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Opinion

Greatest ever BBL teams: Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades

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Roar Guru
22nd May, 2020
7

The Melbourne Stars have been a very consistent team in the BBL bar one poor season.

Despite their consistency, they’ve fallen at the last hurdle three times.

Their cross-town rivals Melbourne Renegades have been far less consistent, but they have a BBL title, beating the Stars in the BBL08 final.

Melbourne Stars all-time XI

Luke Wright
T20 stats – 7587 runs, 28.73 average, seven hundreds
T20I stats – 759 runs, 18.97 average, four fifties
BBL stats – 1479 runs, 29 average, two hundreds
Wright was a great player for the Stars. An aggressive batsman, he churned out the runs consistently and was a brilliant fielder. He scored the fastest BBL century in BBL01 before Craig Simmons broke that record in BBL03.

Marcus Stoinis
T20 stats – 2430 runs, 32.83 average, one hundred, 62 wickets, 27.66 average, 8.73 economy
T20I stats – 136 runs, 15.11 average, nine wickets, 35.44 average, 8.32 economy
BBL stats – 1750 runs, 37.23 average, one hundred, 35 wickets, 20.1 average, 8.46 economy
I don’t think I need to explain Stoinis’ inclusion. The leading run-scorer in Stars history, his record speaks for itself.

Marcus Stoinis

(Photo by Scott Barbour – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

Kevin Pietersen
T20 stats – 5695 runs, 33.89 average, three hundreds
T20I stats – 1176 runs, 37.93 average, seven fifties
BBL stats – 1110 runs, 37 average, ten fifties
When Pietersen signed for the Stars after being scapegoated out of the English cricket team, it was a massive middle finger to the ECB. Unstoppable at number three, Pietersen was a class above his teammates, and his insights into how he was planning a chase while on the mic was something I enjoyed during his stint at the Stars.

Glenn Maxwell (captain)
T20 stats – 5983 runs, 27.57 average, three hundreds, 95 wickets, 31.14 average, 7.69 economy
T20I stats – 1576 runs, 35.02 average, three hundreds, 26 wickets, 27.07 average, 7.48 economy
BBL stats – 1845 runs, 32.37 average, 14 fifties, 27 wickets, 31.1 average, 7.51 economy
Maxwell is arguably Australia’s greatest T20 cricketer. He scores runs consistently at a very high strike rate, bowls economically with his off spin and is a lethal fielder at point or on the boundary. Maxwell has a brilliant cricket brain and has been very unlucky not to win the last two BBL finals as captain.

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Glenn Maxwell of the Stars celebrates 50 runs during the Big Bash League

(Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Peter Handscomb (wicketkeeper)
T20 stats – 1318 runs, 24.4 average, one hundred
T20I stats – 33 runs, 33 average
BBL stats – 834 runs, 27.8 average, one hundred
A middle-order bat, Handscomb has quietly done his job throughout most seasons without being noticed. One of the best players of spin in Australia, he scores his runs in unusual areas, and his stance is unique. He keeps for the Victorian one-day side and the Stars, so Handscomb gets the gloves in the XI.

David Hussey
T20 stats – 3097 runs, 30.03 average, one hundred
T20I stats – 756 runs, 22.9 average, three fifties
BBL stats – 855 runs, 26.71 average, three fifties
A criminally underrated finisher, David Hussey had the knack of finding gaps all over the field. Setting a field for him was the toughest thing for opposition captains as he could play shots all over the ground without brute force. He bowls handy off spin to keep things quiet if needed.

James Faulkner
T20 stats – 1770 runs, 21.07 average, one fifty, 235 wickets, 23.36 average, 7.94 economy
T20I stats – 159 runs, 14.45 average, 36 wickets, 19 average, 7.96 economy
BBL stats – 602 runs, 23.15 average, 73 wickets, 22.5 average, 7.79 economy
Faulkner’s career has gone downhill recently, but he was useful at the Stars. He’d play crucial cameos with the bat in the latter overs and bowled in pressure situations for the Stars, delivering on most occasions bar the odd moment here and there.

John Hastings
T20 stats – 116 wickets, 24.7 average, 7.95 economy
T20I stats – seven wickets, 35.28 average, 7.96 economy
BBL stats – 50 wickets, 21.24 average, 7.87 economy
Nicknamed the Duke, Hastings was a phenomenal bowler for the Stars. Bowling in the mid to high 130s, he’d use his height to his advantage, getting steep bounce that would climb on opposition batsmen. The second highest wicket-taker for the Stars, Hastings signed for the Sixers in BBL08 but had to retire after a mystery lung condition.

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Adam Zampa
T20 stats – 169 wickets, 21.49 average, 7.22 economy
T20I stats – 33 wickets, 19.03 average, 6.12 economy
BBL stats – 69 wickets, 23.27 average, 7.16 economy
Joining the Stars in BBL05, Zampa is the leading wicket-taker in Stars history. Out of all the spinners who have played BBL, only Cameron Boyce (79 wickets) has taken more BBL wickets than Zampa. An accurate leggie, his biggest threat is his googlies and top-spinners, which get more turn and bounce than his traditional leg-spinners.

Adam Zampa of the Stars celebrates a wicket during the Big Bash League

(Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Scott Boland
T20 stats – 56 wickets, 24.87 average, 8.4 economy
T20I stats – three wickets, 30 average, 8.18 economy
BBL stats – 51 wickets, 24.49 average, 8.44 economy
Boland had to bowl the tough overs and went for runs a few times, but he was still a handy bowler. His off-cutters and yorkers were spot on most times and his BBL form for the Stars got him a T20I cap against India in January 2016.

Jackson Bird
T20 stats – 54 wickets, 29.92 average, 7.67 economy
BBL stats – 50 wickets, 28.98 average, 7.44 economy
Bird’s ability to swing the new ball made him a handy bowler in the power play for the Stars. For the Stars, Bird took 35 wickets in 33 games at an average of 23.05 and economy of 7.04 – much better than his overall T20 statistics.

Melbourne Renegades all-time XI

Aaron Finch (captain)
T20 stats – 8914 runs, 36.08 average, eight hundreds
T20I stats – 1989 runs, 38.25 average, two hundreds
BBL stats – 2252 runs, 38.82 average, two hundreds
I don’t really have to explain this inclusion, do I?

Aaron Finch of the Melbourne Renegades

(AAP Image/Julian Smith)

Sam Harper (wicketkeeper)
T20/BBL stats – 630 runs, 21 average, three fifties
Harper has shown glimpses of his potential in the Big Bash. Leaving cross-town rivals the Melbourne Stars for the Renegades, he’s had more opportunities to express himself. He gives the ball a solid whack and scores at a fast pace, but he lacks consistency. Only 23, Harper will continue to improve his T20 game in the future.

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Cameron White
T20 stats – 5469 runs, 30.72 average, two hundreds
T20I stats – 984 runs, 32.8 average, five fifties
BBL stats – 1582 runs, 25.93 average, 11 fifties
Having played most of his BBL career for the Renegades, White was the one who everyone else batted around. He’d take his time before going all guns blazing when the situation required him to accelerate. The third highest run scorer for the Renegades, it was pretty hard not to have White in this XI.

Beau Webster
T20/BBL stats – 599 runs, 33.27 average, four fifties
Webster was the shining light for the Renegades in what was a very disappointing BBL09 campaign. Given the chance to bat in the top four, he didn’t fail to shine, scoring a few fifties and handy cameos with the bat. While his stats in first class and List A cricket aren’t impressive, Webster’s T20 record is good so far and I believe he can play T20 cricket for Australia in the future.

Tom Cooper
T20 stats – 2454 runs, 22.93 average, 11 fifties
T20I stats – 404 runs, 28.85 average, two fifties
BBL stats – 1303 runs, 23.69 average, six fifties
The way that Cooper has batted in the past few BBL seasons doesn’t warrant a spot in the top four. But he is still a fine batsman who can play the finisher’s role pretty well. He’s evolved his T20 game to be a handy finisher and he has done that pretty well for the Renegades at times. He is the second highest run-scorer in Renegades history so Cooper’s a pretty decent bat. He bowls part-time off spin, which has led to wickets at times.

Tom Cooper Melbourne Renegades

(AAP Image/Hamish Blair)

Ben Rohrer
T20 stats – 1677 runs, 26.2 average, three fifties
T20I stats – 16 runs, 16 average
BBL stats – 1000 runs, 26.31 average, two fifties
In T20 cricket, you need specialists in certain roles and Rohrer was a specialist finisher for the Renegades. In 22 innings for the Renegades, he scored 498 runs at an average of 31.12, plus two fifties and a strike rate of 133.51. After playing for the Renegades from BBL02 to BBL04, Rohrer moved to the Thunder, where he hit the winning runs in the BBL05 final.

Mohammad Nabi
T20 stats – 3951 runs, 22.7 average, 11 fifties, 255 wickets, 23.55 average, 6.98 economy
T20I stats – 1347 runs, 22.08 average, four fifties, 69 wickets, 27.11 average, 7.17 economy
BBL stats – 476 runs, 29.75 average, two fifties, 21 wickets, 25.9 average, 7.17 economy
An outstanding all-rounder, Nabi has delivered with bat and ball many times for the Renegades. His bowling style makes him a wicket-taker in all situations during a T20 game and he has a solid batting base to slog in the death overs.

Dwayne Bravo
T20 stats – 6307 runs, 23.89 average, 20 fifties, 497 wickets, 24.52 average, 8.24 economy
T20I stats – 1151 runs, 23.97 average, four fifties, 59 wickets, 27.11 average, 8.34 economy
BBL stats – 674 runs, 24.07 average, two fifties, 49 wickets, 25.9 average, 8.12 economy
I’d be pretty stupid to not to include him in this XI. A T20 globetrotter, Bravo has the most wickets in T20 cricket. For the Renegades, Bravo hardly failed to deliver, using his countless and clever variations on the slower wickets at Marvel Stadium. He is another handy all-rounder who made an impact in every T20 team he has played for.

Dwayne Bravo

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

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Cameron Boyce
BBL/T20 stats – 87 wickets, 25.27 average, 7.61 economy
T20I stats – eight wickets, 19 average, 6.6 economy
Boyce has the most BBL wickets by a spinner. Need I say any more?

Kane Richardson
T20 stats – 127 wickets, 23.9 average, 7.89 economy
T20I stats – 19 wickets, 26.57 average, 7.76 economy
BBL stats – 83 wickets, 23.14 average, 7.79 economy
The leading wicket-taker for the Renegades, Richardson has been the best bowler in the Renegades team by a mile. His use of variations and bowling a tight length has been rewarded with wickets most times. He is the third highest wicket-taker in BBL history so he’s always been solid in the BBL with the ball.

Nathan Rimmington
T20 stats – 126 wickets, 22.84 average, 7.96 economy
BBL stats – 41 wickets, 26.9 average, 8.05 economy
The Renegades haven’t been blessed with great seamers, bar Richardson – so the second best was Nathan Rimmington. In 35 games, the seamer from Queensland took 34 wickets. Rimmington hasn’t played BBL since the sixth edition, but from what I can remember, he had a very good off-cutter, which worked at the SCG and Docklands compared to the other grounds he played in the BBL.