Could this be why the big left-armer sprays the odd ball?
The Big Bash League has been a brilliant platform for players to showcase their skills and be named in their nation’s T20 international squads. As the BBL enters its tenth season, here are my all-time Aussie and foreign XIs.
1. Aaron Finch (captain)
2. Michael Klinger
3. Shaun Marsh
4. Glenn Maxwell
5. Alex Carey (wk)
6. Brad Hodge
7. Dan Christian
8. Jason Behrendorff
9. Brad Hogg
10. Sean Abbott
11. Ben Laughlin
My openers are Aaron Finch and Michael Klinger.
Finch has been the best batsman in Big Bash history – from ball one, he could take the game away from bowlers.
Klinger complements Finch better than D’Arcy Short and his own record is commendable for the Scorchers and Strikers. Scoring a hundred on Boxing Day in 2014, Klinger was a crucial part for Perth winning BBL04 and BBL06.
At first drop is Shaun Marsh. Marsh averages a shade under 46 with a strike rate in the high 120s. A risk-free player, Marsh has been a crucial part of Perth winning all three of their BBL titles. Although Chris Lynn is the leading run-scorer in the comp, his weakness against spin led me to choose Marsh.
Glenn Maxwell has to be batting at four – add his bowling and fielding, and a case could be made for Maxwell being the MVP in Big Bash history.
My keeper is Alex Carey. His glovework for the Adelaide Strikers has been commendable and his record with the bat saw him beat the likes of Peter Handscomb and Sam Whiteman. For the Strikers in BBL09, Carey showed his batting prowess in the middle order and was adaptable to other positions bar opener.
My two finishers are Brad Hodge and Dan Christian. Two underrated hitters, the duo have proved themselves to be handy finishers in the slog overs.
My first choice in the bowling department is Jason Behrendorff. I wanted someone who could take wickets up front and Behrendorff has deliverred countless times in the powerplay.
My spinner is Brad Hogg. Although Adam Zampa and Cameron Boyce have respectable records, Hogg proved his skills as a wrist-spinner on the hard and flat pitches of the WACA and won three titles.
To round up my bowlers are Sean Abbott and Ben Laughlin. Laughlin is the leading BBL wicket-taker, so his selection wasn’t difficult to make, while Abbott was fighting against Kane Richardson for the third seamer’s role, but his superior average and strike rate got him there.
1. Luke Wright
2. Jos Buttler (wk)
3. Kevin Pietersen
4. Colin Ingram
5. Kieron Pollard (captain)
6. Dwayne Bravo
7. Tom Curran
8. Rashid Khan
9. Jofra Archer
10. Yasir Arafat
11. Samuel Badree
Luke Wright made his name scoring the fastest hundred, only for the record to be broken in BBL03 by Craig Simmons. A Melbourne Stars legend, Wright is the leading run-scorer for the franchise.
Buttler’s numbers as an opener are outstanding (averaging over 40).
Blink and you’d miss out on a T20 masterclass that Kevin Pietersen could put up on. Even while chatting with the commentators, KP would pierce gaps effortlessly.
South African Colin Ingram had a tremendous impact for the Strikers over the two seasons he has played, scoring at an average of 30.5 and a strike rate over 138. Signing for Hobart in BBL10, Hurricanes fans will be optimistic about breaking their trophy drought.
Although Kieron Pollard’s average is slightly over 22, he entertains the crowd with a strike rate of 147.66. Even if Pollard didn’t deliver with bat or ball, his ability to take freakish catches on the boundary has won the Strikers and Renegades matches.
To finish off my innings are Dwayne Bravo and Tom Curran, both of whom have won matches in the middle and death overs with the bat and ball.
My two spinners are Rashid Khan and Samuel Badree. Badree is one of the best T20 bowlers I’ve seen, specifically for his ability to bowl in the powerplay, helping the Heat win many games. As for Khan, his BBL record speaks for itself.
To finish off are Jofra Archer and Yasir Arafat. Archer was a breath of fresh air for the Hurricanes during BBL07 and BBL08, picking up wickets in all stages.
As for Yasir Arafat, there was no one better than him when it came to nailing yorkers.