IPL 2019 Fantasy: Mitchell Santner and Shikhar Dhawan among top picks for CSK vs Delhi Capitals

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CSK all-rounder Mitchell Santner. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

The 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) season heads into match 50 with defending champions Chennai Super Kings set to host Delhi Capitals on Wednesday.

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

Shikhar Dhawan – Delhi Capitals (10 credits)

A big reason for where Delhi are in the league table currently has been the form of Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the batting order.

The experienced opener had an indifferent start to his campaign upon his return to his hometown franchise, but things have finally started to click for him in recent matches.

Dhawan comes into the clash on the back of three-consecutive half-centuries which has taken his overall tournament tally to five. The southpaw is averaging 41 with the bat with a total of 451 runs and is on course to surpass his best ever IPL campaign in 2012 where he scored 569 runs.

Dhawan is equally effective against both pace and spin and that should hold him in good stead on the slower surface at Chennai.

BOWLER

Kagiso Rabada – Delhi Capitals (9.5 credits)

Though the pitch at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium might be a spinner’s paradise, Delhi pacer Kagiso Rabada gets our nod due to his sheer consistency across all types of pitches in the 2019 edition.

Despite playing his home matches at the sluggish Feroz Shah Kotla track at Delhi, the South African ace has still managed to find ways to pick up wickets at an incredible consistency.

Rabada continues to lead the IPL 2019 wicket-taking charts by some distance with 25 dismissals in 12 outings while going at less than eight runs an over. That he is picking up a wicket almost every 11 deliveries this year is reason alone to lead with him in any Fantasy line ups.

ALL-ROUNDER

Mitchell Santner – Chennai Super Kings (8.5 credits)

After missing the entire 2018 edition due to a terrible knee injury, Mitchell Santner is finally showing why CSK placed such immense faith in his abilities.

The New Zealand all-rounder had to bide his time on the bench in the first-half of the campaign, but he has wasted no time in seizing his opportunity when it finally arrived.

His left-arm orthodox spin has fetched four wickets in as many games so far, but it is his economy-rate of just 6.71 which has been eye-catching. Santner was terrific in the last game against Mumbai where he picked up two wickets in his four overs while conceding just 13 runs and was unlucky to still end up on the losing side.

With the bat, the Kiwi has hardly had any opportunities but has delivered when called upon with his last-ball six to win the match against Rajasthan Royals being the biggest example.

WICKETKEEPER

MS Dhoni – Chennai Super Kings (9.5 credits)

India’s current and future wicketkeeping hopes go head-to-head with MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant lining up on opposite sides. However, it is the veteran who pips Pant in our line up due to his advantage of playing in home conditions.

Dhoni and Pant have had almost similar campaigns with 314 and 341 runs respectively so far, but the former is averaging more than 104 with bat while the latter is going at 34.30.

Dhoni is simply the lifeline of CSK and his absence clearly showed in his side’s 46-run loss to Mumbai Indians. The Chennai skipper will be eager to finish the home stretch on a high so that a place in the Qualifier 1 which takes place at the Chepauk stadium can be secured.

His wicketkeeping abilities are second to none in the IPL and can be expected to fetch plenty more bonus Fantasy points as well.

CAPTAIN – MS Dhoni

VICE CAPTAIN – Shikhar Dhawan

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IPL 2019: Gayle believes fellow KXIP opener KL Rahul can be India's long-term batting mainstay

Sudhir Gupta 30/04/2019
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KXIP openers Gayle and Rahul. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Chris Gayle has lauded his Kings XI Punjab opening partner KL Rahul and believes that the right-handed batsman can serve Indian cricket for a long time to come.

Rahul had a disappointing 2018 in India colours with the Karnataka-born batsman having a dismal time on the tours of England and Australia. However, the 27-year-old has bounced back into form in the ongoing 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign for KXIP and has also found a place in India’s squad for the upcoming World Cup.

In 12 IPL innings this season, Rahul has managed to score 520 runs at an average of nearly 58 with the help of one ton and four half-centuries. Gayle, who is having an excellent individual campaign himself, believes that Rahul can be India’s best long-term batting mainstay after skipper Virat Kohli.

“KL is definitely one of the players that comes to my mind (when you talk about the current India players), I hope he produces the goods like Virat. After Virat, it should be him,” Gayle was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India (PTI).

“But it is not necessary for him to put himself under that kind of pressure, he needs to be himself, stay in his zone and try not to compete with anyone.

KL Rahul is in sensational form. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

KL Rahul is in sensational form. Image – BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

“You have a lot of talent in India, I could go on and on and most of them don’t even get the opportunity.”

Kings XI’s hopes of making the IPL play-offs took a big beating on Monday when they were handed a 45-run defeat by Sunrisers Hyderabad. Ravi Ashwin and his men are now in sixth spot in the table with two games to play but Gayle is still confident of the side’s chances of progressing to the final four.

“Two years I have been here (KXIP) and it has been phenomenal. I love the Punjab style. I am getting to work with a great bunch of people and hopefully we can do something special for the franchise. The aim is get to the play-offs and take it from there,” the ‘Universe Boss’ stated.

Gayle and Rahul will next be in action for KXIP on Friday when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders in a crunch clash.

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IPL 2019: Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith - Shreyas Gopal is the complete package

Sudhir Gupta 30/04/2019
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Rajasthan Royals leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith is hoping to sign off from the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) with a win against Royal Challengers Bangalore when the two sides meet on Tuesday.

It will be the final IPL game of the campaign for Smith who will then join up with the Australia ODI squad for its 2019 World Cup preparations. Smith and his men are currently seventh on the IPL table with 10 points and need to win both their remaining clashes – against RCB and Delhi Capitals – to have any chance of making the play-offs.

“It is important for us to win the last two games to give us any chance to qualify for playoffs. I hope the boys would get over the line tomorrow and defeat Delhi Capitals thereafter,” Smith said on the eve of the clash.

The Rajasthan skipper was full of praise for leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal who has been a revelation for the franchise this season. The Karnataka-born spinner has picked up 15 wickets from his 12 outings so far and is in fifth spot in the IPL 2019 wicket-taking charts.

“He has been terrific for us. Every time we have given him the ball, he has done the job for us. He has taken big wickets. He has varied skill sets. He bowls googlies, sliders and mixes things up,” said Smith.

“Also, his batting is under-rated. He has come in and played some very handy cameos at the end. He has also taken good catches. His package of cricket has been huge for us,” he added.

Smith returned to the IPL after a one-year absence following his involvement in the infamous ball-tampering saga which occurred in Cape Town and has managed to register three half-centuries in 11 innings on his comeback.

As he now prepares to return to the Australia squad after more than a year, Smith believes his IPL stint will hold him in good stead to prepare for the rigours of 50-over cricket.

“Personally for me, playing IPL is to spend some time in the middle to take on quality opposition and best players,” he stated.

“I think T20 cricket almost prepares you well for 50 overs cricket. It is an extended version of T20 cricket, the way it has been played in the last two years,” he added.

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