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Fantasy Focus: High time to pick KL Rahul and Kagiso Rabada

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The opening week of the 13th edition of the Indian T20 League has duly lived up to its hype. With a total of 3072 runs across nine games, there have been as many as five instances where teams have scored 200 or more runs in a game.

On the bowling front, 110 wickets have already been scalped and a hefty chunk (61) have been caught. The fact that there have been just two maiden overs so far sketches a perfect picture of the nature of the Indian T20 League. With players still settling in to get used to the condition of the UAE, it has understandably been a difficult week for the fantasy managers. So as the new week beacons, here are five options you are tipped to do well going forward.

Player: Rohit Sharma

Team: Mumbai 

Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma didn’t have the best of times against Chennai in the tournament opener as he was restricted to just 12 off 10 deliveries by Piyush Chawla, but the hard-hitting opener answered his critics against Kolkata in the subsequent game, smashing a quick-fire 80 off 54 balls as Mumbai posted 195/5 in 20 overs. The defending champions won the game by 49-runs, and with the momentum at his side, expect him to wreak carnage in the games in to come.

Player: KL Rahul

Team: Punjab

Like Rohit Sharma, Punjab captain, KL Rahul, too struggled to get going in the opening game, but he more than made it up in his second game against Bangalore, scoring the first century of this year’s edition. His unbeaten knock of 132 off just 69 deliveries shattered several records. For the starters, he became the fastest Indian to 2000 Indian T20 League runs, and his total is now the highest by any captain in the history of the competition. As thing stand, he acquires the top spot in the highest run-scorers of the tournament and remains one of the safest bets for the fantasy teams.

Player: Kagiso Rabada

Team: Delhi 

Pacer Kagiso Rabada has been key to Delhi Capitals’ success in this year’s Indian T20 League. The South African marksman, who has picked five wickets in the competition so far, is the joint second-highest wicket-taker alongside Sam Curran and has bowled an impressive economy of 6.75 and a strike rate of 9.60. While the likes of Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant took the limelight against Chennai, one cannot overlook the contribution of Rabada, who dismissed Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja on the night. A must-have player in your team.

Player: Sam Curran

Team: Chennai

The absence of Dwayne Bravo was thought to hit hard for Chennai, and while Curran is yet to reach the West Indian’s height, he has been more than impressive for the MS Dhoni-led side, contributing with both bat and the ball. Against Mumbai in the opening game, he did pick a solitary wicket, but his knock of 18 from just six deliveries set his team on the path of glory. The Englishman continued his rich run of form against Rajasthan, this time striking with the ball, picking three wickets and contributing 17 runs in a 16-run defeat. And while he did not get the chance to bat properly in the third, he has well and truly showcased what he brings to the table.

Player: Sanju Samson

Team: Rajasthan

After a rather slow start in their opening game against Chennai, Rajasthan needed a strong partnership, which was duly delivered by Sanju Samson and captain Steve Smith. While the Australian held the guard, Samson, as he has been in the Indian T20 League, went berserk, scoring 74 off just 32 balls, which included a solitary boundary and a whopping nine sixes. He continued his rich vein of form against Punjab where although Rahul Tewatia grabbed the headlines, Samson's knock of 85 off just 42 was equally noteworthy.

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