2016-17 Big Bash League Team Preview: Scorchers & Strikers

December 6, 2016 by Posted in Cricket Tips

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The premier domestic Twenty20 competition of Australia – the KFC Big Bash is round the corner and you can hear the excitement down under. New Zealand are in town for a three match Chappell-Hadlee trophy but that’s barely a distraction from the build-up. This in itself should tell you how eagerly awaited the Big Bash is! BBL06 commences from December 20.

Eight rounds will be played in this sixth season of the BBL which will witness a bigger collaboration between Men’s and Women’s Big Bash. The eight city-based teams will vie to be among the top four to play the semi-finals on January 24 and 25. The grand finale would be played on Saturday, 28th January 2017.

We take a look at the eight teams, their composition and their chances as we build up to this year’s BBL.

perth_scorchers

The team with the best record in BBL history – the Perth Scorchers always start a season with high hopes. They were runners-up in the first two editions and followed it up with two back-to-back titles. Last year saw them lose out in the semi-finals going down to the Melbourne Stars.

The advantage for the Scorchers is the continuity in their ranks. Coached by Justin Langer – easily the most sought-after coach in Australia at the moment, the team will be led by Adam Voges. There are a plethora of Australian capped players making the numbers for the Scorchers including the Marsh brothers, Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Michael Klinger, Andrew Tye and Nathan Coulter-Nile among others.

Their overseas contingent is strengthened by the inclusion of Ian Bell to go with his England teammate David Willey. Bell has a lot of T20 experience with Warwickshire and could be an inspired addition. This is a supremely talented side that looks set to go deep into the tournament. At odds of $6.50 (Sportsbet) they are at the top of odds market.

Player to Watch: Cameron Bancroft
X-Factor: Ian Bell
Prediction: Finals

Squad:
Adam Voges, Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Ian Bell, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Klinger, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, James Muirhead, Joel Paris, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman, David Willey

adelaide_strikers

The Adelaide Strikers were the best team in the round phase last year only to tumble in the semi-finals after being brushed aside by an Usman Khawaja led Sydney Thunder. In fact, that had been the case for the past two years for them after three disappointing seasons in BBL.

The Strikers are not short of experience – on the contrary, they have a lot of T20 experience in their squad. Brad Hodge leads the squad that has the usual T20 suspects from around the world – Kieron Pollard, Chris Jordan, Travis Head and Kane Richardson.

They could benefit from Jon Holland’s recent performances in the Matador Cup but are otherwise thin in the spin department. The odds on Strikers winning the Big Bash are $8 (Sportsbet).

Player to Watch: Jake Lehmann
X-Factor: Kieron Pollard
Prediction: Semi-finals

Squad:
Michael Neser, Ben Laughlin, Brad Hodge, Craig Simmons, Kane Richardson, Tim Ludeman, Travis Head, Kelvin Smith, Jono Dean, Kieron Pollard, Adil Rashid, Jon Holland, Billy Stanlake, Jake Lehmann, Jake Weatherald, Alex Carey, Wes Agar, Ben Dunk

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