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CPL DRAFT: DARREN BRAVO THE SAFE BATTING OPTION WITH BOOMER & MASAKADZA APPEALING TO RISK TAKERS

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By Author CPL

Obviously the more runs a team puts on the board in their 20 overs, the greater chance they have of securing victory. However, that doesn't simply mean that targeting the heaviest hitters is the best policy when selecting at CPL Player Draft on Thursday.

Although this is a short format, there is still time for a batsman to gel an innings together. With that in mind, here are five batsman that should be generating interest when the draft kicks off on Thursday 11th February, 11am (Eastern Caribbean Time).

 

Name – Darren Bravo

Age - 27

Skill - Batting

Status - Territory

Demand - 10/10

Track record

Winning seems to be something that has become increasingly common for Bravo in the last 12 months.

He had the highest batting average for 2015 CPL victors Trinidad & Tobago, with his 291 runs coming at an average of 32.33. His 86 not out in the semi-final success over the Jamaica Tallawahs was especially critical.

Bravo’s recent form can also not be doubted after ending the Nagico Super50 2015/16 tournament as the top run scorer, despite only playing three games for winners Trinidad & Tobago, averaging 91 at the longer form of the one-day game.

Style and substance

Being the cousin of West Indies legend Brian Lara and looking up to his relative in his younger years, Bravo plays with the same backlift and footwork.

However, despite his graceful timing, only Chris Gayle registered more than Bravo’s 21 sixes in the last CPL, maintaining a strike-rate of over 134.

In the 72-run victory over the Barbados Tridents, Bravo clubbed 80 runs off just 44 balls, with one of his seven sixes measured at a mighty 108 metres.

Team recommendation

Considering Bravo has played for the Trinidad & Tobayo in all three CPL instalments so far, expect him to stick with the defending champions again.

He has batted at number four consistently in each of the last two renewals, but a move up to three could reap richer rewards, given his previous average and the fact he ended a quarter of his 12 innings last season not out.

 

Name – Thomas ‘Boomer’ Collins

Age - 26

Skill – Batting

Status - USA

Demand - 3/10

Track record

On the basis that Collins hadn’t even heard of cricket until last year when approached on LinkedIn about the possibility of a career switch, it’s clear that he hasn’t spent a great deal of time gaining experience and honing his skills.

What may help stand him in good stead is a career in baseball, making him accustomed to hitting balls regularly with a bat and hitting them as far as possible. Preferably in baseball and T20 they fly out of the stands.

Style and substance

Unfortunately the nickname Boomer isn’t borne out of his ability to constantly hit balls miles, but instead because a tornado blasted through the Dallas hospital in which he was born.

Based on YouTube videos filmed ahead of the draft, Collins is more than adept at sweeping balls to the leg side, but there are still some things to learn following his transition.

Balls bowled at the head and body still need to be scored off, rather than left alone, while cricket is more about decision making and looking for gaps in the field, instead of swinging as hard as possible and almost hoping for the best in baseball.

Team recommendation

Exactly where Collins should bat is interesting – should he open when there is a greater chance of more pace being on the ball, fields being up and less pressure or come in lower down the order?

His biggest pull is undoubtedly the publicity that a selection in the draft will provide, with the American perception of cricket still predominantly of the Test variety of the game.

The Zouks have the least to lose by taking such a punt, given they have competed in all three CPL tournaments to date and finished no higher than fifth of six.

 

Name – Shoaib Malik

Age - 34

Skill - Batting

Status - Overseas

Demand - 6/10

Track record

Only Lendl Simmons scored more runs than Malik in the 2014 CPL, with the Pakistani veteran completing the competition with four 50+ scores for the Barbados Tridents.

He then averaged over 52 for the same team last year, but was reduced to only playing six matches before being called up to Pakistan’s one-day squad to face Sri Lanka.

Malik is one of the most experienced T20 campaigners around, making his debut in 2006. He currently also represents the Hobart Hurricanes in Australia, the Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League and the Sialkot Stallions cup team.

Style and substance

Malik is not the most elegant nor graceful, but he is effective. In terms of this section, few players rival the former Pakistan skipper for being more about substance over style.

However, he is more than capable of hitting boundaries, placing the ball either side of the wicket and running strongly between the wickets.

He can bowl a bit too as another weapon in his arsenal, having started his career as an off spinner.

Team recommendation

Having reached back-to-back CPL finals, there is no reason for Malik to leave the Tridents, although the problem remains where he is best positioned in the batting order.

He has Test hundreds to his name as an opener, he has swung games at number three in the one-day arena and taken apart attacks slogging in the middle order in his T20 career. His experience arguably lends itself to batting at three.

 

Name - Hamilton Masakadza

Age - 32

Skill - Batting

Status - Overseas

Demand - 4/10

Track record

In terms of form players in 2016, Masakadza is up there pitching with the best, given January scores of 79 (off 53 balls) and 93 not out (from 58 balls) in Zimbabwe’s Walton T20 series with Bangladesh.

These have helped Masakadza climb to eighth spot in the ICC T20 batting rankings.

His highest series T20 batting average prior to the latest Bangladesh series came on his last visit to the Caribbean too, where he averaged 62 from his two innings against the West Indies in 2013.

Style and substance

Having scored a century on his Test debut, the longer form of the game suited Masakadza most in the earlier rungs of his career, but he has gradually transformed himself into an equally capable T20 player, particularly in terms of scoring at a fast enough rate.

His job for Zimbabwe still tends to revolve around providing a backbone for the innings and batting through. Although, he has proved in recent times to score more dominantly opening at the non-strikers end in comparison to facing the first ball of the innings.

Team recommendation

Zimbabwe’s recently-appointed captain in all three formats of cricket could prove the perfect partner for super hitter Chris Gayle at the top of the Jamaica Tallawahs line-up.

Gayle scored over 60 runs more than anyone else in the last CPL at an average of over 61, but the Tallawahs still only finished fourth. He has unsurprisingly been retained for the upcoming CPL and a consistent opening partner may help ease the pressure on the remainder of the batting unit should Gayle fail to contribute.

 

Name – Chris Lynn

Age - 25

Skill – Batsman

Status - Overseas

Demand – 6/10

Track record

Playing for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the 2015 CPL, Chris Lynn scored 167 runs in the tournament at an average of 20.87, hitting 11 fours and 10 sixes in the competition.

Since featuring in the CPL, Chris Lynn has made a name for himself in the Australian Big Bash League, becoming one of the most accomplished batsmen in the Australian domestic circuit. A powerful number three batsmen, Chris Lynn has been in the form of his life at this year’s Big Bash League, smashing his first T20 century in December against the Hobart Hurricanes. Chris Lynn was named Big Bash League’s player of the year, scoring a total of 378 runs from 218 balls.

Style and substance

With his fearless brand of cricket and his ability to clear the ropes, Chris Lynn is a destructive batsmen in this format of the game. His ability to take on big name bowlers was evident in the Big Bash League, where he dispatched Ben Hilfenhaus for five consecutive sixes.

Although Chris Lynn is renowned for his power hitting, he is an exquisite timer of the ball, which allows him to bat accordingly to the position his team find themselves in.

Team recommendation

Lynn played for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the 2015 CPL and you could see him continue to hit big for them. He could also be a great asset to others, such as the Guyana Amazon Warriors, helping get big numbers on the boards for the tournament win they are searching for. Either way, Chris Lynn will be a player to watch out for in this year’s CPL Player Draft and beyond.

 

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CPL DRAFT: DARREN BRAVO THE SAFE BATTING OPTION WITH BOOMER & MASAKADZA APPEALING TO RISK TAKERS CPL T20

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