The Thunder will be looking to win the title in BBL|06 and try go back to back with a largely new-look line-up after the retirements of captain Mike Hussey and South African great Jacques Kallis. They will also be without new captain Shane Watson who is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, star batsman Usman Khawaja and possibly Andre Russell who has an upcoming anti-doping hearing. As a result though this means there are quite a few gems in the Thunder team who could emerge with all the absences currently.
For a full analysis on the Thunder’s fixture, click here
And to see the possible XI for the Thunder for BBL|06, click here
PLAYERS TO LOCK
Andre Russell [BAT/BWL] $126,200
The BBL|06 MVP was simply outstanding last season collecting 16 scalps with the ball and 185 runs at an incredible strike rate of 186.86! That correlated to a total of 845 fantasy points at an average of 84.5! Russell now comes at a hefty price tag because of those performances but the Thunder have a favourable fixture with a double game round straight up and their bye only comes around in round 6. With the absences in the batting order too this may give him a chance to bat further up the order giving him a chance to improve upon his run tally. Beware of the anti-doping hearing surrounding him though.
Pat Cummins [BWL] $48,200
Cummins has been in terrific form recently and was the leading wicket-taker in the ODI series against New Zealand grabbing 8 wickets and equal leading wicket-taker in the Matador Cup with 15 scalps. And now that the test matches have resumed it will give Cummins a chance to play with the Thunder for around a month until the ODI series against Pakistan begins on the 13th of January. In this sort of form and with a price-tag of only $48K the young quick is arguably too hard to ignore with a double game round first up.
PLAYERS TO LOOK AT
Eoin Morgan [BAT] $65,000
The Englishman re-joins this Thunder group which he last played with in BBL|04 as a replacement for Jacques Kallis. He looks like he will bat at three for the Thunder which is good value for all our fantasy players. Morgan has a career T20 average of 26.84 runs which comes at a strike rate 128.66 which is solid and if he could push that up slightly he could be a very shrewd addition to our squads given his T20 experience. The negative though is that he’ll be leaving in Round 6 so he won’t be available for the entire tournament.
Ryan Gibson [BAT] $20,000
Gibson is coming off a solid start to his domestic season where he scored 293 runs at 48.83 in the Matador Cup. This form looks like it will give him a chance to bat in the middle-order for the Thunder to start the season with the absence of Watson and a lack of batting depth in our squad. At a basement price of $20K he is well worth a spot on your bench and he will generate some decent coin for you with a double game first up.
Kurtis Patterson [BAT] $30,000
This young man is almost a player to lock but given the uncertainty of where he will bat he is in the ‘Players To Look At’ section for now. Patterson has been in superb form at domestic level and amassed 247 runs at 49.40 during the Matador Cup and is near the top of the run scoring charts in the Sheffield Shield with 382 runs at 42.44. The only knock on Patterson would be that he could potentially miss out on strike rate points given he’s not a hugely aggressive batsman. At his price though he is too hard to ignore in my opinion regardless of where he bats.
PLAYERS TO LEAVE
Chris Hartley [WK] $30,000/Jake Doran [WK] $20,000
At this point I’m unsure who will take the gloves for the Thunder though I am leaning towards Hartley however despite both keepers sporting cheap price tags they will bat far too low in the Thunder’s batting order to make money or points for you. You are much better off going for the similarly priced Ben Dunk or Tom Triffitt.
Gurinder Sandhu [BWL] $30,900
Sandhu has been lacking form so far this season and was dropped from the New South Wales team for almost two months because of it. He also had a terrible BBL|05 claiming only 1 wicket at a cost of 200 runs and his economy rate was very high at 10.52. Despite having potential on his side it is best to steer clear of Sandhu even though his price tag is enticing.
Usman Khawaja [BAT] $157,300
Khawaja was one of the stars who led the Thunder to the title in BBL|05 and he scored 345 runs which included 2 centuries, 2 fifties at a whopping average of 172.50 in only 4 games! Now his price has skyrocketed to make him the most expensive player in the entire game this season. He will also be unavailable for most of the tournament because of test duties and possibly now ODI duties given Aaron Finch’s poor form. Even if he does play make sure you stay away from him until his price drops.