 million users already. In the past few years, fantasy sports has seen tremendous traction with almost half of its growth being registered in last 2-3 years. And as per Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG) reports, it is expected to touch the mark of 100 million users by 2020.
With cricket being the prime Indian sport, fantasy cricket leagues are the market leaders with 80-90% of pie. Earlier cricket was just watched over television sets but now with various fantasy cricket leagues coming into picture, we have an opportunity to virtually experience the game. Now, we can go online to one of these sites and can create our own virtual team using the real players who will be playing the match and the winner or loser is chosen depending on the on-field performance of the real players in their team.
However, it's not that much easy as it sounds. Alike the strategies being used by captains who are playing the real game on the field, you too will need a few strategies to beat your opponent and turn out as the winner. So, let's have a quick look at some of the good strategies which can help you fancy your chances of making the best performing team in fantasy cricket leagues.
Having a complete insight of the match increases your winning chances. No one would want to have a player in the team who is injured or wouldn't play in the match. Visiting cricket specific websites will give you complete information about the team line ups, injuries, pitch conditions, etc. In fact, few of the websites like Cricbuzz and ESPN also provide you the game previews which can be truly helpful.
Similar to the pitch assessment before the toss, you also need to know the nature of the pitch prior to making your fantasy team. You can't be the winner if you are playing with bowler centric team on a pitch that is regarded as a bating paradise and vice versa. You need to know about the pitch conditions i.e. whether it will assist seamer, spinner or is a flat pitch. Checking out the stats of the recent games played on that pitch will give you a clear idea about the composition of the team.
If it is a batting paradise, you can go with 5 batsman and 3 bowlers. If the pitch will assist pacers, then you can pick an extra all-rounder or a medium pacer over a spinner. If it is a low scoring pitch, you can lessen the number of batsmen accordingly.
Now, while picking up the players always choose your brain over the heart. While making your fantasy team, forget about your favorite team and players and choose the individual who can make the best out of those pitch conditions and situations. Look and assess the form of each player, i.e, their recent performances.
An all-rounder plays a very vital role in balancing out the team. A good all-rounders not only helps you in gaining points with the bat, but also with the ball. Almost every fantasy cricket league gives you the liberty to choose 1-3 all-rounder in your fantasy team.
Last but most important is to pick captain and vice captain. Alike all the other strategies, choosing captain and vice captain also requires a lot of brainwork. As captain and vice captain gives you 2 and 1.5 times the points respectively, you need to pick two top performers of the match. To increase your chances, always choose the player who is in exceptional form and is consistently contributing to the side either with bat or ball. Most of the times, choosing an all-rounder as a captain or vice captain is the perfect choice as they help you collect points with both bat and ball.
Note: To excel in fantasy cricket leagues, you need to assess you fantasy teams on regular basis.