The Perth Scorchers are going for the three-peat this season after reaching the BBL Grand Final every year the competition has been running. Having re-signed many players from last season, the reigning champs will be short-handed for the first few weeks of the competition with players away on Test duty. However, if Justin Langer can guide his side into the top four once again, the Scorchers will be almost full-strength by the time semi-finals roll along and will be gunning for top spot once again.
PLAYERS TO PICK
Michael Klinger – $73,500
After registering the most runs in BBL|04, Klinger has gone on to score the third highest amount of runs across all formats on the planet this year, behind only Steve Smith and Kumar Sangakkara. The man is in the form of his life right now at 35 years old and is well-worth the $73,500 he will set you back.
Klinger will almost certainly open the batting as well which gives him maximum opportunity to earn fantasy points for your team.
Brad Hogg – $72,700
The evergreen leg-spinner returns for the reigning premiers again this season. Hogg has been one of the BBL’s most prolific bowlers taking 40 wickets at a miserly economy rate of 6.02 from his 35 games. The 44-year-old will work in tandem with off-spinning all-rounder Ashton Agar and fellow leg-spinner James Muirhead. Should Hogg remain fit, I expect the fan-favourite will be picked in the XI and continue to devastate opposition batting line-ups.
Joel Paris – $20,000
Joel Paris is an interesting one. He has not played many games in the Big Bash due to injury but has represented the Scorchers multiple times in the Champions League. I have been looking forward to when he is finally fit for an extended run in the BBL as he is one of the most exciting up-and-coming fast bowling talents. Paris has been taking wickets in the Shield and is also no mug with the bat. I would recommend at least reserving a bench spot for him at $20,000 as you won’t find anyone cheaper which means he can only skyrocket in price.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Michael Carberry – $58,800
Carberry had a streaky start to the season last year but came good right when the Scorchers needed him to. He should bat in the top 4 again this year which makes him a viable option as a batsman but I am apprehensive about picking him until we see what type of form he is in. Keep him on your watchlist and wait it out.
David Willey – $60,800
Willey is an exciting prospect for the Scorchers this year. The England international opened the bowling and batting this year for his county side Northamptonshire and provides many options for the Scorchers to utilise. The big-hitting all-rounder will most likely bat in the middle order for Perth this season and should bowl most of his overs. For this price he is great value but you might want to wait and see how much of a role he will actually play for the BBL|04 champs before signing him to your roster.
Nathan Coulter-Nile – $89,300
Coulter-Nile is set to return from injury on December 6 when he suits up for WA in their Shield match. The bowling all-rounder has been called up to Australia’s Test squad to face the West Indies, covering for Mitchell Starc’s injury. If he is not selected however, he brings invaluable experience to a Scorchers line-up missing several key players from last season. Coulter-Nile is a genuine strike weapon on the fringe of the Australian international setup and, for a bowler, his lower-order power hitting will earn you valuable extra points. For everything he brings to the table, he comes with a heavy price tag so if you can’t afford him you might have to look for a cheaper replacement.
Jason Behrendorff – $90,800
Behrendorff had a standout season last year claiming 15 wickets at an economy of 6.27. The tall quick generally bowls in the powerplay and towards the end of the innings giving him plenty of opportunities to take wickets when his team needs them.
One thing to note is Behrendorff took 11 of his 15 scalps at the WACA which suggests he is not as comfortable nor potent away from the Furnace. Behrendorff has been sidelined recently as he battles a back injury keeping him from playing in the Sheffield Shield and it is unknown how long he will be out for or whether he will start in Perth’s first game of the Big Bash.
He is one to watch out for in the first few rounds but if he makes his return and continues his outstanding BBL form be prepared to free up some cash for him.
Shaun Marsh – $97,100
After being recalled to the Australian Test side following Khawaja’s injury, Shaun Marsh will most likely miss at least a couple of games for the reigning premiers. If Khawaja is fit for the Boxing Day Test and Marsh loses his place, he will slide straight into the Scorchers XI. Over the last 3 years Shaun has been a consistent runscorer in the T20 format and has a wealth of experience to draw from. At his top-end price range, it would be wise to see how he goes in his first couple of games before making a decision on whether to bring him in to your team.
Cameron Bancroft – $20,000
I’ll say this now, if Bancroft is picked in the Scorcher’s XI get him in your team. This Western Australian has burst onto the scene in the last 12 months and solid performances in the long form of the game put his name forward for national selection at the start of the cricket summer. There is a chance Bancroft may not be picked due to the strength of the Scorcher’s squad which makes him a risky selection but at $20,000 there isn’t much to lose. I have him on my bench and will likely keep him as an investment option.
PLAYERS TO AVOID
Mitch Marsh – $62,200
Now Australia’s primary all-rounder, Mitch Marsh will have his plate full over the BBL season with international commitments. He may get a chance to play in the gap between the first and second Tests against the West Indies but don’t hold your breath.
Adam Voges – $60,200
Voges will also be unavailable while he is on Test duty with the Australian team. He may play later in the season once the series against the West Indies wraps up but until then don’t waste a slot in your roster on him.