Live Cricket Blog: AB de Villiers and Shikhar Dhawan are safe options for your fantasy team

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Denzil Pinto and the rest of the Sport360 team are in place to provide you with the latest news, comment and analysis on all things cricket.

Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout the week but we want you to get involved, too.

Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.

5:50pm: AB de Villiers and Shikhar Dhawan are safe options for your fantasy team

With Royal Challengers Bangalore clashing with Sunrisers Hyderabad this evening in the IPL (18:30 start), we look at the players who look destined to deliver. Read it here. 

5.15pm: Shahid Afridi provides an update on his injury

The former Pakistan captain visited a doctor in Dubai on the knee injury he sustained during the Pakistan Super League earlier this year. Read more about the story here.

2.21pm: Virat says the beard stays

India cricket captain Virat Kohli insisted Thursday he will not be shaving off his famous beard any time soon.

The 29-year-old batsman, who said he still cleans his own cricket shoes despite being one of the world’s highest paid athletes, has in recent years become a style icon because of the beard.

A fan asked Kohli at a promotional event whether he would ever get rid of his carefully trimmed bristles.

To read Virat’s response click HERE.

11.54am: Mark Waugh slams ‘selfish’ India

Retiring selector Mark Waugh has lashed out at “selfish” India for refusing to play a day-night Test during their tour of Australia, accusing the cricketing power of holding back the game.

Cricket Australia wanted the first Test in Adelaide from December 6 played under lights to tap into the growing popularity of pink-ball cricket.

But India, who are yet to play a day-night Test, said they were not interested in experimenting in such a high-profile series.

Read Waugh’s full remarks HERE.

8.18am: The big man finally comes good for Mumbai Indians

Kieron Pollard says he never doubted himself after his crucial half-century as Mumbai Indians edged past Kings XI Punjab by three runs last night in the IPL to keep their playoff hopes well and truly alive.

Read the full story HERE

Pollard's struck an important half-century. Image - IPL/Twitter.

Pollard struck an important half-century. Image – IPL/Twitter.

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IPL 2018 Fantasy: AB de Villiers and Shikhar Dhawan are safe options especially with their impressive records

Waseem Ahmed 17/05/2018
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In form: AB de Villiers (left). Image: IPL Twitter

Royal Challengers Bangalore come into their game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (Thursday, 6.30pm) on the back of two wins and it’s no surprise to see that two of their key batsman are finding their form at this crucial stage.

While Virat Kohli has scored 70 and 48no against Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab, AB de Villiers was not even needed in the team’s latest outing as they cruised to a 10-wicket win against Kings XI.

His 72no against Delhi was his fourth half-century in the IPL this season and with plenty of big hitters on both sides, the South African should be a dead certain for your fantasy team.

The batsman has an impressive record against Sunrisers’ bowlers, scoring 380 runs in his 219 balls with an average of 42.2 and strike-rate of 173.5.

Another option is to have Shikhar Dhawan. The Indian opener has been sensational for the 2016 winners and two successive half-centuries have made him the second-highest scorer in the tournament. If his recent record is anything to go by, he could well add to that tally. At the Chinnaswamy Stadium, he’s scored 246 runs in eight T20 innings with an average of 49.2.

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IPL 2018: Kieron Pollard says he never doubted himself after crucial half-century in Mumbai Indians' win

Sudhir Gupta 17/05/2018
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Pollard struck a half-century in 22 balls in Mumbai's three-run win.

It had been an IPL season to forget for Kieron Pollard before a change in fortunes on Wednesday as Mumbai Indians edged past Kings XI Punjab by three runs to keep their playoff hopes well and truly alive.

A run of just 76 runs combined in six previous innings had seen the West Indies all-rounder dropped from the playing XI after an incredible run of 33 consecutive starts.

Hence, when Pollard was reinstated to the squad in place of JP Duminy ahead of Wednesday’s crunch clash, the pressure on the 31-year-old’s massive shoulders was humungous.

Pollard’s time of reckoning would come soon into the match as Mumbai Indians were reduced to 71-4 by the visitors in a must-win clash. Taking his time to get settled, the West Indies star finally found some form as he smashed a 22-ball 50 which helped the side post 186-8 ultimately in their 20 overs.

It turned out to be an extremely vital contribution ultimately as Jasprit Bumrah inspired Mumbai to a narrow three-run win.

Speaking at the post-match ceremony, the relief of having finally come good was evident on Pollard’s face.

“First of all I want to thank god. I’ve seen, I’ve heard – it brought out something different. Doubt was never there. Thank god for that opportunity. Most importantly, we came out and we live to fight another day. Never easy in T20 cricket – there are a lot of different things. Thanks to god for the victory. We’ll go to Delhi and see what can come of that,” the Mumbai stalwart said.

Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma was all praise for the Trinidad-born man’s performance in the post-match presentation.

“Pollard has always been a match winner for us. Leaving him out was always a tough decision. We thought if JP Duminy is not getting opportunities down the order and that’s why we brought him back. He was very upset when he was left out and I was looking for that one opportunity to bring him back. He always stands up in the pressure situations,” Rohit said about Pollard.

With the West Indies man back in form, Mumbai Indians will be bullish about their chances of sealing a playoff spot.

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