The Indian T20 League may be over, but there remains so much cricket to be played in 2022. India have several high-profile matches across formats before they battle it out to win the T20 World Cup for the first time since 2007 in Australia later this year. There are also other T20 tournaments being played around the world, along with marquee bilateral series. If you’re new to the fantasy sports space, apps like Howzat will provide you with plenty of fantasy cricket tips as you go along. Pay attention and sharpen your skills, and focus on the tips and tricks that can be the difference between winning and losing.
In sports, as in many other aspects of life, there is no substitute for preparation. The teams or players that have done the most work leading up to a tournament usually end up with the best performances. Fantasy cricket online is no different. If you think you can just log in 10 minutes before a match starts, pick an XI and expect to win, think again. There may be the rare exception, but in most cases, such an approach is not recommended.
If you’re new to fantasy cricket, first familiarize yourself with the tournament or series being played. How have these teams performed against each other in the past? What kind of record does a certain player have against this opposition? Once you’re aware of this, you can make far more informed choices when it comes to selecting your team.
Unlike most other mainstream sports, cricket results are heavily influenced by the playing conditions – both weather and pitches. They impact selection as well. Matches played in extreme heat tend to be on dry, grassless pitches. Such conditions usually favour batters and spin bowlers. Taking wickets on such pitches is a hard task. Teams usually end up picking more specialist batters and bowlers in such conditions. It’s a different story on a well-grassed pitch with cloudy overhead conditions. Seam and swing bowlers tend to thrive on such surfaces. For such games, it’s common for teams to lengthen the batting order by picking more all-rounders. They will chip in with the ball too. These inclusions usually come at the expense of specialist batters or bowlers, especially spinners.
Once you’re done with your fantasy app download, there’s one little detail to remember. Having some cricket knowledge undoubtedly helps you pick a team. But fantasy cricket diverges from the on-field version in a variety of ways too. So it’s important to shed some conventional thinking before you pick your XI. To begin with, fantasy cricket selectors have the luxury of picking players from both teams. Unlike real-world selectors, who have to try and cover any weaknesses in their ranks as best they can, you have the best of two worlds. If one team has a relatively weak bowling line-up, you can pack your XI with as many bowlers as you can from the other side. In fantasy cricket, you also have to pick only a minimum of each type of player – wicketkeeper, batter, all-rounder and bowler. A traditional cricket team usually has 4 or 5 specialist batters, a wicketkeeper and 4-5 specialist bowlers. You can deviate from that pattern as much as you want, though. Depending on the conditions, you could pack your side with all-rounders or batters. There’s also nothing stopping you from picking several wicketkeepers for your XI.
For an actual cricket team, selecting a captain is a long process. Selectors consider a multitude of factors before making their choice. A player’s experience, career record, personality and ability to handle external pressures like the media are all taken into account before appointing him or her as captain. Usually, selectors have a vision for at least a couple of years. Short-term appointments tend to be rare, unless it’s to cover for injury or some other absence. When picking a captain for your fantasy cricket XI, though, you don’t need to consider any of these factors. All that matters is that your captain scores 2x points, and your vice-captain 1.5x when you’re playing fantasy cricket on Howzat. So, it doesn’t matter if you choose a 15-year veteran or an unknown Under-19 star. You just need to make sure your captain is likely to score the most points for you. Every other factor is irrelevant.
No matter how clever you think your selections are, chances are that your XI will have at least 5-6 players in common with most others. How then do you get an advantage when it comes to the big contests? It comes down in part to the preparation aspect discussed earlier. If you keep a close eye on the matches being played, you’ll know which not-so-popular picks are doing well. As an example, few expected H. Patel to be the leading wicket-taker in the 2021 Indian T20 League. But those who started picking him soon after his opening day heroics won plenty of points and contests, while those who waited to see if he was a flash in the pan missed out.
If you follow these tips, chances are that you’ll be challenging the top of the leaderboard. Download the Howzat app, practise as much as you like with the unlimited free games, and then take on the loyal cricket fans for the big prizes. Fantasy cricket will transform the way you watch your favorite sport.