Pick 1 – Ben Stokes
An all-rounder in home conditions with both class and form on his side – what else do you need? Since 2016, Stokes has averaged 43 with the bat and picked up 58 wickets with the ball in England.
Stokes in ENG vs NZ 2022: Matches – 3, Runs – 194, Wickets – 3
Pick 2 – Joe Root
Class and form, again. The former England captain has 10 centuries in the last 45 innings for England.
Root – Innings Per Hundred:
- Till 2020 – Inn – 177, 100s – 17, IPH – 10.4
- 2021-2022 – Inn – 45, 100s – 10, IPH – 4.5
Root in ENG vs NZ 2022: Mat – 3, Runs – 396, Bat Avg – 99
Pick 3 – James Anderson
To pick your fantasy XI for this game, numbers from these three series matter the most: England vs India 2018, England vs India 2021, and England vs New Zealand 2022.
Anderson averages an impressive Under 20 runs per wicket in two of those series and 25 in the third. How long will he carry on? No one knows. But as long as he does and is playing a Test match in England, the smart thing to do is to have him in your XI.
Pick 4 – Jasprit Bumrah
The best fantasy option from the Indian side, Jasprit Bumrah averages 4 wickets per match in England. And in the 4 Tests this series, only Ollie Robinson has more wickets, and only Chris Woakes averages lesser runs per wicket than Bumrah’s 20.8.
Most wickets in Pataudi Trophy 2021-22: Robinson – 21, Bumrah – 18, Anderson – 15
Pick 5 – Matthew Potts (Major Differential Alert!)
Potts was England’s second-best bowler against New Zealand, picking up 14 wickets at an average of 23.3 and a strike rate of 53.9. Only Anderson picked wickets at a faster than him for the home side in the 3-0 clean sweep.
Best SR for ENG in ENG vs NZ 2022: Anderson (39.6), Potts (53.9), Leach (59.9)
Owned by less than 15% of managers on major fantasy platforms, Potts will also act as a differential.
Pick 6 – Ollie Pope (Minor Differential Alert!)
With Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul unavailable and Jonny Bairstow categorised as a wicketkeeper, there are not many reliable specialist batting options for this game, which pushes Ollie Pope up the pecking order. The 24-year-old is in form and has 5 80+ scores in the last 14 innings. And good form is always worth a shot.
Pick 7 – Stuart Broad (Minor Differential Alert!)
Broad has a 3-wicket haul in each of his 5 Test matches this year, suggesting he is in fine touch. The 36-year-old also enjoys bowling at Edgbaston.
Leading wicket-takers in Tests at Edgbaston: Anderson (45), Broad (40), Trueman (39)
Perhaps, fantasy managers are confused with too many big names to pick from that they have forgotten how good the right-arm quick can be in familiar conditions. Owned by less than 35% of managers, you have a great chance to convert a bowler as good as Broad into a differential.
Pick 8 – Jonny Bairstow
It is worth trading Bairstow out in mega leagues despite his recent form. You can bank on the keeping points of Rishabh Pant and Sam Billings or the all-round value of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin/Shardul Thakur to come through,
But in small leagues, play it safe. The 32-year-old is owned by 85%+ managers, after all.
Wicketkeeper: Yet to be finalised
Batters: Joe Root, Ollie Pope
All-rounders: Ben Stokes
Bowlers: James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Jasprit Bumrah, Matthew Potts
The final Team with C/VC picks will be given after the toss.
Predicted Playing XIs:
England: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes(c), Sam Billings(wk), Stuart Broad, Matthew Potts, Jack Leach, James Anderson
India: Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur/ Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah(c), Mohammed Siraj