The fifth edition of the Big Bash League (BBL) all set to start from December 17 at Sydney Showground Stadium. City rivals Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder will face each other in the tournament opener. Here are the squad analyses for all eight franchises.
The Adelaide franchise has finished on the top of the league last year. This time, Brad Hodge will replace captain Johan Botha, who has become an assistant coach for Sidney Sixers. Strikers even after topping league’s point table but lost the semifinals last season.
Strikers have suffered a setback before the start of the season as allrounder Kieron Pollard has been ruled out from the team for the entire tournament.
Players like Sri Lankan World T20 winning star Mahela Jayawardene, England spinner Adil Rashid, and wicket-keeper batsman Tim Ludeman will bring much-needed solidity and balance to the team.
But, pace bowler Shaun Tait’s transfer to Hobart Hurricanes made the bowling department look shaky.
Squad: Michael Neser, Brad Hodge, Alex Ross, Ben Laughlin, Craig Simmons, Gary Putland, Kane Richardson, Tim Ludeman, Travis Head, Jono Dean, Jon Holland, Kelvin Smith, Mahela Jayawardene, Billy Stanlake, Hamish Kingston, Jake Lehmann, Adil Rashid, Alex Keath.
Ins: Jayawardene (Sri Lanka), Lehmann, Rashid (overseas), Stanlake, Kingston, Keath (Stars)
Outs: Adam Zampa (Stars), Johan Botha (Sixers), Shaun Tait (Hurricanes), Kieron Pollard (injured)
The winner of 2013 ended at the bottom of the league last season. But, their team was filled with big names and utility players. Last season Brendon McCullum, Andrew Flintoff were chosen to get some publicity. But, McCullum was not available for the whole season in the entire tournament and Flintoff was not in his best form. This year Lindel Simmons of west Indies, who plays for IPL franchise Mumbai Indians, Australian opener Joe Burns, Ben Cutting and Samul Badree will make them competitive.
But, the retirement of Daniel Vettori, Rayan Harris and Shane Watson’s transfer to Sydney Thunder may affect their fortune. Brisbane Heat’s prospect in the league don’t look shiny.
Squad: Samuel Badree, Nick Buchanan, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Alex Doolan, Andrew Fekete, Luke Feldman, Jason Floros, Peter Forrest, James Hopes, Josh Lalor, Chris Lynn, Lendl Simmons, James Peirson, Nathan Reardon, Lendl Simmons, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Jack Wildermuth.
Ins: Badree, Simmons (both West Indies), Fekete, Alex Doolan (both Renegades), Feldman (Stars), Wildermuth, Swepson.
Outs: Brendon McCullum (New Zealand), Dan Vettori (retired), Dan Christian, Simon Milenko (both Hurricanes), Andrew Flintoff, Ryan Harris (retired), Shane Watson (Thunder)
The Hurricanes finished 5th on the point table last season. This season they got prolific run scorer Kumar Sangakkara, fast bowler Shaun Tait. With T20 specialist players Darren Sammy and experienced wicketkeeper-batsman George Bailey and shrewd wicketkeeper Tim Paine in the side, they hope for a good result in the league.
The bowling department will miss Ben Hilfenhaus, but with Dan Christan, Cameron Boyce and Shaun Tait in the side Hurricanes will be a solid team in the league.
Squad: Tim Paine, Ben Dunk, Cameron Boyce, Darren Sammy, Jake Reed, Timm van der Gugten, Michael Hill, Sam Rainbird, Jon Wells, Beau Webster, George Bailey, Dan Christian, Clive Rose, Simon Milenko, Shaun Tait, Jonathan Wells, Dominic Michael, Kumar Sangakkara, Joe Mennie.
Ins: Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Tait (Sixers), Christian, Milenko (both Heat), Clive Rose (Stars)
Outs: Evan Gulbis, Ben Hilfenhaus (Stars), Alex Hales, Shoaib Malik (Pakistan), Xavier Doherty (Renegades)
This franchise resemble a perfect a T20 team as it compraised of champion T20 players. Renegades qualified for the knockouts once and last year they finished sixth on the point table.
This year they signed former Australia T20 captain Cameron White, who is known a good hitter of the white ball, and Chris Gayle. They can singlehandedly change their fortune in the league.
With current Australian limited over opener Aaron Finch, Peter Nevill and West Indies allrounder Dwayne Bravo in the side their batting depertment look strong.
Bowling department also comprised of quite reliable names. James Pattinson, Peter Sidlle’s partnership with either Cxavier Doherty or Nathan Haurtiz will be challenging. But, they will miss quality all rounders like Shakib al Hasan, Ben Stokes and Andre Russell.
Squad: Aaron Finch, Matthew Wade, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Callum Ferguson, Nathan Rimmington, Tom Cooper, Tom Beaton, Matthew Short, Nick Winter, Dwayne Bravo, Peter Nevill, Xavier Doherty, Chris Gayle, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle, Chris Tremain, Guy Walker, Cameron White.
Ins: White (Stars), Gayle (West Indies), Doherty (Hurricanes), Hauritz (Thunder), Tremain (Thunder), Walker
Outs: Ben Rohrer, Fawad Ahmed (both Sydney Thunder), Andrew Fekete, Alex Doolan (both Heat), Aaron O’Brien (delisted)
The Stars have reached the semis but failed to make it to the final. They are an outstanding side filled with aggressive cricketers like Kevin Pietersen, who has been triffic form in South African T20 league, James Faulkner and Glenn Maxwell.
The team is also well equipped with bowlers like Ben Hilfenhus and Marcus Stoinis. David Hussey captaincy this time again will be instrumental in Star’s consistency in the tournamnet.
Squad: David Hussey, Michael Beer, Scott Boland, James Faulkner, Sebastian Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, John Hastings, Ben Hilfenhaus, Glenn Maxwell, Kevin Pietersen, Robert Quiney, Marcus Stoinis, Tom Triffitt, Daniel Worrall, Luke Wright, Adam Zampa.
Ins: Gotch, Gulbis (Hurricanes), Harper, Hilfenhaus (Hurricanes), Zampa (Strikers).
Outs: Jackson Bird (Sixers), Luke Feldman (Heat), Alexander Keath (Strikers), Clint McKay (Thunder), Clive Rose (Hurricanes), Cameron White (Renegades).
They are the defending champion of the previous season. They have retained last season’s squad apart from Yasir Arafat.
Michael Kinger and Michael Carberry were the leading run scorer in the last season. The inclusion of David Willey, and the presence of Ashton agar, Cameron Bancroft and pacer Nathan Coulter Nile will make them one of the strong contenders for the trophy.
Squad: Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Michael Klinger, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Simon Mackin, James Muirhead, Joel Paris, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Adam Voges, Sam Whiteman, Brad Hogg, Michael Carberry, Marcus Harris, David Willey.
In: Willey (England)
Out: Yasir Arafat
The runners up of the 2015 have top class cricketers like Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Doug Bolinger in their rank this time again they are a force to reckon with. But, the best white ball bowler Mitchell can end up not playing a single game as he is injured.
Steve Smith will be out for first matches due to injury. This year they signed Jackson Bird, Johan Botha, a claver sign indeed.
Squad: Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Ryan Carters, Soumil Chhibber, Ed Cowan, Ben Dwarshuis, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Ming Li, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Stephen O’Keefe, Jordan Silk, Jackson Bird, Johan Botha, Mickey Edwards, Michael Lumb, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc.
Ins: Botha (Strikers), Bird (Stars), Edwards, Chhibber, Li (Hong Kong)
Outs: Brett Lee (retired)
The Thunder last year finished second from the bottom. They since the start of the league has not tested the success.
In order to improve their performance this year, they signed Shane Watson and West Indies allrounder Andre Russell. The presence of bowlers like Clint McKay, Gurinder Sandhu and batsman Ushman Khawaja can help them to revser their fortune in the tournament.
With experienced players like Jacques Kallis and Mike Hussey in their rank thye can draw inspiration from them.
Squad: Aiden Blizzard, Pat Cummins, Fawad Ahmed, Jake Doran, Chris Hartley, Jacques Kallis, Andrew McDonald, Usman Khawaja, Gurinder Sandhu, Chris Green, Mike Hussey, Kurtis Patterson, Jonte Pattison, Kurtis Patterson, Ben Rohrer, Shane Watson, Andre Russell, Clint McKay, Ahillen Beadle.
Ins: Rohrer, Ahmed (both Renegades), Watson (Heat), McKay (Stars), Russell (West Indies)
Outs: Nathan Hauritz (Renegades), Chris Tremain (Renegades)