2012/13 Big Bash preview: How your team is looking
All-rounders are well suited to and important in Twenty20 cricket. Spinners have traditionally performed very well in T20 cricket and that could be a big factor again in the Big Bash League.
The nature of T20 cricket means you only need to have a couple of guys to have a day out to win the game. With this in mind, here are the ins and outs for each Big Bash League team:
Shane Warne, Jackson Bird, James Faulkner, Pete Handscomb, John Hastings, Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Rob Quiney, Matthew Wade, Cameron White, Luke Wright, Lasith Malinga.
The Melbourne Stars look to have the strongest batting line up with Glenn Maxwell, David Hussey, Brad Hodge and Luke Wright leading the way. If a couple of these guys fire, the Stars have the very real potential to post some big scores.
What I like about the Stars, though, is their bowling line up. The experience of Shane Warne plus Lasith Malinga, Jackson Bird and James Faulkner as quicks makes for a very competitive unit.
Barring injuries, the Stars are the team to beat.
Predicted finish: 1st.
Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Daniel Christian, Peter Forrest, Cameron Gannon, Ryan Harris, Chris Hartley, Nathan Hauritz, James Hopes, Chris Lynn, Alister McDermott, Luke Pomersbach, Kemar Roach, Shane Watson, Daniel Vettori.
Plenty of expectation on the Heat as the bulk of the 2011/12 squad remains with a few additions. Big disappointment last season the Brisbane-based franchise will be aiming to go one step further and qualify for the finals.
Having secured fast bowling duo Kemar Roach and Ryan Harris along with powerful left-handed batsman Luke Pomersbach, and young Joe Burns, the Heat have plenty of talent to work with. Two really good all rounders in James Hopes and Dan Christian are a big plus too.
The Heat will make a mark in the 2012/13 Big Bash.
Predicted finish: 2nd.
Ashton Agar, Tim Armstrong, Michael Beer, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, Ben Edmondson, Herschelle Gibbs, Brad Hogg, Michael Hussey, Simon Katich, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Joe Mennie, Albie Morkel, Marcus North, Tom Triffitt, Adam Voges.
Marcus North is to return as captain of the Scorchers and he will be joined again this summer by former Aussie teammates Simon Katich, Mike Hussey and Adam Voges.
Firebrand Patrick Cummins moved west this season and will be looking to do some damage physically if not mentally on a typically fast and bouncy WACA wicket. The evergreen Brad Hogg along with the Mitch Marsh the Scorchers have a well balanced squad that won’t get torn apart by international selections.
South African international Albie Morkel is a useful pickup and with Herschelle Gibbs once again signing on, the Scorchers will be pushing for a finals spot.
On paper, I think this is one of the better squads and I’m quietly confident that they will be there at the business end.
Predicted finish: 3rd.
Johan Botha, Theo Doropoulos, Callum Ferguson, Jon Holland, Phillip Hughes, Michael Klinger, Nathan Lyon, Andrew McDonald, Michael Neser, Kieron Pollard, Gary Putland, Nathan Reardon, Kane Richardson, James Smith, Shaun Tait.
This year’s campaign will be heavily reliant on solid performances from captain and South African international Johan Botha and big hitting West Indian Kieron Pollard. Last season Botha made 75 runs at 37.50 with a strike rate of 144.23, and with the ball he took five wickets at 19.80 with best figures of 2/18.
Pollard is world-class T20 performer and is near impossible to contain. He will fire at some stage of the tournament.
With three spinners in the squad, you can rest assured there won’t be many green tops at the Adelaide Oval this summer and with conditions to suit, they will be extremely hard to beat.
Will need the likes of Klinger, Cooper and McDonald to really fire.
Predicted finish: 4th.
Sean Abbott, Shahid Afridi, Cameron Borgas, Ryan Carters, Michael Clarke, Mark Cosgrove, Adam Coyte, Scott Coyte, Luke Doran, Jason Floros, Chris Gayle, Rhett Lockyear, Dirk Nannes, Gurinder Sandhu, Chris Tremain, Usman Khawaja, Chris Rogers, Martin Guptill, Matt Prior.
Shahid Afridi, Martin Guptill, Matt Prior and West Indian superstar Chris Gayle are the standout names in this ragtag bunch. Very reliant on these four internationals, if they don’t fire, they are in trouble.
Usman Khawaja is a very good player and Mark Cosgrove a dangerous batsmen too, but they look very thin across all departments.
Dirk Nannes will have to bowl out of skin if they are to compete. Not in my top picks.
Predicted finish: 5th.
George Bailey, Travis Birt, Aiden Blizzard, Doug Bollinger, Xavier Doherty, Ben Dunk, Michael Hogan, Jason Krejza, Ben Laughlin, Tim Paine, Ricky Ponting, Owais Shah, Timm van der Gugten, Jonathan Wells.
The Hurricanes confirmed the signings of BBL|01 Player of the Series Travis Birt and former Adelaide Striker Aiden Blizzard. Both players will add much needed starch to what is seemingly a toothless Tiger.
Whilst on the books last season, injury kept Tim Paine on the sidelines. His addition will be a useful one as is former Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting but both hardly the type of players that will set their season alight though.
This truly will be a team performance if the Hurricanes are to replicate their previous season.
Predicted finish: 6th.
Meyrick Buchanan, Tom Cooper, Brendan Drew, Aaron Finch, Daniel Harris, Jayde Herrick, Michael Hill, James Muirhead, Muttiah Muralitharan, Peter Nevill, Aaron O’Brien, Darren Pattinson, Nathan Rimmington, Ben Rohrer, Will Sheridan.
Renegades have boosted their batting and spin-bowling stocks with the signing of Tom Cooper, Aaron O’Brien and Dan Harris but their biggest signing is the world’s leading Test wicket-taker, Muttiah Muralitharan.
Murali’s signing is sensational news for the Melbourne Renegades, supporters and cricket lovers alike. It’s another opportunity to see one of the game’s greats plying his trade at Etihad Stadium during the Australian summer.
Where the Renegades end up on the ladder will be heavily reliant on how Vice-Captain Aaron Finch performs. His power-hitting saw him lead the Renegades’ run-scoring in the first KFC T20 Big Bash League (BBL|01) with 259 runs from seven digs, including a highest score of 72, an average of 37 and a healthy strike rate of 137.
A steady outfit but really lacking that X-factor. I can’t see them competing with the likes of the Stars and Scorchers this season.
Predicted finish: 7th.
Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Josh Lalor, Brett Lee, Nic Maddinson, Ian Moran, Sunil Narine, Stephen O’Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Daniel Smith, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Dominic Thornely, David Warner.
It’s all about the re-signings for the Sixers. Brad Haddin, Stephen O’Keefe, Moises Henriques, Josh Hazlewood are back to defend their title while young guns Mitchell Starc and Nic Maddinson join them but perhaps their biggest signings are Brett Lee, Steve Smith and West Indian off-spinner, Sunil Narine.
A mix of youth and experience but I’m happy to risk this mob. I simply can’t see them successfully defending their title this season and expect them to battle in the bottom half of the ladder.
Predicted finish: 8th.