IPL 2019 Fantasy: Rashid Khan and Andre Russell among top picks for SRH v KKR

Ashish Peter 20/04/2019
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David Warner and Rashid Khan. Image - BCCI/SPORTSZPICS.

The 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) season heads into match 39 with Sunrisers Hyderabad set to host Kolkata Knight Riders in the second game of Sunday’s double-header.

As fans, watching the action is not the only thing to look forward to – IPL fantasy games mean you have the opportunity to get involved as well.

As the IPL’s official partner, Dream11 runs a daily contest for each game apart from the default format which is conducted per round.

Here, we focus on helping you navigate your way through the former.

BATSMAN

David Warner – Sunrisers Hyderabad (11 credits)

Five fifties and one excellent ton are David Warner’s returns in eight innings so far following his return to the IPL after a one-year absence.

No other overseas batsman has quite stamped his authority on the competition like the Australian who is now on the verge of bringing up 4,500 runs in the IPL.

Warner has been averaging a staggering 75 with the bat in the ongoing campaign while his strike-rate has remained above 145. It seemed that the Aussie opener had gone off the boil after registering scores of 10 and 15 but he has responded strongly with three half-centuries on the trot in the run up to Sunday’s clash.

With the stay of Australia’s World Cup players in the IPL coming to an end soon, Warner will be even more determined to pile on the runs before he makes his exit.

BOWLER

Rashid Khan – Sunrisers Hyderabad (9 credits)

The Afghanistan star has not been as prolific as he would like to be in the 2019 campaign which has seen him fetch eight wickets in as many matches.

However, it is worth noting that Rashid’s formidable T20 reputation has seen opposition batsmen treat him with plenty of respect and that has shown in his terrific economy-rate of just 5.59.

The No1 ranked T20 bowler in the world is a livewire on the field while also being a handy bat and that should always see him remain among the points.

And should a situation arise that KKR’s batsmen are forced to take him on due to scoreboard pressure, expect Rashid to then swell his wicket-tally by some margin.

ALL-ROUNDER

Andre Russell – Kolkata Knight Riders (10.5 credits)

The West Indies all-rounder is the only KKR pick in our fantasy recommendations and it is somewhat befitting given that he has largely been a one-man army for the franchise this campaign.

The Andre Russell show refuses to end just yet in the IPL this year with the KKR man once again raining down the sixes in a power-packed display on Friday which saw him strike nine sixes in a 25-ball 65 against RCB.

It means that Russell has failed to score at least 45 runs only once in the eight innings he has played so far with his tournament tally now extending to 377.

An incredible 234 of those runs have come through sixes (39) alone with several IPL bowling attacking already pulverised into oblivion. Not many bowlers have been spared the wrath of the Windies man who has chipped in with seven wickets with the ball as well to boot.

His fitness might have Windies and KKR fans concerned but Russell was still tonking the ball all across the park on Friday despite being in visible discomfort.

WICKETKEEPER

Jonny Bairstow – Sunrisers Hyderabad (10 credits)

While Warner has been excellent at the top for Hyderabad, his opening partner Jonny Bairstow has almost matched him step-for-step.

The England wicketkeeper batsman has managed to score 365 runs so far in eight innings at an average greater than 52 while his strike-rate has been better than Warner’s at 153.36.

Like his opening partner, Bairstow too has bounced back from a minor blip with the bat with scores of 41 and 61 not out in his most recent outings. England’s World Cup players too will be making their way back soon so Bairstow will want to pack a punch in his remaining engagements for the franchise.

CAPTAIN – Andre Russell

VICE CAPTAIN – Jonny Bairstow

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IPL 2019: Ponting making way for Rohit and other instances of mid-season captaincy changes

Ashish Peter 20/04/2019
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Rohit replaced Ponting as Mumbai skipper in 2013.

The first captaincy casualty of the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) arrived with Steve Smith replacing Ajinkya Rahane as skipper of Rajasthan Royals for the remainder of the campaign.

An indifferent run which saw the Royals lose six of their eight clashes so far proved to be expensive for Rahane with the franchise adopting a fresh approach in a bid to raise their play-off hopes.

It is not the first instance of a franchise replacing the captain midway through the season.

Here, we take a look at some of the more notable captaincy changes in IPL’s history.

GILCHRIST REPLACES LAXMAN (2008)

Deccan Chargers

The very first captaincy upheaval occurred in the inaugural edition itself with VVS Laxman stepping down from the now defunct Deccan Charger’s captaincy.

The right-hander had been picked as the franchise’s icon player in the preceding auction but his own form was suspect while the team continued to face loss after loss.

Laxman was then out for a large stretch with an injury where Adam Gilchrist took over the reins before the team management ultimately decided to appoint the Aussie on a full-time basis. It did little to change Deccan Charger’s fortunes with the side finishing bottom of the table with just two wins in 14 games.

KOHLI IN FOR VETTORI (2012)

Royal Challengers Bangalore

While he was appointed as the full-time skipper of Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013, Virat Kohli took charge for eight matches in the 2012 edition after Daniel Vettori’s dismal showings.

The New Zealand spinner was replaced from the playing XI altogether with Kohli appointed in his place. The now India skipper’s brief 2012 tenure was a highly successful one with the team stringing together six wins under his captaincy before narrowly missing out on play-off qualification.

The India superstar has retained that captaincy ever since but a maiden IPL title continues to elude RCB.

Kohli (r) almost took RCB to the play-offs after taking over.

Kohli (r) almost took RCB to the play-offs after taking over.

WHITE REPLACES SANGAKKARA (2012)

Deccan Chargers

In what was the first instance of a skipper voluntarily stepping down from his role in the IPL, Deccan Chargers captain Kumar Sangakkara stepped down midseason following his poor individual form.

Australia all-rounder Cameron White was then appointed to the vacant rule but it still failed to bring about a desired turnaround for the franchise who finished ninth in the 10-team competition.

Sangakkara stepped down of his own accord.

Sangakkara stepped down of his own accord.

PONTING DROPS HIMSELF FOR ROHIT (2013)

Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians skipper Ricky Ponting took a cue from Sangakkara’s selfless act in the subsequent edition after scoring just 52 runs with the bat in the first six matches of the campaign.

The Australian legend’s decision to step down proved to be a masterstroke with Mumbai stitching together a fairytale run under new skipper Rohit Sharma.

The franchise won eight of the 10 remaining league fixtures to sneak into the play-offs before beating Chennai Super Kings in the final to claim their maiden IPL title. Rohit has since added two more titles to Mumbai’s kitty.

Rohit has now led Mumbai Indians to three IPL titles.

Rohit has now led Mumbai Indians to three IPL titles.

SMITH REPLACES WATSON (2015)

Rajasthan Royals

Smith replacing Rahane is not the first the Australia batsman has taken over midway through an IPL campaign for Rajasthan.

The top-order batsman had done something similar in the 2015 edition with the franchise when his compatriot Shane Watson decided to step down quietly in a bid to concentrate on his own form.

Under Smith, the Royals did enjoy a late surge before missing out on play-off qualification after a dramatic loss to Mumbai Indians.

Watson stepped down in a bid to resurrect his own form.

Watson stepped down in a bid to resurrect his own form.

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IPL 2019: Steve Smith replaces Ajinkya Rahane as Rajasthan Royals captain

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Rahane (l) and Smith. Images: BCCI/Sportzpics.

Australia star batsman Steve Smith will lead Rajasthan Royals for the remainder of the IPL season after the franchise removed Ajinkya Rahane from the position on Saturday following an indifferent first half.

Smith was the original leader of the team but the ball-tampering episode last year led to change in hierarchy. But after six defeats from eight games this season and with Rahane himself not in the best of forms, the Rajasthan management has hit the reset button in order to get their campaign back on track.

In a statement, Rajasthan stated that “Ajinkya Rahane did a fantastic job in leading the team to the playoffs last year, however, the franchisee now thinks a fresh approach is needed to bring their 2019 campaign back on track.”

Zubin Bharucha, Head of Cricket for Rajasthan Royals, said: “Ajinkya is and will always be a true Royal. He led the team to the play offs in 2018 in a very challenging scenario and that will go down as one of the great comebacks of the IPL. He remains a key part of our side and leadership team and will extend support wherever required to Steve.

“Steve is one of the most innovative and successful captains in the world, in all formats of the game. We are confident he can lead the Royals to success.”

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