With the BBL kicking off in under a week, I thought it was time to redo the predicted XIs for each team’s first match.
You can see the original which I posted a fortnight ago, here.
Adelaide – Wednesday 21st v Heat
- Ludeman (wk)
- Hodge (c)
- Stanlake / Holland replacement
Other players: Simmons, Smith, Dean, Stanlake, Weatherald, Carey, W.Agar, Holland (inj)
It looked like the Strikers might enter the tournament with two quality spinners in Adil Rashid and Jon Holland, but now they’re going to enter the tournament with neither. Adelaide has requested to select a replacement for Holland until he’s available in the new year, so we’ll have to wait and see if they get another spinner. If either of the openers fail early, expect to see dynamic youngster Weatherald get a few games at the top of the order.
Brisbane – Wednesday 21st v Strikers
- Lynn (c)
- Peirson (wk)
Other players: Swepson, Doolan, Labuschagne, Fekete, Heazlett, Wildermuth, Lalor
I’m pretty confident selecting the Heat XI with the exception of bowling line-up. Does Floros play as the fifth bowler, even though he bowled only 7.1 overs in 7 games last season? Which pacemen get the nod? I’m leaning towards Feldman, Steketee and Cutting, but Lalor’s form has been decent and Fekete was preferred last season. Would love to see Swepson get a run, although with Badree there his chances will be limited.
Brisbane Heat preview coming soon.
Hobart – Friday 23rd v Sixers
- Paine (c) (wk)
Other players: Kingston, Rainbird, Tait, Michael, Webster, Bazley, B.McDermott
Tim Paine expressed his excitement at how many bowling options the Hurricanes have this season, and it’s obvious why. Having Christian and Milenko in the top seven allows for four front-line bowlers which will likely include international recruit Broad and a speedster in Tait or Reed. It looks like the openers position could fall to final signing D’Arcy Short who has shown form with Western Australia and also bowls handy left arm offies. So make that seven bowling options.
Perth – Friday 23rd v Strikers
- Voges (c)
- Bancroft (wk)
Other players: Whiteman, Cartwright, Coulter-Nile (inj), Turner, Muirhead, Richardson, Behrendorff (inj)
Perth reporter Craig O’Donoghue says Shaun Marsh will definitely be available for the Scorchers opener, so we’re taking that as gospel. Take it up with him if he’s not. It means that Turner probably misses out on selection despite his amazing recent form, unless he can displace Ashton Agar. Two wicket-takers Behrendorff and Coultner-Nile are both injured, but Willey, Johnson, Tye and Paris (and Mitch Marsh) is still a fine pace attack.
Melbourne Stars – Monday 26th v Hurricanes
- Hussey (c)
- Triffitt (wk)
Other players: Quiney, Gulbis, Handscomb (int), Harper, Worrall, Pietersen (fam), Hastings (inj)
The Stars have confirmed two outs for their opening match in recent days: John Hastings will miss the entire tournament through injury and KP will still be in South Africa with his family on Boxing Day. Therefore, Gotch and Hilfenhaus come into the XI, with Gulbis extremely unlucky following his finish to BBL|05 and his recent good form.
Melbourne Renegades – Thursday 22nd v Thunder
- Finch (c)
- Nevill (wk)
Other players: Beaton, Doherty, Tremain, Siddle (inj), Wade (int), Walker, Winter
James Pattinson has confirmed he’ll be fit for the opening match with makes the Renegades’ team look all the more scary. With Bravo in the middle order, you’d assume they will go in with two spinners in Narine and Hogg, but Tremain will be hard to leave out. Cooper’s recent good form for South Australia gets him in over Beaton.
Sydney Sixers – Thursday 20th v Thunder
- Haddin (wk)
Other players: Starc (int), Hazlewood (int), Bird (int), Maddinson (int), Carters, Dwarshuis, Lyon (int)
Having five squad members in a Test match team is a good thing and a bad thing for the Sixers, especially come selection time. Having Henriques and Botha in the team gives the XI really good balance however. O’Keefe will be touch and go to playing after the calf strain he picked up last month , which opens the door for paceman Dwarshuis in the opening clash.
Sydney Thunder – Thursday 20th v Sixers
- Rohrer (c)
- Hartley (wk)
Other players: Khawaja (int), Watson (inj), Green, A.McDermott, Gibson, McAndrew, Doran
With Khawaja and Watson ruled out, youngster Arjun Nair becomes an important part of the Thunder line-up. A talented all-rounder, Nair will be the Thunder’s sixth bowler as the team desperately tries to cover the loss of its stars. Green could consider himself unlucky after playing in the winning XI last season, but the team looks better balanced with Nair at six. Patterson and Blizzard will open as they did in the practice matches against the Stars.