Babar Azam

What is the purpose of this column, and how can I put it to use?

It has two components:

  1. Serves as a general guide. Most casual fans only really follow their team and their country’s T20 league, so when it comes to a multinational tournament like this, they want to know more about all of the teams involved – this is an attempt to fill that need.
  2. Helps you with some of your most important fantasy gaming requirements. Even seasoned fantasy gamers could benefit from saving time when researching players and teams ahead of a tournament like this. For example, Image 1 shows that selecting leg-spinners and left-arm spinners could serve you well against Pakistan, and you can also be on ‘unders’ in runs when a quality spin duo is operating against the Babar Azam-led unit in the middle overs or simply back the opposition in the hope of a flip around. And in image 2, SFRO (Season Fantasy Ranking Order) ranks the entire squad based on fantasy potential. This can be used for both season and daily fantasy purposes.
Asia Cup Pakistan Fantasy
Image 1

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Image 1 – Explainer

  • What is 1-4 and 7-20: Over splits. Openers are evaluated on how well they perform against new ball pace bowling, while the entire batting unit is evaluated based on how well they perform against spin. Overs 7-20 is used as a filter because you can only truly understand a player’s ability against spin when the field is spread out and the ball is older.
  • Form: Green – Good, Yellow – Average, Red – Bad
  • RPAllR – Right-arm pace bowling all-rounder
  • RHB*Offspin – A right hand batter who bowls offspin (not a genuine all-round option, but someone who can roll his arm over)
  • R Pace*RHB – A specialist right-arm pacer who can bat a bit
  • L-SLAAllR – All-rounder who bats left and bowls slow left-arm orthodox spin

Note: Players are rated based on how useful they will be to you in fantasy leagues. Green for Babar Azam against pace in Overs 1-4, for example, indicates that he is good at protecting his wicket. It does not necessarily imply that he scores quickly and contributes to his team’s win percentage during that phase.

Protecting your wicket against new ball movement is all you need from a fantasy standpoint, as if the player is then competent against spin, you will get the points you require.

Asia Cup Pakistan Fantasy
Image 2

Image 2 – Explainer

  • SFRO – Season Fantasy Ranking Order
  • What’s NA? Not applicable. Pakistan has only played one T20I this year, so we have nothing to gain from it.
  • Why are stats since 2020 broken down by year and not presented as a whole? Because when they are presented as a whole, you don’t get as much as you should. For example, I’d like to know if the overall numbers are the result of one great year or of consistency over three years, which is why I usually split the last three years’ numbers leading up to a tournament into year by year.
  • What is value movement? It is essentially a trajectory that indicates whether a player’s importance has increased, decreased, or remained constant since 2020. For instance, if it is ‘down,’ the player will most likely start on the bench or be dropped at some point during the tournament.

Team Pakistan – Asia Cup 2022 Fantasy Notes

Asia Cup Pakistan Fantasy
Image 3 – why Khushdil has the best case out of the three middle order options
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi has been ruled out of the tournament due to a knee injury.
  • Hasan Ali has been dropped from the squad due to poor performance.
  • Mohammad Wasim’s fitness is also in doubt. If the 21-year-old is ruled out, Naseem Shah should take his place in the starting XI.
  • Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, and Haider Ali are competing for two middle order spots. Khushdil Shah’s PSL 2022 form (Image 3), LHB, and overall value all but guarantee him a place in the XI. So it’s likely to be a shootout between the other two for the final batting spot in the side, with Iftikhar Ahmed likely to get the nod due to his experience.
  • Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam are both excellent fantasy options, but if you must choose between the two in one of your combinations, always go with Rizwan due to his wicketkeeping points potential.
  • Shadab Khan’s fantasy potential in this tournament has skyrocketed due to his all-around value.
  • Mohammad Nawaz is a top differential option against teams with four or more right-handers in their top six.

Stats credit: Cricinfo and Cricmetric

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