Wes Agar, the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year and South Australian male player of year, has revealed his battle with mental illness.
Despite being poor over the past two seasons, the Perth Scorchers have been the best BBL side by far, having won three titles.
Their South Australian counterparts, the Adelaide Strikers, have become a much better side after three seasons of mediocrity.
1. Shaun Marsh
T20 stats – 6124 runs, 38.75 average, two hundreds
T20I stats – 255 runs, 18.21 average
BBL stats – 1884 runs, 45.95 average, 17 fifties
Shaun Marsh is a quality white-ball player and is a highly underrated T20 cricketer. He is the leading run-scorer for the Scorchers so it would be pretty stupid not to have Shaun Marsh in this XI.
2. Michael Klinger
T20 stats – 5960 runs, 34.45 average, eight hundreds
T20I stats – 143 runs, 47.66 average, one fifty
BBL stats – 1947 runs, 30.42 average, one hundred
Just like Shaun Marsh’s inclusion, Klinger cannot be ignored. He was a class player who scored runs by playing traditional cricket shots.
3. Cameron Bancroft (wicketkeeper)
T20 stats – 1090 runs, 32.05 average, eight fifties
T20I stats – one match, did bat but was at the non-striker’s end
BBL stats – 941 runs, 32.44 average, seven fifties
Whenever I see Bancroft play, he always loves to play straight – whether it be against the pacers or spinners. He is another traditional batsman who doesn’t have to play outrageous shots to score runs. He keeps for the Scorchers and Western Australia, so he gets the gloves over Josh Inglis.
4. Mitch Marsh
T20 stats – 1913 runs, 30.36 average, nine fifties, 49 wickets, 28.12 average, 8.51 economy
T20I stats – 219 runs, 19.9 average, seven wickets, 22.71 average, 7.95 economy
BBL stats – 1445 runs, 38.02 average, nine fifties, 18 wickets, 44.38 average, 9.18 economy
As a top-order batsman for the Scorchers, Mitch Marsh is one hell of a player. The power Marsh possesses with the bat is phenomenal and he gives the ball a solid whack to all parts of the ground. He bowls handy medium pace but has gone the journey a few times.
5. Adam Voges (captain)
T20 stats – 4064 runs, 31.02 average, 19 fifties
T20I stats – 139 runs, 46.33 average, one fifty
BBL stats – 1129 runs, 31.36 average, five fifties
Voges’ record speaks for itself. Having left the Stars for the Scorchers in BBL02, Voges captained the Scorchers to three Big Bash titles. A reliable batsman in the middle-order, he bailed the Scorchers out of trouble many times.
6. Ashton Turner
T20 stats – 1252 runs, 20.86 average, seven fifties
T20I stats – 57 runs, 14.25 average
BBL stats – 1119 runs, 21.51 average, six fifties
Turner possesses a lot of power but hasn’t quite been able to match that into consistency as a batsman. However, with the solidity of this Scorchers top five, Turner can go all guns blazing in the death overs without the fear of getting out.
7. David Willey
T20 stats – 4071 runs, 23.64 average, two hundreds, 175 wickets, 23.26 average, 7.86 economy
T20I stats – 166 runs, 13.83 average, 34 wickets, 22.38 average, 8.19 economy
BBL stats – 229 runs, 14.31 average, one fifty, 26 wickets, 24.26 average, 7.42 economy
Willey didn’t have a tremendous BBL08 campaign, but he was still a class import for the Scorchers. A left-arm seamer, Willey can swing the ball back into right-handers and use his natural angles to tempt batsmen into a false sense of security. He was a handy lower-order batsman to score a quick cameo as well.
8. Yasir Arafat
T20 stats – 281 wickets, 22.58 average, 8.09 economy
T20I stats – 16 wickets, 19.75 average, 8.03 economy
BBL stats – 33 wickets, 19.03 average, 8.24 economy
Out of all of the overseas fast bowlers to play in the Big Bash, Yasir Arafat had the biggest impact. Arafat was a genuine wicket-taker in the middle and death overs, and he nailed his yorkers 95 per cent of the time. While he’s known for taking wickets in crucial stages of a T20 game, Arafat will be most remembered by Scorchers fans for scoring that one vital run in the BBL04 final as the Scorchers won their second title.
9. Brad Hogg
T20 stats – 140 wickets, 24.75 average, 6.91 economy
T20I stats – seven wickets, 53.28 average, 7.61 economy
BBL stats – 61 wickets, 24.03 average, 6.61 economy
For a wrist-spinner to succeed bowling at the WACA takes a lot of skill, and Brad Hogg proved that. Whether it was top-spinner, googly, flipper or his stock leggies, Hogg had so much control and accuracy. Hogg is the best spinner to have made a severe impact in the Big Bash.
10. Jason Behrendorff
T20 stats – 74 wickets, 22.05 average, 7.24 economy
T20I stats – seven wickets, 16.71 average, 7.31 economy
BBL stats – 62 wickets, 20.7 average, 7.04 economy
The second highest wicket-taker for the Scorchers, it was hard to exclude Behrendorff in this XI. He bowls good pace with the ability to swing it. Behrendorff has troubled many batsmen in BBL, and when fit, he’s been a tough customer to nullify.
11. Andrew Tye
T20 stats – 194 wickets, 21.47 average, 8 economy
T20I stats – 37 wickets, 22.02 average, 8.87 economy
BBl stats – 72 wickets, 19.8 average, 7.52 economy
The leading wicket-taker for the Scorchers despite missing out on BBL09 to injury, Tye has been magnificent for the Scorchers. Alongside Arafat, Tye has the knack of taking wickets in middle and death overs. He has up to eight different slower balls to use in the death overs.
1. Jake Weatherald
T20/BBL stats – 1235 runs, 26.27 average, one hundred
Weatherald came onto the scene with a half-century on debut in BBL06 and hasn’t looked back since. Despite a poor BBL09 campaign, I’d back Weatherald to score a quickfire 30 at least, and if he gets going, he’s hard to stop.
2. Alex Carey (wicketkeeper)
T20 stats – 1621 runs, 31.17 average, one hundred
T20I stats – 173 runs, 14.41 average
BBL stats – 1163 runs, 36.34 average, one hundred
He is the third highest run-scorer in Strikers history. Carey’s record justifies his selection although I did give Tim Ludeman a real thought.
3. Travis Head (captain)
T20 stats – 2036 runs, 31.32 average, one hundred
T20I stats – 319 runs, 26.58 average
BBL stats – 1279 runs, 32.79 average, one hundred
Despite having limited opportunities to play Big Bash in the past few years, Head is still the Strikers’ leading run-scorer. A cult hero following his new year’s eve hundred against the Sixers, he’s the captain of this side.
4. Colin Ingram
T20 stats – 6658 runs, 30.12 average, four hundreds
T20I stats – 210 runs, 26.25 average one fifty
BBL stats – 610 runs, 30.5 average, five fifties
Ingram was instrumental towards Adelaide’s only BBL title in BBL07. A T20 freelancer nowadays, the South African import scored runs consistently and at a high strike rate at number three and four.
5. Jonathan Wells
T20 stats – 1949 runs, 34.8 average, ten fifties
BBL stats – 1790 runs, 35.8 average, nine fifties
The sixth-highest run-scorer in the Big Bash, Jono Wells is Australia’s most underrated T20 cricketer. A middle-order batsman, Wells has the knack of quietly doing his job without getting the plaudits he deserves. For the Strikers, Wells has scored 976 runs in 38 innings at an average of 42.43 (15 not outs) with five half centuries at a strike rate of 126.75. With Australia still not set on their number five for the T20 World Cup, Wells certainly has a good chance of playing for Australia before the T20 World Cup.
6. Brad Hodge
T20 stats – 7406 runs, 36.84 average, two hundreds
T20I stats – 183 runs, 26.14 average
BBL stats – 1412 runs, 42.78 average, 11 fifties
A quality T20 cricketer, Hodge played the finisher’s role for many T20 teams throughout his career. The Victorian veteran was instrumental towards the Strikers making BBL04 and BBL05 semis before being knocked out in the semis by the Sydney franchises. For the Strikers, Hodge scored 593 runs in 20 innings at an average of 42.35 with a strike rate of 128.91.
7. Rashid Khan
T20 stats – 296 wickets, 17.22 average, 6.3 economy
T20I stats – 89 wickets, 12.62 average, 6.14 economy
BBL stats – 56 wickets, 17.66 average, 6.36 economy
He is a phenomenal T20 cricketer at the age of 21 who is the x-factor for every team he plays for. Alongside his fast wrist-spinners, Khan has won games for Adelaide with his late cameos with the bat.
8. Michael Neser
T20 stats – 71 wickets, 27.53 average, 8.48 economy
BBL stats – 65 wickets, 26.86 average, 8.34 economy
Neser has been expensive with the ball at times, but he’s still been a vital cog for the Strikers, especially over the past few seasons. He is the second highest wicket-taker for the Strikers, so it was pretty hard to leave Neser out.
9. Peter Siddle
T20 stats – 59 wickets, 25.23 average, 7.29 economy
T20I stats – three wickets, 19.33 average, 7.25 economy
BBL stats – 41 wickets, 21.73 average, 6.94 economy
When Siddle joined the Strikers in BBL07, I genuinely thought he was going to flop with the ball. Boy, was I off the mark. His T20 skills developed so much at the Strikers, and Jason Gillespie deserves a lot of credit for that. Get Siddle to bowl at any stage of a T20 game, and he’ll deliver with the ball. He has taken 36 wickets in 31 matches at an average of 19.86 and an economy rate of 6.85. If Justin Langer can somehow convince Siddle to come out of T20I retirement, I would have Siddle in my T20 World Cup squad and his BBL form for the Strikers warrants that.
10. Ben Laughlin
T20 stats – 190 wickets, 22.72 average, 8.05 economy
T20I stats – two wickets, 59 average, 9.97 economy
BBL stats – 110 wickets, 22.12 average, 8.00 economy
Laughlin is the leading wicket-taker for the Strikers and in Big Bash history. I don’t need to go any further explaining why he’s in this XI.
11. Shaun Tait
T20 stats – 218 wickets, 22.43 average, 7.98 economy
T20I stats – 28 wickets, 21.03 average, 7.39 economy
BBL stats – 46 wickets, 23.21 average, 8.65 economy
Tait was rapidly quick but went for runs when playing for the Melbourne Renegades and Hobart Hurricanes. However, he was a beast at the Strikers. In 18 matches for his hometown franchise, Shaun ‘The Wild Thing’ Tait took 28 wickets at an average of 17.96 and an economy of 7.85. His successor Billy Stanlake has done a decent job for the Strikers, but Tait was a wild animal when on the hunt for wickets with his 150-kilometre thunderbolts.