New Zealand take on Bangladesh in Friday’s ICC Champions Trophy Group A match in Cardiff. Here’s the lowdown on who to transfer into your fantasy team ahead of this crucial encounter.
New Zealand succumbed to an 87-run defeat to England in Cardiff on Tuesday. Monday’s clash between Bangladesh and Australia was a no result. Australia was cruising at 83/1 after 16 overs chasing Bangladesh’s total of 182 when the rain denied a natural conclusion.
Dangerman: Martin Guptill (7.0)
New Zealand’s aggressive opener is currently ranked 8th in the ICC ODI Batting Rankings. He made a double-century in the quarter-final of the 2015 World Cup and has earned contracts with the IPL, Big Bash and CPL, which is testament to the danger he poses at the top of the order. In his 145 ODIs, Guptill has hit 5,467 ODI runs at 43.38 with a strike-rate of 87.69, including 12 hundreds and 32 fifties. The 30-year-old averages 56.27 in England – he has more fun here than in any other country that features in this tournament – and 74.50 in 2017. With scores of 26 and 27 in this tournament so far, Guptill is due a biggie.
Last five ODI scores: 61, 180*, 4, 26, 27
Dangerman: Tamim Iqbal (6.0)
The Bangladesh opener topped the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 run-scoring charts after week one with 223 runs, having taken 128 and 95 runs from England and Australia’s bowlers respectively. He’s Bangladesh’s talisman, its most consistent performer and their main hope of causing an upset. Openers are always useful in fantasy cricket; they’ve got the best opportunity to spend a large time at the crease, post big scores and, ultimately, rake in plenty of points. Even if Bangladesh don’t get out the group, you can make unlimited transfers between the end of the group stage and the first semi-final.
Last five ODI scores: 23, 47, 65, 128, 95
Wildcard: Adam Milne (3.5)
The New Zealand speedster goes for runs but picks up wickets, illustrated by his 3/79 off 10 overs against England. He also got two wickets in two overs against Australia. Milne’s express pace could trouble Bangladesh’s batsmen in their final group match; Bangladesh’s top-order struggled to get Australia’s pace battery away before Mitchell Starc cleaned up the tail. While Trent Boult and Tim Southee are New Zealand’s premier fast bowlers, Milne has the X-Factor and will be ordered to bowl fast and make things happen. The 25-year-old needs to reduce his ODI bowling average of 37.18 and economy rate of 5.21, but at 3.5 he’s well worth the risk.
0-58, 1-42, 1-29, 2-9, 3-79
Absolute steal: Luke Ronchi (3.5)
Ok, he may have got a golden duck against England courtesy of Jake Ball, but the hard-hitting New Zealand opener is well worth the measly 3.5 valuation. He hadn’t been in the best of touch and there were question marks over whether he would make the XI, but a 43-ball 65 including nine fours and three sixes against Australia in the Kiwis’ first match of the tournament is likely to keep him in the side for the duration. Very much from the school of ‘go hard or go home’, expect fireworks.
Last five ODI scores: 27, 35, 2, 65, 0
The signs are good for No. 3 batsman Kane Williamson. The New Zealand skipper averages 63.16 in ODIs in England, and 49.80 against Bangladesh. He also averages 47.76 in global ODI tournaments that feature five teams or more and 72 from his five ICC Champions Trophy games – almost doubling his ICC World Cup average of 37.
Top transfer tip:
17 of the 20 wickets taken in Tuesday’s ICC Champions Trophy 2017 match between England and New Zealand at Cardiff – the host ground for this one – were taken by fast bowlers. Milne, Southee and Boult therefore demand serious attention; more so than Bangladesh’s quicks, who have only taken two wickets between them in their opening two games, although one was rain-abandoned 16 overs into their bowling innings.