Telegraph Fantasy Cricket: CC/ODC 2018

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The above is my first XI. It’s in the all-rounder roles that I’ve gambled with Rhodes and Rawlins. Rhodes has moved from Yorkshire to Warwickshire so should see increased game time and will be keen to show what he’s capable of. Rawlins made an impression in the North v South matches and this should be his breakout season. Simpson is a reliable wicketkeeper and I think there is real logic in the stumper being captain. I’ve plucked for a possibly slightly under the radar bowling attack and expect Mennie and hopefully Hutton to contribute runs too. I’ve very deliberately selected batsman that will at least occasionally bowl and should get opportunities in both formats of the game.

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For my second XI, I’ve gone for the two all-rounders that I consider guaranteed runs and wickets. I’ve opted for a reliable batting unit and expect Fell to return to form this year. Though my bowling unit may not be guaranteed outings in both codes, Coad and Footitt are wicket takers in the First Class format. Mahmood is coming into the campaign off the back of impressive performances in North v South and Nijjar, a useful spin bowler, has been opening the batting for Essex pre-season. What happens to Alastair Cook with England may determine Nijjar’s opportunities. If Roderick is available throughout the season, he should be steady away behind the stumps and with bat in hand.

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Have I ever mentioned that I like Ben Duckett?

Mitchell is as consistent as they come and bowls too. Smith has returned to Durham and I expect plenty of runs from the experienced head back up north. Alongside him, Brook is primed for his breakthrough campaign after debuting last term. Kuhn may not keep wicket but is a solid performer at domestic level. My bowling attack may receive England and England Lions call-ups but have runs as well as wickets in them in both formats. Bresnan is as solid an option as Patel and Bopara and van der Merwe is a destructive player.

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In my fourth XI, I’ve gone Warwickshire and England veteran heavy in my batting line-up, messrs Trott and Bell leading the charge. Bell-Drummond will be looking to kick-on and fingers crossed for a run-filled renaissance from Nick Compton. Like Kuhn, Pope may not always keep wicket but will be playing regularly and in the runs this year. Berg is as reliable as anyone with the ball and Procter prospered last term having relocated to Northamptonshire. I want a bit more from Barker and Rayner this year. Fletcher is back from injury and if Overton, rated 3!, can stay fit then he’s a shrewd selection.

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In my fifth XI are the other players that I like who I couldn’t squeeze into my first four teams. Northeast has moved to Hampshire but is as reliable as they come with the bat. Wells is solid in the First Class game as is Burns. Dent is an under rated player too. McManus gets the gloves with the experienced Clarke, back at Surrey, and less experienced but quick Chappell in the all-rounder roles. Hopefully Norwell has shrugged off any injury niggles. Ball will be left to play county cricket this term whilst Patterson is another of my reliable picks. Qadri made an impressive debut last year and will look to back it up.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve avoided selecting players that will be on England duty. It’s steady away county pros that you need sprinkled with one or two yet to be discovered gems just primed to be this year’s Ben Coad.

Let me know what you think about my teams and which one is likely to win me the massive cash prize of……….. £3,000!

https://fantasycricket.telegraph.co.uk/county

Disclaimer: I’ve since been tinkering away, so my teams don’t look quite the same as above. I’ll keep you up to date once the campaign commences!

International Duck Watch!

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A few Ozzies join the club today. First, please let me apologise because in the excitement of Zimbabwe’s Craig Ervine ducking yesterday, I neglected to mention that Australia’s opening batsman Joe Burns got burned fourth ball in Hobart to leave him with a series batting average of 0.5!

Joe (Not too) Mennie (Yes I know I’ve used that before!) who was selected ahead of Jackson Bird for his superior batting as much as his bowling (See previous post: The Bird and the Lyon)

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/the-bird-and-the-lyon/

… also joined the club as did Mitchell Starc who made our longest duck so far, being dismissed by his (Unlucky?) thirteenth delivery.

Callum Ferguson, a player that Silly Point detailed last week (See previous post: Ferguson Not Forgotten)

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/ferguson-not-forgotten/

… managed to avoid International Duck Watch ignominy by scoring 1 in Australia’s second innings to add to his rather tragic run out for 3 in the first innings.

International Duck Watch!

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There was excitement in Tasmania earlier today when what was thought to be a Pacific Black Duck (Anas Superciliosa) was spotted in Hobart however it turned out that it was actually Australian batsman Adam Voges being dismissed first ball in the second Test.

Australia were bowled out for a woeful 85 with captain Steven Smith (48 not out) scoring more than half the runs. The only other batsman to make double figures was Joe (Not too) Mennie who made 10. Remember that bowler Mennie was selected ahead of Jackson Bird because of his superior batting ability. Debutant Callum Ferguson who featured in a recent post (See previous post: Ferguson Not Forgotten)…

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/ferguson-not-forgotten/

… highlighted the batting horror show by being run out for just three!

In response to the host’s abject display South Africa finished day one on 171-5 (Amla 47, Starc 3-49).