Fantasy XI recommendations for the IPL 2022 opener between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders
March 26: Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Wankhede Stadium
Safe XI: Sam Billings, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad (capt), Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer (vice-capt), Ravindra Jadeja, Varun Chakravarthy, Dwayne Bravo, Maheesh Theekshana
Captain: Ruturaj Gaikwad
Gaikwad was IPL 2021’s highest run-getter, with 635 runs in 16 games at an average of 45.35, which makes him the best captaincy choice for this season’s opener. His scores against Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL are 72, 64, 40 and 32. On a few occasions, he has been slightly troubled by overseas quicks early on in the innings, but in the absence of Pat Cummins, expect Gaikwad to make an immediate impact.
Vice-captain: Shreyas Iyer
Knight Riders’ new captain and India’s in-form batter Shreyas Iyer is an automatic choice for one of the captaincy roles. His last three T20I scores for India were 73*, 74* and 57*, and he has scored 549 runs in 11 innings across formats for India since the start of this year.
Venkatesh Iyer: He was the find of the 2021 season, the second-highest run-scorer in the UAE leg last year with 370 runs in ten games at an average of 41.11. He has been working on his bowling too and will likely chip in and get you some bowling points as well.
Ravindra Jadeja: Super Kings’ new captain has been enjoying a purple patch with the bat for some time now. The new role will mean he is likely to bat higher up the order and score runs heavily for his side. The last time he played at the Wankhede Stadium, he scored a superb 62* off 28 balls and returned figures of 4-1-13-3, against Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, which earned him the Player-of-the-Match award
Devon Conway: The IPL debutant has been scoring runs heavily across formats in the last couple of years. He has scored 1303 runs in 37 innings at an average of 50.12 and a strike rate of 131.22 in T20s since the start of 2020. With Moeen Ali missing this game, he is a sure starter.
Maheesh Theekshana: Theekshana is the latest mystery spinner on the block. He has been effective in powerplays picking up 16 wickets in 25 T20 innings at an outstanding economy of 6.52.
High Risk XI: MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu, Robin Uthappa, Shreyas Iyer, Andre Russell (capt), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-capt), Sunil Narine, Shivam Dube, Chris Jordan, Tim Southee, Varun Chakravarthy