Summer is here, and for Indian cricket fans, that usually means just one thing. The Indian T20 League is back, with two new teams and even more matches spread across a 2-month-long season. Millions of cricket fans now no longer just watch the matches. They play along on a fantasy cricket app, selecting their XIs and taking on fellow players as the action plays out in front of them. Howzat is one of the most popular and trusted apps, and here we look at a few tips that might help you get better results as the competition hots up this T20 season.
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There are few other mainstream sports that are as influenced by the weather and playing surface as cricket is. A dry, grass-less pitch usually suits batters and spin bowlers, whereas a surface with plenty of grass on it offers great encouragement to seam bowlers.
Overhead conditions play a big part too. Overcast or humid conditions help swing bowlers, while cool weather means longer spells for quick bowlers. Hot and dry weather makes pitches crumble quicker and plays into the hands of spinners.
With T20 matches played under lights, there is the dew factor to consider too. Bowlers find it increasingly difficult to grip the wet ball, which means most teams prefer to bat second and chase a target. Leading fantasy apps like Howzat provide you with venue information, including the recent statistics like matches won by sides batting second.
In the real world, the better prepared cricket team almost always wins. The fantasy game is no different. Before you pick your playing 11, or 6 if you’re making use of Howzat’s unique 2nd innings fantasy feature, get as much information as you can on the players and teams. What are the head-to-head numbers between the sides, especially in the last few matches? What is a player’s historic record against the opponent? And what kind of form have they been in prior to the game?
Howzat’s preview and prediction blog posts offer a wealth of such information. But you’ll get a quick snapshot even while selecting your team. The app will tell you what percentage of users have selected a particular player.
Real-world cricket teams have fairly rigid combinations, with one specialist wicketkeeper, 4-5 batters and 4-5 bowlers. For teams lucky enough to have genuine all-rounders, they will just take the place of a specialist batter or bowler.
When you play fantasy cricket on Howzat, though, you’re not constrained by such limitations. All you need to do is make sure you pick at least 1 wicketkeeper, 1 batter, 1 all-rounder and 1 bowler. And unlike an actual cricket team, you have two sides to choose from. Nothing stops you from selecting both wicketkeepers, and as many as 5 all-rounders from both the teams.
You must look carefully at the conditions before you select your team. If the pitch is loaded in favor of batters, the all-rounders may not even get a chance to bat. And with even specialist bowlers likely to struggle, all-rounders may not be used much with the ball either.
On a bowler-friendly pitch, however, the situation is usually reversed. All-rounders reinforce the batting and aid against a collapse and will allow you to go in with just 3-4 specialist bowlers. Remember that there is no set winning combination in fantasy cricket.
Reputation plays a big part in cricket selection. Kohli may not have made an international century since 2019, but his career record is so brilliant that the idea of India’s selectors dropping him is almost unthinkable. However, you’re not tasked with being a national selector and you’re not obliged to pick any player, no matter what an amazing career they’ve had.
Fantasy cricket selections should primarily be guided by players’ present form. Even great players go through lean patches, while otherwise ordinary performers may enjoy a spectacular season or two. One of the biggest fantasy cricket tips and tricks is to pick someone just as they’re hitting peak form. And if it’s a relatively unknown player who few others have selected, the rewards will be much higher.
Captaincy of a real cricket team is an honor given to very few. For example, R. Jadeja is only the third man to captain the Chennai team in the Indian T20 League since 2008. Captains tend to be chosen based on seniority, experience, career record, and player-management skills.
However, while picking your team on Howzat, you don’t need to think of any of this. All you need to keep in mind is that your captain scores 2x points for the same performance as other players, while your vice captain gets 1.5x points. You should pick whoever you feel is going to fetch you the most points. That could be a veteran playing their final season or a newcomer in their first one. Go by recent performances, not by the names.
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll definitely challenge the top of the leaderboard in most contests. Download the Howzat app, practice by playing free games, finalize your strategies and then take on the best fantasy players across the country for some incredible prizes. Following cricket has never been more fun.