Fantasy sports is one of the fastest growing segments of the Indian economy, with millions of new players registering on various fantasy sports platforms every month. For over a century, watching cricket was mostly a passive activity. But when you play fantasy cricket game like Howzat, it’s almost like you’re out on the field yourself, fulfilling those childhood dreams.
The Supreme Court of India has ruled that fantasy cricket is a game of skill. The best way to familiarize yourself with the game is to download the free Howzat fantasy cricket app from the Play Store, play unlimited practice games for free, try out various team combinations in the same match, and pit your skills against real players from across the country in both head-to-head contests and leagues. Fantasy cricket on easy-to-use Howzat is very simple to play and understand. But as in the real sport, there are certain strategies that will help take your game to the next level. Here we take a look at 6 strategies that will help you storm to the top of your league.
1. Do your research
While it’s possible to see a cricket match as an isolated event, it rarely is that in reality. Past matches can often offer plenty of insight, especially about the venue where the match is being played. Certain pitches and stadiums tend to favor the batters, while others give the bowlers an edge. A look at past performances will provide you with plenty of clues. You can also check how teams have performed at various venues. For example, the Gabba in Brisbane was till recently a fortress for Australia in Test cricket, just as the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi is for India. Some players also do well at certain stadiums. Select your XI only after considering all of these factors.
2. Monitor the conditions and teams
The last thing you need is to enter a fantasy league with one or more of the players you selected not playing. Teams often leave it until very late to finalize the final XI. Often the weather conditions play a big part in team composition. A dry surface with very little grass usually means good batting conditions and some assistance for the spinners. A green-tinged pitch brings the seam bowlers into play and may require you to make your batting line-up stronger. If it’s cloudy, pace bowlers generally thrive. Be sure you keep an eye on the pitch and weather reports before you make any final tweaks to your XI. Last-minute injuries while warming up also aren’t unheard of. So give yourself the time to edit your choices after the teams have been announced at the toss.
3. Pick specialist batters
Regardless of the format of the game, top-order batters tend to face more deliveries than the others. The openers usually set the tone for the rest of the side and historically any team’s strongest batters usually bat at No. 3 and No. 4. So depending on the format, your selections will need to change. Test cricket rewards consistency. In T20s, even the top four batters need to be capable of explosive stroke play. Here consistency needs to go hand in hand with fast scoring. With ODI cricket, you need to find the right balance. But whatever the format is, having two or three specialist batters ensures a steady supply of points. They’re the backbone of any side.
4. Wicket-taking bowlers are key
This is one area where fantasy cricket can play out quite differently from real-world cricket. In T20 cricket, for example, economical bowlers can often be game-changers, stifling the momentum of an innings. Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan is a great example of this. But the points system in fantasy cricket rewards wickets far more than keeping things tight. A spell of 0-15 in a real match could transform the game, but in fantasy cricket, you’ll earn more points with the bowler who takes 4-40. Of course, the old timers will tell you that there’s no better way to bring down the scoring rate than to take wickets at regular intervals.
5. Don’t pick players based on reputation
It’s easy to be distracted by legendary players and their premium price tags when the time comes to pick your fantasy XI. After all, they command those values because they’ve delivered consistently over a length of time. But remember that even the greats of the game endure lean patches. And lesser-known players can come in and make a huge impact, even if it’s for a short term. Before Chennai’s victorious campaign in the Indian T20 League in 2021, few could have imagined that Ruturaj Gaikwad would be their most prolific batter. But he was and those that picked him in their fantasy XIs often won big. You don’t need to ignore the star names, but it’s always sensible to check who’s enjoyed a great tournament or series so far. It could be the bargain selection that takes you to the top of the league.
6. Choose your captain and vice captain wisely
When you play on an app like Howzat, the selection of your captain and vice captain is vital. Since the captain scores twice as many points as other players for the same performance and the vice captain’s tally is multiplied by 1.5 times, you should think through your choices. Unlike real cricket teams where the identity of the captain seldom changes during a series, fantasy cricket players have the luxury of picking anyone. Avoid the temptation to go blindly for the established names. It could be a fringe player enjoying a purple patch that fetches you the points to make the difference. Current form should be your main criteria while choosing the captain and the vice captain for your team.
If you feel you’re ready to play fantasy cricket to win big cash prizes, both against real players and even the game’s legends themselves, make sure you download the Howzat fantasy cricket cash app from Howzat’s official website. It will take you close to the on-field cricket action and transform the way you watch and follow cricket.