How to play T20 fantasy cricket: Seven top tips to help you choose a winning team

We always grew up with the ‘summer of cricket’ after the footy goalposts were taken down from grounds around the country.

But with the game now a global full year-round calendar, there is always a game of cricket happening in the world. Which is perfect if you need to scratch that fantasy sports itch.

Fantasy cricket has come on in leaps and bounds and is especially popular in the sub-continent. In Australia, the format is growing and while season-long competitions look fun on the surface, the daily management of your team to go along with who is in and who is not playing is not exactly fun for the casual player.

The cricket fantasy format does shine on Draftstars with Daily Fantasy contests for each Australian international match along with Big Bash and Women’s Big Bash league fixtures.

The format for your fantasy team is simple; pick four batters and three bowlers and make sure it is under your $100,000 salary cap. Draftstars allows all-rounders to be selected as a batter or a bowler so there is flexibility if you want to use them to make an all-star team of hitters. You can even stack an all-out bowling attack on a slow surface at Marvel stadium.

Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images)

Players accrue fantasy points through runs, wickets and fielding such as catches and run-outs. Bonus points are given for batters’ high strike rates and bowlers’ low economy rates.

Draftstars provides contests for all three formats – Test, One-Day and T20’s – and today we have some handy tips when it comes to the T20 format.

1. Entering your teams early is not the best strategy

Unless you have a WhatsApp group chat with all the captains around the country, you are not necessarily going to know who is going to play in the final XI for each team. If you simply make teams hours before the match and don’t look at them before the game, then you are already behind the eight-ball. You are most likely selecting non-playing cricketers who are going to score 0 fantasy points. Have an idea who you want to play but you must sit tight until the toss (bat flip).

2. Find out who wins the toss/bat flip

This is important as the decision from the toss will provide some clues on what is going to happen in the match. Tosses are completed only 30 to 45 minutes before a match starts. Whether teams bat or bowl first tends to be a ‘trend’ throughout a tournament. Teams that bowl first are backing in the batters to chase down whatever score is set by the opposition. Teams who want to bat are backing in their bowlers to defend their totals. Shortly after the toss, we will get the final XIs for both sides.  Toss decisions are also affected by the weather conditions which leads us to point 3.

Sean Abbott. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

3. Find out the weather forecast for the match

Death, taxes, and Sydney cricket games affected by rain. Matches that are played in reduced overs can be advantageous to your fantasy team if you know how to construct them.

There are two ways that a cricket game can be affected by rain. Firstly, the match starts on time and is all is well until the rain comes and we lose overs in the delay. So, for your fantasy team, you want to target players from the 1st innings. Batters from the batting team and the opposition bowlers. It may sound counterintuitive to stack the first innings, but if the rain doesn’t come until halfway through the game, then we need to have exposure to these players as they are playing in normal conditions. With more overs in the 1st innings, it means we have the potential for higher runs and more wickets.

This leads to the second way, which is when matches have a delayed start. When matches have reduced overs for both sides then you need to think about rostering players from both top batting orders. Teams are going to go really hard with the bat in a reduced-over game, and it is very unlikely that teams are going to be bowled out in that shorter time frame. So, creating a team of bowlers is the wrong way to go about it.

Matt Short (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

4. Roster players who have multiple ways to score

Allrounders are popular in Draftstars Cricket as they have options to score with the bat, ball, and in the field. Glenn Maxwell is the poster child of the allrounder crew, but they are also on the higher end of the scale for their salary. Do not sleep on keepers who bat higher up the order. Keepers can score fantasy points through catches and stumpings, but you are banking on them to get the job done with the bat. Think of Alex Carey and Josh Inglis if you are playing BBL.

5. Find out the batting order after the toss

Simple tip this one, especially if there are changes to the side through injury/form. Is the team’s regular number 6 getting a go at the top of the order? If there are no significant changes, then at least know who is scheduled to bat in the top 5.

6. Who bowls the death overs?

Remarkably more wickets are taken in the last 4 overs than the first 4. Those last overs of an innings can get incredibly ludicrous as batters are taking big risks to either set a target or chase it down. Look to roster the bowlers who are in the position to take wickets at the death and pray that the fielders in the deep take those high balls.

Marcus Stoinis (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

7. Select players who have high strike rates / low economy rates

Draftstars scoring rewards those who go 125+ in strike rates and under 7 runs an over in economy. In the T20 format the bowlers usually go for a stack of runs above 7 runs an over so this tip is not so simple. Adam Zampa has always been a favourite at the MCG who always seems to keep it tight.

Keep these tips in mind when you play your next Cricket contest on Draftstars as the time between the toss and the game start is short.

Keen to give it a go? Hit up Draftstars today to get started.

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