Watching cricket isn’t what it used to be. Now as you watch your cricket heroes score runs, take wickets and win matches in the Indian T20 League, you can also win big by playing fantasy cricket. Once you register on Howzat, India’s most trusted and user-friendly fantasy cricket app, there’s no end to the number of contests you can take part in or the cash prizes you can win. But picking a winning fantasy cricket team isn’t child’s play either.
Here are some of the Fantasy cricket winning tips that will help you choose an XI that can take on the best.
Familiarize yourself with the tournament
Sports coaches love the line “If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail.” Fantasy sports aren’t really all that different. Before you take on the best, find out a little about the tournament that’s taking place. Recent history will tell you which teams to watch out for, while the conditions in which the games are being played can play a huge part in results on the field. For example, the Chennai team has usually thrived in spin-friendly conditions where the ball doesn’t bounce as much.
This season, with three venues having red-soil pitches where the bounce tends to be higher, they have really struggled, losing 5 of their first 6 matches in defense of the title they won in 2021. Apps like Howzat also offer player profiles that tell you how an individual has performed in the competition, and what his recent displays have been like. Once you’re armed with this kind of knowledge, it’s far easier to make informed choices.
Select players based on form (Check Performance)
A tournament like the Indian T20 League has dozens of players with great reputations built up over the past several years. Yet not all of them will be in form during these 2 months of play. In sharp contrast, there will be other lesser-known names – Punjab’s L. Livingstone comes to mind immediately – who create a major impact. When you’re selecting a team, don’t be distracted by the big names. On the team selection page itself, in an app like Howzat, you get valuable information like how many fantasy points that player has scored so far this season, and also what percentage of fantasy cricket players have them in their XIs. Make sure you pick those who are in great current form, and not those being selected by their franchises because of their great career record.
If you want to be even more meticulous, you can look at a player’s record against the opponent they’re playing. Some players save their best performances for certain opposition teams and struggle against others. If you’re aware of such stats, or come across such information on the Howzat cricket blog or specialist cricket websites, make use of that. Remember, you’re choosing the best XI for that day, not the greatest XI ever.
Be creative with your team balance
Your fantasy cricket XI on Howzat doesn’t need to follow the make-up of a traditional cricket team. You need only make sure you pick at least 1 wicketkeeper, 1 specialist batter, 1 all-rounder and 1 bowler. How you fill the other 7 slots is completely up to you. And because you can choose from both teams playing the match, you can make sure your XI has almost no weak links. There is nothing stopping you from selecting 3 wicketkeepers (even if not all of them are behind the stumps for the match) or as many as 5 all-rounders, depending on the conditions. A conventional cricket team has a minimum of 4-5 specialist batters but there’s nothing stopping you going into a match with just 1 or 2 in your fantasy XI.
Analyze the playing conditions and then decide on what you feel is the best balance. In easy batting conditions, too many all-rounders may not work. But on a tricky pitch, they can add depth to both batting and bowling.
Choose your captain and vice captain wisely
Real-world cricket teams pick their leaders based on a number of factors like seniority, career record, player management skills, media skills and a cool head. You don’t need to think of any of that. Just remember that on Howzat, your captain scores 2x points and your vice-captain 1.5x as other players for the same performance. Your only criteria for picking a captain is performance – the player who is likely to fetch you the most points. That could be a veteran player or it could be a newcomer. In low-scoring conditions, look at the bowlers likely to excel. If the pitch is loaded in favour of batters, an opening batter is usually a good choice.
Wild card picks
No matter how creative you get with your selections, there will be quite a big overlap between your team and most others. For example, if the Gujarat team is playing a match, it’s almost a given that most fantasy cricket players will pick R. Khan and H. Pandya. It’s a similar case with Rajasthan’s J. Buttler and Y. Chahal. The key to winning contests is to make sure the 10th or 11th pick you make is a differentiator. Usually, it’s a lesser-known player enjoying a purple patch of form. R. Gaikwad and H. Patel were such choices in 2021, eventually finishing top of the batting and bowling charts. If you can identify a great run of form before others do, you stand to win far more.
Now that you have got these great tips, don’t waste any more time. Download the fantasy cricket app, and enter as many contests as you can. The free games can be used to fine-tune strategy for the big cash contests. And there’s even an opportunity to play with Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh. So pick your team and start winning!