BBL07 begins on 19th December
Outright Prices with Bet365 for the seventh Big Bash are as follows:
Each way odds are 1/3 1,2
Perth Scorchers 7/2
Melbourne Stars 9/2
Melbourne Renegades 11/2
Sydney Sixers 6/1
Brisbane Heat 6/1
Adelaide Strikers 8/1
Sydney Thunder 10/1
Hobart Hurricanes 12/1
A look at each of the teams
The Strikers are coming off a 3-5 season last year. Captain Brad Hodge has departed and Travis Head is the new Captain. Ben Dunk has defected to the Melbourne Stars, while keeper Tim Ludeman has gone to the Renegades in what is a huge blow for the Strikers. . Colin Ingram is one of their overseas signings. Ben Laughlin and Peter Siddle will team up as the teams bowling veterans. Expect them to be close to the mark again, however they just lack a bit of star power
The Heat were the surprise package of last season, finishing second in the league and reaching the Semi Finals before bowing out in a super over. They are stacked with big hitters and an underrated bowling lineup which will see them be dangerous once again. Brendon McCullum is back again to Captain the side, and between him and Chris Lynn they have real big hitting potential. Joe Burns is dangerous on his day, and will bat with McCullum at the top, while Ben Cutting is one of Australia’s finest all-This is a dangerous lineup who should finish top 4
The Hurricanes finished second last in BBL 06 and they have since lost Stuart Broad, who is involved in the Ashes, and Kumar Sangakarra who has not recommitted to the Big Bash. Shaun Tait is a big loss to the bowling, retiring at the end of last season and as a result, the Hurricanes squad looks very lean. George Bailey and Dan Christian are veterans and tough competitors so expect them to work hard to get them over the line, but the overall lack depth might be their downfall. A young squad, so they will be full of enthusiasm and talent, but I can’t see them competing with the big teams this year.
The squad looks well balanced, and Brad Hodge adds experience to the team. The addition of Jon Holland is a good one too, Holland is averaging 32.31 with the ball in first class cricket, and is one of the country’s best spin bowlers, he has taken 171 wickets in 53 first class games. Kane Richardson adds to the bowling stocks, and will frustrate batsman all tournament Aaron Finch and Cameron White are two of world cricket’s cleanest hitters, who on their day can be the most destructive players in the league. Dwayne Bravo has also returned and will bring plenty of excitement. A lot to like about this side and they should challenge for the title this season.
The Melbourne Stars look the team to beat again this season, however, they have had that tag on them for a number of years and have always fallen over. They look well equipped this season with the addition of last year’s leading run scorer, Ben Dunk. The side will now be led by all-rounder John Hastings, who will be hoping to go one better than the Semi Final loss last season. Glenn Maxwell is back to thrill fans with his unorthodox stroke play. Meanwhile the enigmatic Kevin Pietersen returns to continue his good form in BBL’s past. They have a number of exciting all-rounders in Luke Wright, Marcus Stoinis, James Faulkner and skipper John Hastings all of whom will aim to bring plenty of success with bat and ball. The issues will come when the ODI’s come around, they will likely lose a number of players including; Maxwell, Faulkner, Stoinis, Handscomb and Zampa.
The most successful franchise in the seven year BBL, they start the competition with the same championship winning lineup as 12 months ago. They haven’t brought any new players into the squad with David Willey and Ian Bell staying on. They continue to be the most consistent side in the competition and have fiery quick Mitchell Johnson back in the fold again. Adam Voges will lead the side once again, while Michael Klinger opens the batting for another season. They rarely lose players to international duty anymore, but Shaun Marsh and Cameron Bancroft will be missing while Australia are playing Tests. They are ever consistent and I expect them to be in the fray again this season. They have made the WACA their fortress, they will also play games, later in the tournament, at the impressive new Perth Stadium.
Last year’s runners up have lost a number of key players and may be about to fall down the ladder after years of sustained success. Brad Haddin, Ryan Carters and Michael Lumb have all left, while Joe Mennie has joined the Renegades. They re-signed English imports Jason Roy and Sam Billings. Peter Nevill will come in and take the gloves, and they are pretty well covered in the bowling department. Moises Henriques will lead them again, and a lot of the runs will need to come from him, with a number of all-rounders and then bowlers around him. Sean Abbott was the leading wicket taker in last year’s tournament and will be a handful again. His pace and bounce he will test batsman in this year’s edition. They will get Nathan Lyon at some point throughout the tournament, as the Aussie off spinner doesn’t play ODI cricket, but they are unlikely to get any use out of Mitchell Starc. They are always competitive, but it is hard to see them troubling the top four, it might prove to be a tough season for the Sixers.
Sydney Thunder have fallen away a little since their unlikely win two editions ago, but with some good additions they might well be ready to rebuild. The Thunder have signed Englishman Jos Buttler to add some big hitting and wicket keeping expertise, they will however lose him when England start their ODI cricket campaign and will announce a replacement mid tournament. How much will we see from Usman Khawaja remains to be seen, but likely after the test series he will rejoin the Thunder. Shane Watson will captain the side this season, and is still hitting the ball well, he adds plenty with his bowling too and will no doubt lead from the front. Aiden Blizzard, Ben Rohrer and Kurtis Patterson are big hitters who can be while they have signed quick Kiwi Mitch McClenaghan.
A bit like their Sydney counterparts, they have talent, but they could be outshone by teams stacked with talent like the Stars, Renegades and Heat.
Recommendation. My shortlist is the Scorchers, Brisbane and both Melbourne teams. For value the Melbourne Renegades at 11/2 each way appeals