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Opinion

Greatest ever BBL teams: Hobart Hurricanes and Brisbane Heat

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Roar Guru
27th May, 2020
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The Hobart Hurricanes are one of two teams in the BBL not to win the competition, despite making the final twice.

The Brisbane Heat have always had big-name players, but a lack of balance in their playing XI has been their undoing for most seasons.

Hobart Hurricanes all-time XI

1. D’Arcy Short
T20 stats – 2954 runs, 39.38 average, two hundreds
T20I stats – 592 runs, 32.88 average, four fifties
BBL stats – 1764 runs, 46.42 average, two hundreds
Smashing 61 off 29 on his T20 debut against the Sixers in BBL06, D’Arcy Short never looked back and is now the leading run-scorer for the Tasmanian outfit. It’s evident Short loves pace on the ball and has his struggles against the slower bowlers, but it’s no joke to amass nearly 2000 runs in a T20 competition in 43 innings.

D'Arcy Short

(AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

2. Matthew Wade
T20 stats – 2451 runs, 27.23 average, one hundred
T20I stats – 268 runs, 17.86 average, one fifty
BBL stats – 1726 runs, 33.19 average, one hundred
Wade has been a phenomenal player for the Hurricanes since moving back to his hometown franchise in BBL07. In the three seasons he’s played for the Hurricanes, Wade has scored 1194 runs in 34 innings with one hundred, ten fifties at an average of 39.8 with a strike rate of 150.94. Quality T20 numbers for the Hurricanes although it’ll be hard to see a spot for Wade in the T20 World Cup unless he’s a back-up batsman.

3. Tim Paine (wicketkeeper)
T20 stats – 1637 runs, 23.05 average, ten fifties
T20I stats – 82 runs, 10.25 average
BBL stats – 1198 runs, 27.22 average, eight fifties
Paine’s BBL numbers are surprisingly pretty good. The third-highest run-scorer for the Hurricanes, he gave them solidity at the top of the order. In this XI, Paine would be the player the rest of the batting line-up would bat around.

4. Ben McDermott
T20 stats – 1258 runs, 29.95 average, one hundred
T20I average, 98 runs, 14 average
BBL stats – 1160 runs, 33.14 average, one hundred
McDermott wrote his name into Hurricanes folklore after smashing 114 as the Hurricanes chased down 223 against the Renegades in BBL06. A middle-order batsman, McDermott’s BBL form for the Hurricanes rewarded him with an Australia T20I cap, however, he hasn’t been able to nail a spot into the Australian team as of yet.

5. George Bailey (captain)
T20 stats – 4127 runs, 28.86 average, 23 fifties
T20I stats – 473 runs, 24.89 average, two fifties
BBL stats – 1673 runs, 32.8 average, 11 fifties
Bailey’s inclusion can’t be questioned. He captained the Hurricanes to two finals (he didn’t play much in BBL03 due to Australian selection) and has been an excellent leader. Bailey is also the Hurricanes’ second highest run-scorer with the bat, so it is hard to leave a quality middle-order batsman like him out of this XI.

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George Bailey

(AAP Image/Rob Blakers)

6. Dan Christian
T20 stats – 4671 runs, 23.23 average, two hundreds, 231 wickets, 28.51 average, 8.4 economy
T20I stats – 27 runs, 6.75 average, 11 wickets, 28.81 average, 8.92 economy
BBL stats – 1435 runs, 22.42 average, six fifties, 65 wickets, 28.2 average, 8.27 economy
In the three seasons Dan Christian played for the Cane Train, his T20 game continued to evolve. As a finisher, his numbers were impressive, achieving a 23.45 average at a strike rate of 141.26. As a fifth-choice or sixth-choice bowler, Christian did a decent job with his medium-pacers, bagging 22 wickets in 28 games. Christian was the unsung hero in BBL07 as he played an essential role as the Hurricanes went to their second Big Bash final.

7. Jofra Archer
T20 stats – 121 wickets, 22.47 average, 7.8 economy
T20I stats – two wickets, 14.5 average, 7.25 economy
BBL stats – 34 wickets, 23.29 average, 7.72 economy
Archer was the X-factor in the Hurricanes team. He bowled at a rapid pace, he was a genuine wicket-taker and had great accuracy regarding his variations. An aggressive lower-order batsman, Archer was a class above his teammates in the Hobart side. He played a crucial role in Hurricanes making the BBL07 final.

8. Rana Naved Ul-Hasan
T20 stats – 153 wickets, 20.0 average, 7.16 economy
T20I stats – five wickets, 20.2 average, 7.12 economy
BBL stats – 15 wickets, 17.0 average, 8.01 economy
Ul-Hasan is no stranger to Tasmanian shores, having played for the Tasmanian Tigers for two seasons before the Big Bash became a franchise tournament. The Pakistani medium-pacer only played in BBL01, but he made a great impact in that season. His medium-pacers brought wickets in the middle and death overs, and he had an unplayable slower ball. For anyone who watched the streaming of Australia versus Pakistan T20I from Cricket Australia’s Facebook or Youtube Channel last weekend, you’ll see his magical delivery that dismissed Steve Smith. A great bowler who was nicknamed the people’s mullet by Hobart fans, Naved Ul-Hasan vanished from the BBL scene after the first season for unknown reasons.

9. Xavier Doherty
T20 stats – 62 wickets, 32.11 average, 7.68 economy
T20I stats – ten wickets, 30.0 average, 7.89 economy
BBL stats – 30 wickets, 29.9 average, 7.67 economy
With the short square boundaries at the Blundstone Arena and the lack of spin available, it can be a spinner’s nightmare. But Xavier Doherty held his nerve and did an excellent job by holding an end and taking important breakthroughs for the Hurricanes. He’s also the first player to take a hat trick in the Big Bash.

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10. Riley Meredith
T20/BBL stats – 27 wickets, 23.03 average, 8.22 economy
In his two seasons of Big Bash cricket, Meredith has improved as a T20 bowler, troubling batsmen with his pace. He’s only 23, so he’ll get better and have more weapons in his arsenal to fire at batsmen apart from a bouncer, yorker and pace.

11. Ben Hilfenhaus
T20 stats – 117 wickets, 22.2 average, 7.6 economy
T20I stats – nine wickets, 17.88 average, 6.19 economy
BBL stats – 26 wickets, 24.65 average, 7.58 economy
Hilfenhaus as a T20 bowler was very effective. Swinging the new ball, he’d give Hurricanes breakthroughs in the power play overs and nail his yorkers at the death. His BBL form for the Cane Train saw him get an IPL gig with the Chennai Super Kings and a recall to the Australian T20 side in 2012.

Brisbane Heat all-time XI

1. Luke Pomersbach
T20 stats – 1228 runs, 26.12 average, one hundred
T20I stats – 15 runs, 15.0 average
BBL stats – 547 runs, 32.17 average, one hundred
Pomersbach is forgotten for his heroics for the Heat, especially in BBL02 when the Heat won the tournament. An aggressive batsman, Pomersbach gave the Heat fast starts and was a reliable batsman to count on.

2. Brendon McCullum (captain and wicketkeeper)
T20 stats – 9922 runs, 29.97 average, seven hundreds
T20I stats – 2140 runs, 35.66 average, two hundreds
BBL stats – 920 runs, 27.87 average, four fifties
He is just some bloke who revolutionised cricket in New Zealand and smashed sixes for fun. Dubbed as one of the Bash Brothers, McCullum made a great impact on an average Heat side, leading them to the semi-finals before losing to the Sixers in a super over.

3. Chris Lynn
T20 stats – 5096 runs, 32.66 average, two hundreds
T20I stats – 291 runs, 19.4 average
BBL stats – 2332 runs, 37.51 average, one hundred
He is the other Bash Brother and he’s also the leading BBL run-scorer. I’d have to be a complete idiot not to include Lynn in the XI.

Chris Lynn of the Heat bats.

(Photo: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

4. Joe Burns
T20 stats – 1319 runs, 24.42 average, five fifties
BBL stats – 1057 runs, 26.42 average, four fifties
The wannabe Bash Brother, Burns is the third highest run-scorer for the Heat. A reliable middle-order batsman, he’s played handy knocks for the Heat throughout the Big Bash.

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5. Alex Ross
T20 stats – 1183 runs, 28.85 average, six fifties
BBL stats – 1137 runs, 28.42 average, six fifties
Dubbed the sweepologist, Ross was another reliable middle-order batsman for the Heat. In 23 innings for the Heat, Ross scored 518 runs at an average of 28.77 with three fifties and had the responsibility of shouldering the innings due to reckless batting from the top order.

6. Ben Cutting
T20 stats – 2039 runs, 22.16 average, four fifties, 123 wickets, 30.7 average, 9.03 economy
T20I stats – 40 runs, 10.0 average, three wickets, 71.66 average, 10.23 economy
BBL stats – 1258 runs, 22.07 average, two fifties, 66 wickets, 20.09 average, 8.81 economy
Cutting had to be in this XI, considering how averagely many Heat players have performed. When on song, his finishing capabilities with the bat are extraordinary, and when playing as the sixth bowler, he bowls with more freedom. He played a crucial part in the Heat’s success in BBL02 with his death-overs show with bat and ball.

Ben Cutting plays a drive

(Albert Perez – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

7. James Hopes
T20 stats – 67 wickets, 33.65 average, 7.94 economy
T20I stats – ten wickets, 28.3 average, 7.64 economy
BBL stats – 24 wickets, 31.5 average, 7.12 economy
Despite retiring from professional cricket in 2016, Hopes remains in the Heat’s top ten wicket-takers. His wily medium-pacers were accurate, and he was a handy lower-order batsman as well, having scored ten fifties in T20 cricket.

8. Josh Lalor
T20 stats – 55 wickets, 25.34 average, 7.93 economy
BBL stats – 53 wickets, 24.47 average, 7.92 economy
The second highest wicket-taker for the Heat, Lalor has been a genuine wicket-taker while also bowling with a respectable economy. He can bowl in all stages of a game to make a breakthrough.

9. Samuel Badree
T20 stats – 187 wickets, 22.16 average, 6.02 economy
T20I stats – 56 wickets, 21.07 average, 6.17 economy
BBL stats – 14 wickets, 23.85 average, 6.42 economy
It was a tough choice between Dan Vettori, Mujeeb Ur-Rahman and Badree but Badree just got the nod from me. The West Indian leg-spinner had the speciality of bowling with the new ball and keeping things tight while also taking wickets. He is an outstanding T20 bowler who helped the West Indies win two T20 World Cups and helped the Heat reach the BBL06 semis.

10. Mitch Swepson
T20 stats – 41 wickets, 27.82 average, 7.69 economy
T20I stats – two wickets, 18.5 average, 9.25 economy
BBL stats – 39 wickets, 28.3 average, 7.64 economy
He is the fourth highest wicket-taker for the Heat. There are no questions regarding Swepson’s inclusion. He’ll continue to develop in the shortest format and will get more opportunities to represent Australia in T20Is in the future. He is no chance for the T20 World Cup though.

Mitchell Swepson attempts a catch.

(AAP Image/Craig Golding)

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11. James Pattinson
T20 stats – 47 wickets, 24.12 average, 8.25 economy
T20I stats – three wickets, 34.66 average, 8.0 economy
BBL stats – 32 wickets, 23.5 average, 8.49 economy
Pattinson has had limited opportunities for the Heat due to Test selection and injury, but he’s been quite consistent with the ball when playing for the Heat. The right-arm quick has played 11 games, taking 13 wickets at an average of 22.84 and an economy of 7.45.