Fantasy IPL 2017: Some tips to aid your team selection

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Watson is likely to open the batting for RCB in Kohli's absence [Sportzpics]

Join “Sport360 League” on fantasy.iplt20.com by using the code k4SBVxmg.

The Indian Premier League [IPL] is upon us and while fans can’t wait for the start of the cricketing action, there’s another thing that comes along with the IPL that fans love and that is fantasy cricket.

This season’s official IPL Fantasy gives you a choice of creating a team with 4-5 batsmen, 1-4 all-rounders, at least one wicket-keeper and 2-5 bowlers.

There is also the rule of having to pick at least one uncapped player in your team which might be a little difficult task this season as a lot of the reliable uncapped players from last season like Yuzvendra Chahal, Karun Nair etc. made their international debuts over the last year.

The entire rules of the game can be found here.

PICKING TOP-ORDER BATSMEN

One golden rule in T20 cricket is to send your best batsmen higher up in the batting order as the innings lasts just 20 overs and you do not want your best bat to end up playing just 10-15 deliveries at the end.

The same applies in Fantasy IPL, you’re better off picking batsmen that bat up the order as they have the opportunity of facing the most deliveries and hence can score more runs which will result in more points for your fantasy team.

ALL-ROUNDERS ARE GOLD

This point won’t come as a surprise to many as all-rounders have the opportunity of scoring points with their batting, bowling and sometimes even their fielding.

There are some batsmen who bowl occasionally, like Suresh Raina, and they should also be high on your wishlist.

Speaking of all-rounders, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Shane Watson is one player who you should definitely pick at the start of the season as besides being an all-rounder, there are indications that he will open the batting for his team.

LOOK OUT FOR THE SCHEDULE

It is necessary to make your substitutes, keeping the upcoming fixtures in mind.

Watch out for teams that are playing frequently over the next few days and keep a few players from such franchises in your XI.

USE SUBSTITUTES ON FOREIGN PLAYERS

Since you can select just four foreign players in your team and there are some world-class cricketers available, it’s best to use most of your substitutes on them.

Keep an Indian core with players who perform consistently and use substitutions on these players only if they are not playing for a sustained period of time or you end up having some problem with your overall budget.

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IPL 2017: Which franchise has the most Twitter followers?

When it comes to Twitter followers among Indian Premier League [IPL] franchises competing in the tenth edition of the tournament, Kolkata Knight Riders come out on top with 2.47 million followers.

The Knight Riders are two times champions of the IPL, having won the tournament in 2012 and 2014 - both under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir.

With Kolkata being a sports-crazy city, this will come as no surprise. The presence of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan as a co-owner also helps the franchise not only gain fans across India but all over the world.

It'll come as no surprise that the newest franchises - Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions - have the least number of followers among all the teams participating in IPL 2017. If we include teams that have participated previously, then Chennai Super Kings - who are currently suspended - reign supreme with 2.53 million followers which is more than even what the Knight Riders possess. Which team do you think has the best fans? Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

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De Villiers rules himself out of IPL opener

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De Villiers will miss Wednesdays match [Sportzpics]

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s woes just get worse and worse as their star batsman AB de Villiers confirmed on Twitter that he will miss the opening match of the Indian Premier League [IPL] against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday.

This comes as a huge blow for the Bangalore franchise as De Villiers has been one of their most consistent batsmen in recent years and notched up 687 runs at an average of 52.84 and a strike-rate of 168.79 in last year’s tournament.

The South Africa ODI captain, though, is expected to be fit in time for the franchise’s second match, against the Delhi Daredevils on Saturday.

With all the injuries in the Royal Challengers camp, Gujarat Lions opener Brendon McCullum wondered if his former international team-mate and now RCB coach Daniel Vettori might have to play.

The Royal Challengers have lost the services of KL Rahul for the season, while Sarfaraz Khan is also expected to be unavailable for the entirety of IPL 2017 due to a leg injury he suffered during a practice match.

Captain Virat Kohli will also miss the start of the tournament due to a shoulder injury he suffered during the Test series between India and Australia.

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