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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Tournament Contest: Round 1 – Official Fantasy Cricket Tips

South Africa features in two matches while India doesn't play any games in the first round.

Australia
Australia. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The official Tournament contest fantasy for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is similar to that of the IPL 2019. The tournament is split into 11 rounds including nine of them covering the 45-match league phase. A maximum of five free trades are available for each round starting from the 3rd round as unlimited changes can be done before the first two rounds. The first round comprises of the first five matches of the tournament.

Here is our fantasy guide for the first round of the ICC World Cup 2019 tournament contest:

(Can be played on ICC Cricket website)

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Round 1 schedule [Match 1 to Match 5] – South Africa plays two matches while India doesn’t feature in any game in this round. All the remaining eight teams play at least one match.


Wicket-Keepers:

SuggestionQuinton de Kock

AlternativesShai Hope, Jos Buttler

Economical PicksKusal Mendis

Quinton de Kock’s best records in ODI format came against Bangladesh and England whom South Africa will play in this round. His recent form makes him an easy selection from the keepers’ category. The likes of Shai Hope and Jos Buttler can be picked among keepers but surely not ahead of De Kock.


Batsmen:

SuggestionsFaf du Plessis, Chris Gayle, Babar Azam, Jonny Bairstow, Martin Guptill

AlternativesRoss Taylor, David Warner

Economical PicksRassie van der Dussen, Dimuth Karunaratne

Faf du Plessis has been in sensational form in the limited-overs format of late and as he will play two matches in this round, he is a must. Jonny Bairstow has been quite consistent as an ODI opener and is in the form of his life. His opening partner Jason Roy has poor numbers against Proteas and can be ignored. Chris Gayle and Babar Azam will be facing off at the much-hyped Trent Bridge. Dimuth Karunaratne showed a glimpse of what he can offer with the bat as the Lankan skipper in the warm-up against South Africa.

Dimuth’s credits will make him a considerable option to make big picks among bowlers and all-rounders. It is quite tough to choose only one each from Australia and New Zealand teams as all their players have the capability of stepping up on any given day. The likes of Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson have average records against Sri Lanka but their numbers since 2016 against them have been impressive.


All-Rounders:

SuggestionsAndile Phehlukwayo, Mohammad Nabi

AlternativesAndre Russell, Chris Morris

Economical PicksMohammad Saifuddin

Andile Phehlukwayo is good at getting away with a couple of wickets every game. Afghanistan will be playing in Bristol and Mohammad Nabi could well be a handy pick. Nabi’s off-spin could trouble the Aussies on a dry Bristol surface. The all-rounder could exploit the short square boundaries at the venue to find the fence. Bangladesh’s Mohammad Saifuddin costs only seven credits and can be a useful pick.

He has a good yorker and usually contributes with the bat. Andre Russell’s major threat will be some quality death bowling. Windies possess a lot of hitter in their ranks but the two balls would’ve already taken a lot of stick which might lead to reverse swing. Moreover, Russell’s ODI performances don’t match his consistency level at the T20 leagues.


Bowlers:

SuggestionsKagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Isuru Udana, Pat Cummins, Jofra Archer

AlternativesImran Tahir, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Starc

Economical PicksLungi Ngidi, Shadab Khan

South Africa plays two matches at The Oval which would witness a good amount of movement with the new ball. Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi could well exploit the conditions. Rabada has a brilliant record with the ball in ODIs against England. Starc and Cummins could hurry the Afghans with pace. Cardiff produced swing and seam up to ten overs and Sri Lankans could find Trent Boult threatening. Isuru Udana could well trouble the batsmen with his left-arm pace and handy skill with the bat. At 8 credits, the bowling all-rounder from Sri Lanka would look a bargain.


Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:

South Africa plays against England and Bangladesh in this round and Quinton de Kock averages 66.14 and 66.20 against them respectively. This makes him a must as a captain or at least as vice-captain in the least possible case. Another multiplier role can be used among Andile Phehlukwayo, Faf du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada as the South Africans play two matches.


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Expert Advice:

With unlimited transfers available for the second round, taking as many as seven or eight players from South Africa will be a calculated risk. Remaining can be picked from the Windies-Pakistan game which is expected to be a high-scoring one.

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*Disclaimer: This team is based on the understanding, analysis and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.

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