Injuries and unknowns mean Friday night’s $12,000 DraftStars slate between Australia and Afghanistan could bring about some variety in the selected teams, offering everyone a chance at that cold hard cash.
Australia must win and ideally they’d get a big NRR boost against a side already eliminated from the T20 World Cup, so their middle order may have a dash if they bat first. Or maybe they won’t even get a go, if they bowl first. Plus there’s selection drama too. Decisions really need to be made in that final 30 minutes before the first ball.
The World Cup group stage wraps up this weekend, with more intriguing fixtures between England and Sri Lanka on Saturday, along with Sunday’s India-Zimbabwe game.
As the final group games, you really need to be monitoring the final XIs at coin toss and making last-minute calls, but we’re here to try help you as much as possible in advance.
The key games
Australia v Afghanistan, Adelaide Oval, Friday November 4 7pm AEDT
The pick of the Aussie bunch from a Draftstars perspective are the all-rounders Glenn Maxwell ($17,400 BAT|BOW) and Marcus Stoinis ($17,600 BAT|BOW), who are averaging 62.9 and 62.4 DS points per game. Australia must win this game and ideally gather some NRR so they’ll likely be chasing runs fast, especially in the latter stage of their batting innings with both these players to come in at four and five, so they loom as shrewd picks. David Warner ($19,000 BAT) has been in awful batting form all World Cup. You’d never write him off, but at that price, it’s not a punt worth taking.
Rashid Khan ($18,400 BOW), who will be playing on the ground of his BBL side, is very consistent and will likely get a wicket and an economy-rate bonus, but fellow spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman ($15,900 BOW) is $2.5k cheaper and in decent form, after DS scores of 68 and 65. Expect both to trouble the Aussies.
“With the in-form Cameron Green set to replace Aaron Finch at the top of the order, he becomes a decent option, especially if he takes up Marcus Stoinis’ overs should he be not fit to bowl after a midweek hamstring scan.”
There’s a bit going on in this department but we can declare Marcus Stoinis ($17,600 BAT|BOW) and Rashid Khan ($18,400 BOW) have both been cleared to play after hamstring and knee issues. That may impact Stoinis’ ability to bowl though.
The outlook appears more bleak for Australian opener Aaron Finch ($13,600 BAT) who twinged his hamstring last game, with Cameron Green ($15,200 BOW|BAT) set to replace him, potentially at the top of the order, making him a decent option, especially if he takes up Stoinis’ overs. Green was in excellent form prior to the World Cup, leading to his late call-up for Josh Inglis.
Middle-order finisher Tim David ($9,200 BAT) is also in doubt with a hamstring issue, with Steve Smith ($14,900 BAT) in line to replace him, but that role isn’t great for points. Keep an eye on the Australia team at the coin toss along with the batting order if they’re in first.
With those injuries in mind, keep an eye on the Australia team at the coin toss along with the batting order if they’re in first. Green ($15,200 BOW|BAT) isn’t as cheap as hoped, but if he’s opening the batting and possibly bowling, he should be strongly considered. We don’t mind Mitchell Starc’s ($15,300 BOW) wicket-taking ability in his new middle-overs bowling role, especially given how he got the ball moving against Ireland. He may dine out on the Afghan middle order.
Ex-Afghan captain Mohammad Nabi ($15,400 BOW|BAT) has batted six and bowled a few overs in each of their completed games and is very familiar with Australian conditions, playing plenty of BBL.
England v Sri Lanka, SCG, Saturday November 5 7pm AEDT
Besides for England’s win over New Zealand last game, their batsmen have struggled, with Sam Curran stepping up as their form player, taking nine wickets in three games. He bowls the right overs for wickets to fall. Maybe Jos Buttler snapped his lean World Cup run with his 73 from 46 balls against the Black Caps. Buttler’s also taken six catches in three games to keep his scoring ticking.
After being smashed by the Aussies, Wanindu Hasaranga has responded with back-to-back strong displays, taking 1-22 against New Zealand and 3-13 against Afghanistan. He starred against England at last year’s World Cup, taking 3-21 and making 34 off 21 balls.
Nothing of note for England. Sri Lanka have had no luck with injuries, losing fast bowlers Bimura Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera and Dilshan Madushanka, so guys like Kasun Rajitha are stepping in.
“Wanindu Hasaranga starred against England at last year’s World Cup, taking 3-21 and making 34 off 21 balls.”
Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali both batted in the top four and bowled last game, but that’s not always the case. Livingstone is the one many Draftstars coaches will want, given he’s been used with the ball much more than Ali, but England will only elevate him if the situation requires it, so keep an eye on that whole NRR thing. He’s hard to look past, even without any guarantees on the batting position.
Dhananjaya De Silva was Player of the Match against Afghanistan and possesses an excellent role, batting first drop and bowling occasional right-arm offbreaks. He’s taken a wicket in his past four games and has scores of 66*, 0, 26 and 31 with the bat.
India v Zimbabwe, MCG, Sunday November 6 7pm AEDT
Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav have saved the day for India throughout this tournament, with struggles for many around them. Kohli is the World Cup top scorer with 220 runs with a 144 strike rate, while SKY has excellent in his middle-order role, with 180 strike rate offering big bonus points. Left-armer Arshdeep Singh has bowled powerplay and death overs and been dangerous in them, taking nine wickets.
Besides for the rain-ruined South Africa game, fast bowler Richard Ngarava has managed an economy rate of 6 or lower in all group games.
Nothing new for either side.
All-rounder Axar Patel returned to the India XI for the Bangladesh clash after being replaced by Deepak Hooda for the loss to South Africa. He offers a sixth bowling option, although he’s only bowled six overs in the three games he’s played. Fellow all-rounder Hardik Pandya has bowled 12 overs in his four games, taking six wickets and batted above Axar last game.
Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza hasn’t been able to put together a game in the group stage where he’s excelled with both bat and ball, but he’s been the side’s big X-factor. He comes in at five and generally bowls his full quota, although he only bowled one over in the loss to the Dutch.
Ireland v New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Adelaide Oval, Friday November 4 3pm AEDT
The Irish have lost 28 wickets in their three completed group-stage games, so Black Caps’ bowlers should be targeted, headlined by Tim Southee, Mitch Santner and Trent Boult – despite his blemish against England. Lorcan Tucker showed he can swing the bat against the top sides, with a blazing 71* from 48 balls against the Aussies, following on from 34 off 27 against England.
Netherlands v South Africa, Adelaide Oval, Sunday November 6 11am AEDT
The Proteas need to win to secure a semi-finals spot, so don’t expect anything funny in terms of selection. South Africa’s revered attack should capitalise on a Dutch batting line-up that is yet to score more than 135 in the group stage (hello, economy rate bonus points) and has lost 54 wickets in seven games, including the first round. The pace of Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi will trouble them. David Miller missed last game with back spasms.
“South Africa’s revered attack should capitalise on a Dutch batting line-up that is yet to score more than 135 in the group stage and has lost 54 wickets in seven games.”
Bangladesh v Pakistan, Adelaide Oval, Sunday November 6 3pm AEDT
Pakistan will know their fate, depending on South Africa’s result. Should it be a dead rubber, that may throw in some anomalies so monitor that. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have struggled for runs all tournament, so fade them. Bangladesh’s Litton Das clubbed 69 from 42 balls last time they met Pakistan in a T20I and impressed with 60 off 27 against India on Wednesday.
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