Australia-New Zealand and India-Pakistan are the blockbuster games that headline the weekend that marks start of the T20 World Cup proper, meaning there’s loads of Draftstars slates to enjoy.
We’re here to offer some you some T20 World Cup Draftstars tips throughout the next few weeks wherever we can. But the big red flag this weekend is the grim forecast for games at the SCG and the MCG. Plenty of rain is forecast in Sydney and Melbourne respectively which may see games washed out or potentially shortened.
The outlook for Saturday’s Australia-New Zealand game in Sydney – thus the $15,000 Draftstars slate – looks a bit better (3-6mm at time of writing), so it may only be shortened whereby Draftstars strategy should be adjusted to focus on opening batsmen and bowlers, who’ll likely get maximum overs, rather than all-rounders who bat low and may not get a chance in either discipline.
The key games
Australia v New Zealand, SCG, Saturday October 22
Aaron Finch ($11,200 BAT) rediscovered some touch in Monday’s warm-up game against India with 76 from 54 balls, but struggled with 25 runs from three knocks in the recent England T20I series. If you want an opener given the rain, last year’s T20 World Cup Player of the Tournament David Warner ($20,000 BAT) is your man, but he’s obviously a lot more pricey than Finch. Kane Richardson ($9,700 BOW) took a 4fa against India on Monday, but he’ll likely miss out in Saturday’s XI.
Devon Conway was New Zealand’s best batsman in the recent T20I Triangular Series against Bangladesh and Pakistan, scoring 233 runs in five knocks as an opener. All-rounder Michael Bracewell ($15,300 BOW|BAT) was handy with the ball, taking eight wickets in five games and going at only 4.94 per over to win the Player of the Triangular Series award.
Back-up wicketkeeper Josh Inglis is out after a freak injury, with all-rounder Cameron Green ($16,800 BOW|BAT) replacing him in the squad. There was a strong wave of support behind a Green call-up after top scoring in the India T20I series, so he may be in the mix for the XI.
Daryl Mitchell ($8,800 BAT|BOW) fractured his right hand barely two weeks ago in the nets and is unlikely to play on Saturday. Lockie Ferguson ($14,100 BOW) has only just returned from an abdominal injury and didn’t seem at his best against South Africa.
“All-rounder Michael Bracewell was handy with the ball, taking eight wickets in five games, going at only 4.94 per over to win the Player of the Triangular Series award.”
All-rounders are always key in Draftstars (although don’t forget the rain factor), so do note that Mitch Marsh ($17,500 BAT|BOW) hasn’t bowled in his past five games as he nurses an ankle complaint. Expect Glenn Maxwell ($17,100 BAT|BOW) and Marcus Stoinis ($12,500 BAT|BOW) to share the fifth bowler overs, and possibly Tim David ($12,500 BAT), who’ll likely be included at Steve Smith’s ($11,000 BAT) expense in a late middle-order role. If weighing up whether Maxwell or Stoinis, the former managed only 24 runs from seven T20I knocks prior to making 23 off 16 against India, so maybe save your pennies.
Again, with the rain threatening this game, openers will be key and it appears Conway and cheap youngster Finn Allen ($10,300 BAT) will be preferred over Martin Guptill ($11,200 BAT). Left-arm quick Trent Boult ($18,800 BOW) is always dangerous up front. Jimmy Neesham ($9,500 BAT|BOW) and Bracewell are the likely all-rounders, batting six and seven, with a share of the fifth bowler overs.
India v Pakistan, MCG, Sunday October 23
Opening batsman KL Rahul, who was this year’s second leading IPL scorer, made 57 off 33 balls in Monday’s warm-up game, having scored 108 runs in two games in a recent T20I series against South Africa. Suryakumar Yadav, who’ll likely bat four, is in red-hot form, scoring 50 from 33 against Australia after being India’s leading scorer in recent T20I series against SA and Australia.
Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored plenty of runs in Pakistan’s Triangular Series win in NZ this month, but Mohammad Nawaz‘s all-rounder efforts shouldn’t be ignored, scoring 107 runs in five knocks (getting out only twice) with a strike rate of 160, while taking six wickets with his slow left-arm orthodox. Nawaz also was equal third leading wicket-taker at the recent Asia Cup. Note that the aforementioned Rizwan was top scorer in the Asia Cup, averaging 56.2.
Gun India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah is out of the World Cup with a back injury, opening the door for Mohammed Shami to take up a key role. Shami took 20 wickets in the IPL this year, so he’s a great replacement.
Pakistani leg-spinner Usman Qadir is ruled out with a thumb injury, replaced in the squad by batsman Fakhar Zaman – originally been dropped due to poor form and an ongoing knee issue. Qadir’s selection was a bit of a surprise, so that shouldn’t impact much.
“Mohammad Nawaz’s all-rounder efforts shouldn’t be ignored, scoring 107 runs in five knocks (getting out only twice) with a strike rate of 160, while taking six wickets with his slow left-arm orthodox.”
Shami is set for the death overs role with the ball in Bumrah’s absence, excelling with a match-winning 3-4 in a one-off 20th over against Australia on Monday.
All-rounder Ravi Jadeja is absent for India with a knee injury, opening up an opportunity for Hardik Pandya or Axar Patel to shine with both bat and ball. Since returning from a back injury, Pandya has accumulated 436 runs at an average of 36.33 and a strike rate of 151.38. He also has 12 wickets.
Nawaz, who was Player of the Final in the Triangular Series, may bat in the top five for Pakistan and bowl four overs in a dream Draftstars role. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan is a capable hitter, who batted at eight and bowled four overs in the Asia Cup final.
Afghanistan v England, Perth Stadium, Saturday October 22
Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi ($15,500 BOW|BAT) brings in stellar form after blazing knocks off 51* and 41* in warm-up games against Pakistan and Bangladesh this week.
England skipper Jos Buttler ($20,100 BAT) is hard to look past, having top scored in the IPL earlier this year, before dominating at this venue earlier this month with 68 from 32 balls against Australia. He made 150 runs in three knocks in that series as an opener.
Liam Livingstone ($18,800 BAT|BOW) has been recovering from an ankle injury but played in this week’s warm-up game, making 28 off 16 batting at four and taking one wicket. Good role.
Sri Lanka v Ireland, Blundstone Arena, Sunday October 23
Wanindu Hasaranga took 16 wickets in eight games in last year’s T20 World Cup, was the recent Asia Cup Player of the Series and had the second-most wickets in this year’s IPL, so you know he’s going to be dangerous against top batsmen. Claimed seven dismissals in three qualifiers this week.
Irish all-rounder Curtis Campher took a hat-trick at last year’s T20 World Cup and made 99 runs in two knocks in the qualifying round along with two wickets.
“Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi brings in stellar form after blazing knocks off 51* and 41* in warm-up games against Pakistan and Bangladesh this week.”
Bangladesh v Netherlands, Blundstone Arena, Monday October 24
All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan went without a wicket in the recent Triangular Series in NZ, but he was effective with the bat, making 154 at a strike rate of 150+.
Dutch opening batsman Max O’Dowd was their leading scorer in the qualifiers with 129 runs from three knocks so he’s someone to keep an eye on.
SA v Zimbabwe, Blundstone Arena, Monday October 24
Proteas top order batsman Rilee Rossouw has had a stellar year, with the second most runs in England’s T20 Blast. He belted 54* from 32 balls in a warm-up against NZ this week. Aiden Markram has scored 25+ runs in his past six T20Is and offers an occasional off-break option.
Sikandar Raza was the top scorer in the World Cup qualifying round with 136 runs with a strike rate of 170+, while he also took five wickets making him an ideal Draftstars option. Blessing Muzarabani is a quality Zimbabwean bowling option, taking six wickets in the previous round.
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