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BBL Fantasy 2013/14: Hobart Hurricanes Preview

The Hurricanes have a pretty bloody good batting and bowling line-up. They can attack, must be careful to not lose wickets in clusters. While there are no out and out locks for Hobart, Zeus looks across their list and has found some potential picks for your BBL Fantasy team.

bbl_hurricanesTeam Name

Hobart Hurricanes

Summary

The Hurricanes had a superb BBL|01, but took a few backward steps in the second instalment. They possess a fantastic top 7, including an explosive opening combination in Paine and Birt. Youngster Jonathon Wells has proven in the past that he’s no weak link, and should cement his spot at three. Their middle order is also a force to be reckoned with, led by Shoaib Malik, the Pakistani powerhouse. He is likely to come in at five after international duty. Owais Shah should come in at second drop, with Mascarenhas and Blizzard batting at 7 and 6 respectively.

Their bowling attack is also pretty good. Even with Hilfenhaus ruled out for up to a month, they have depth. Laughlin will lead the pace attack, and will be supported by Doug Bollinger. Rainbird/Mennie are in a shoot-out for the third seamer spot. Mascarenhas will probably bowl four overs, he has a lot of experience, something that either of the two aforementioned youngsters can’t match.Xavier Doherty will do most of the spinning, with Malik likely to contribute a bit.

Strengths

  • Bowling Variation. Even though Hobart’s bowling attack is not packed with stars, the bowlers all bring something individual to the table. Laughlin seems to have a speed range of 100-140 km/hr, something that is extremely valuable in T20 cricket. Bollinger provides a different angle and Rainbird/Mennie will have the advantage of being relatively unknown. Mascarenhas, as mentioned above, has mountains of experience and would probably bowl towards the end of the innings. Doherty also never seems to mind bowling at the death, which shows the confidence he has in himself. If you throw Malik in there, Hobart have an extremely distinct and diverse attack, something that the opposition batsmen will find hard to adjust to.
  • Can score runs quickly. Just take a quick look at their batting. Paine, Birt, Bailey, Shah, Malik, Blizzard. Every single one of those guys can turn it on when needed. They have incredible power in the line-up that many opposition teams will find difficult to match. Birt is especially dangerous, anyone that saw him in BBL|01 will know what he’s capable of.

Weaknesses

  • Weak tail. Yes, all their batsmen can hit a long ball, but what about their bowlers? Once you go past number six or seven, it ends relatively quickly. You wouldn’t want to be relying on Doherty or Rainbird for late-innings runs. The Hobart batsmen would have to keep that in mind in the middle, and possibly conserve wickets to have a massive smack at the end.

Best XI

  1. Tim Paine
  2. Travis Birt
  3. George Bailey
  4. Owais Shah
  5. Shoaib Malik
  6. Jonathon Wells/Aidan Blizzard
  7. Dimitri Mascarenhas
  8. Ben Laughlin
  9. Doug Bollinger
  10. Ben Hilfenhaus
  11. 11. Xavier Doherty

Team XI for GW 1

  1. Tim Paine
  2. Travis Birt
  3. Jonathon Wells*
  4. Owais Shah
  5. Aidan Blizzard
  6. Dimitri Mascarenhas
  7. Evan Gulbis
  8. Ben Laughlin
  9. Doug Bollinger
  10. Sam Rainbird/Joe Mennie^
  11. Xavier Doherty

*Jonathon Wells and Aidan Blizzard could swap around, they are both top order batsman, so I just went from a couple of scorecards from last season. Wells seemed to be preferred up the order.

^Because Hilfenhaus is injured, it is realistically a battle between two guys, Rainbird and Mennie. I think Rainbird is slightly ahead, he’s been playing the Shield games and is bowling well. Monitor, could be a cheap fifth bowler.

Injuries

Ben Hilfenhaus will miss two to four weeks with a side strain. I’m guessing he probably won’t get up for the first game.

International vacancies

The two internationals are Shoaib Malik (Pakistan) and Owais Shah (England). Shah will play the whole tournament but I’m not sure about Malik. He probably won’t play the test series against Sri Lanka, but might play in the ODI series before it. I can’t recommend selecting him until you know more.

Locks

  • There are no real ‘locks’ in the Hurricanes’ line-up. The closest would be Ben Laughlin, 95k priced bowler who did really well last year, and should do so again. However, you probably can’t afford him and Malinga.

Blocks

  • George Bailey – until you know for sure he’s allowed to play by CA.
  • Cameron Boyce and Timm Van Der Gugten, they are unlikely to play unless more injuries occur.
  • Shoaib Malik, until we hear more information about his international exploits.
  • Evan Gulbis – might be playing in GW1, but he’s a bit risky beyond that. Bowling allrounders always are.
  • Ben Dunk – similar story as above. Uncertainty is the killer.
  • Rainbird/Mennie – just wait on them until we have a better idea on who will line-up.

Value Players

  • Even though he had a lean BBL|02, I wouldn’t write Birt off. He’s a real champion, and more importantly, a massive bargain at only 75k. I’d see how he goes, and if the signs are good, jump on. Likely to open as well.
  • Same deal with Owais Shah – only 54k. However, for me there are too many good players out there to risk going to him.
  • If either Joe Mennieor Sam Rainbird play, we’ll have a fantastic fifth or fourth bowler option. 36k and 32k respectively. Monitor closely.
  • Bollinger is also pretty bloody good value at only 50k. I currently have him, should play every game. Saying that, it’s probably likely to change 1000 times before lockout.

Prediction

The Hurricanes have a pretty bloody good batting and bowling line-up. They can attack, must be careful to not lose wickets in clusters. The bowlers each have their own distinct flavour, and each must be treated carefully. I think the Hurricanes will reach the semi-final this season, but will be eliminated.

Written by Zeus O’Dea, founder of and author for Fantasy Cricket Galore.

SEE THE OTHER PREVIEWS: Perth Scorchers | Sydney Sixers | Melbourne Stars | Sydney Thunder | Melbourne Renegades | Brisbane Heat | Hobart Hurricanes | Adelaide Strikers

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