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BBL Fantasy: Predicting Teams’ Starting XII’s

BBL|05 is just around the corner and Nic drops his all-important starting XIIs to help you pick the best fantasy squad.

With under a week until the start of BBL|05, the final list changes have seemingly been made and practice games are starting to give us an idea of how teams are going to line up in round one.

In this article I will try and come up with a starting 12 for each team and explain why some players have been left out or why they’re positioned where they are.

Obviously, this is just a best guess and Big Bash clubs are very guarded about injuries making it hard to predict, but let’s give it a shot anyway!

The Perth Scorchers

  1. David Willey
  2. Michael Klinger
  3. Shaun Marsh
  4. Michael Carberry
  5. Adam Voges
  6. Ashton Agar
  7. Sam Whiteman (wk)
  8. Nathan Coulter-Nile
  9. Andrew Tye
  10. Jason Behrendorff
  11. Brad Hogg
  12. Ashton Turner

The Scorchers have the bye in round one which makes their predictions especially hard. Jason Behrendorff will have to pass a fitness test to play, but he will slot straight into their side if he does. Shaun Marsh and Adam Voges have been given the all-clear to play in their opening match in round two against the Adelaide Strikers which gives them an incredibly powerful batting line up. Mitchell Marsh will not play, however. Once they return to test match duties, expect the likes of Ashton Agar, Ashton Turner, Cameron Bancroft or Marcus Harris to replace them. The Scorchers will be hoping they get access to their test stars throughout the tournament, otherwise their batting is a little shallow. David Willey opened the batting for the Scorchers in their warm-up game giving an indication that they’ll be using him there.

Sydney Thunder

  1. Jacques Kallis
  2. Shane Watson
  3. Usman Khawaja
  4. Michael Hussey
  5. Aiden Blizzard
  6. Andre Russell
  7. Ben Rohrer
  8. Chris Hartley (wk)
  9. Gurinder Sandhu
  10. Clint McKay
  11. Fawad Ahmed
  12. Ahillen Beadle

The Sydney Thunder have been bolstered by the news that Usman Khawaja will be available for the first two rounds of the season giving them a lot of batting depth. Michael Hussey batted in the middle order towards the end of BBL|04 and probably will stay there with Watson and Kallis at the top of the order. With so many all-rounders, they could probably get away with having the three bowlers. The Thunder have been the worst performing team of the BBL so far and will be looking to turn that around this season.

Sydney Sixers

  1. Brad Haddin (wk)
  2. Michael Lumb
  3. Nic Maddinson
  4. Jordan Silk
  5. Johan Botha
  6. Ryan Carters
  7. Sean Abbott
  8. Stephen O’Keefe
  9. Nathan Lyon
  10. Jackson Bird
  11. Doug Bollinger
  12. Ed Cowan

The Sixers have a lot of test match players in their squad and while Josh Hazlewood will not line up for the Sixers, Nathan Lyon will be available for their first two games. Steve Smith will NOT play for the Sixers and Mitchell Starc is obviously injured. The Sixers have excellent depth that should serve them well this summer, despite the test heavy squad. Sixers captain Moises Henriques WILL miss game one due to suspension, but expect him to slot straight back in come round two despite injury concerns. Expect them to rely heavily on their bowling all-rounders in Henriques’ absence rather than going with the extra batsman.

Adelaide Strikers

  1. Craig Simmons
  2. Tim Ludeman (wk)
  3. Brad Hodge
  4. Mahela Jayawardene
  5. Travis Head
  6. Jono Dean
  7. Michael Neser
  8. Kane Richardson
  9. Ben Laughlin
  10. Gary Putland
  11. Adil Rashid
  12. Jon Holland

The Strikers lost Pollard to injury a few weeks ago, but have done spectacularly well replacing him with former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene. Who plays out of Putland and Holland could change every week and the Strikers probably have the toughest batting order to predict. The Strikers’ middle order is also rather difficult to predict as they have a lot of options for that number six position. They could play Dean, Ross, Smith or Keath in that position.

Melbourne Stars

  1. Luke Wright
  2. Rob Quiney
  3. Kevin Pietersen
  4. Glenn Maxwell
  5. Peter Handscomb (wk)
  6. David Hussey
  7. Marcus Stoinis
  8. James Faulkner
  9. John Hastings
  10. Adam Zampa
  11. Ben Hilfenhaus
  12. Evan Gulbis

The Stars once again have a very good looking team on paper and just need to convert it into early season wins. Stoinis could bat anywhere from one through to seven and whether they use Handscomb or Triffit as a wicketkeeper is still up in the air. They could also opt to play Michael Beer as their spinner instead of Adam Zampa. Clearly, they have a lot of depth and not a lot of players that’ll miss games due to other commitments. The Stars are looking the goods this year.

Brisbane Heat

  1. Lendl Simmons
  2. Joe Burns
  3. Chris Lynn
  4. Peter Forrest
  5. Nathan Reardon
  6. James Hopes
  7. Ben Cutting
  8. Jimmy Pierson (wk)
  9. Andrew Feketee
  10. Samuel Badree
  11. Mark Steketee
  12. Alex Doolan

The Heat are the team that I’m most worried about when it comes to batting depth. They are heavily reliant on Joe Burns being cleared to play the first few games with Alex Doolan really the only experienced replacement at the top of the order. Burns has been cleared to play the first two games, but beyond that they’re very light on batsman wise. Their bowling stocks are also lacking a little bit of class with Badree really being the only bowler who you can bank on to control the run rate. James Hopes is going to be the key to both their batting and bowling once again this season and they’re going to need Chris Lynn to tear the competition apart.

 

Melbourne Renegades

  1. Chris Gayle
  2. Aaron Finch
  3. Callum Ferguson
  4. Cameron White
  5. Matthew Wade (wk)
  6. Dwayne Bravo
  7. Tom Cooper
  8. Chris Tremain
  9. Nathan Rimmington
  10. Nathan Hauritz
  11. Xavier Doherty
  12. Peter Nevill

Take a look at that batting order because it is by far the strongest batting line up in BBL|05. Gayle and Finch speak for themselves, Ferguson is in great form, Cam White and Matthew Wade are international calibre and Dwayne Bravo is Dwayne Bravo. However, without Peter Siddle and James Pattinson, their bowling stocks are rather thin and they’re going to be heavily reliant on Tremain and Rimmington this season. Matthew Short and Nick Winter are their other bowling options. Peter Nevill is available the Renegades in round one and it will be interesting to see if they go with the two keepers in the one team. It may come down to whether they want to use Cooper ahead of him. Cooper can bowl a few overs if need be and that might give him the edge considering they’ll be batting at seven.

Hobart Hurricanes

  1. Tim Paine
  2. Ben Dunk
  3. Kumar Sangakkara
  4. George Bailey
  5. Jonathan Wells
  6. Dan Christian
  7. Darren Sammy
  8. Cameron Boyce
  9. Sam Rainbird
  10. Jake Reed
  11. Shaun Tait
  12. Michael Hill

The Hurricanes have a very well balanced team with a strong batting line up and a reliable group of bowlers with Shaun Tait as the x-factor. Jake Reed performed well last season for the Hurricanes, but he and Rainbird could be interchanged with Joe Mennie or Clive Rose depending on the circumstances. They’ve lost Ben Hilfenhaus and Xavier Doherty to other teams and haven’t really replaced them, but if their bowlers get the job done, their batting line up is good enough to make finals.

Those are my predicted first teams for BBL|05. Remember that the Perth Scorchers have a bye in round one and the Sydney Thunder, Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars play twice… It’s a weird fixture.

Here is my predicted final ladder for BBL|05 in what should be a very even season.

  1. Melbourne Stars
  2. Melbourne Renegades
  3. Sydney Sixers
  4. Hobart Hurricanes
  5. Sydney Thunder
  6. Perth Scorchers
  7. Adelaide Strikers
  8. Brisbane Heat

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