Welcome back to another season of Clayto’s Captains for BBL|07.
With just over a day to go until the highly anticipated Big Bash season begins coaches are scrambling to finalise their Fantasy sides for Round 1. An important part of this is the captaincy choice for your side. So, I’m going to discuss who I believe are the best five captaincy choices to start the BBL season.
First let’s have a look at the Round One fixture.
The season kicks off with the Sydney Smash tomorrow night at Spotless Stadium. Then the following two nights both Melbourne based clubs travel to Brisbane and Hobart respectively. To close out the round the Thunder travel to Adelaide to take on the Strikers.
As you can see, the Thunder start off the season with a double game week (DGW). It will be a common strategy by Fantasy coaches to load up on Thunder players such as Watson, Buttler and McClenaghan to try maximise player points.
The Scorchers however have the bye in Round 1. Make sure to stash any of their players you own on the bench.
Also here’s a guide on how to VC loophole which effectively gives you a second chance with your captain. You can choose to do it this round if you please although I’d recommend using it during a round with multiple DGW teams rather than this round which features just one DGW team.
1. Put the ‘VC’ on a Thunder such as Shane Watson.
2. Ensure you have a non-playing Scorchers player such as Hilton Cartwright on the field and place the ‘C’ on them
3. If your ‘VC’ performs well you won’t have to do anything because you will now receive double points since the Scorchers player isn’t playing this round.
4. But if your ‘VC’ had a bad game then move your ‘C’ onto a player of your choice such as Chris Lynn.
NOTE: It is better to do this with a wicket-keeper so you don’t get the worst score from two players. For example, swap Scorchers keeper Josh Inglis onto the field for your starting keeper so you don’t get the worst score from your bowling or batting bench.
Now onto the Top 5 Captaincy choices.
1. Shane Watson – $100,100 (BAT/BWL)
Watson will likely be the most popular captain in Round 1 and it’s easy to see why. The former Australian all-rounder averaged a nice 66 points per game last year and that was mostly comprised from his bowling efforts after a poor season with the bat (104 runs @ 17.33). I wouldn’t count on Watto repeating that though especially after an injury-free lead up to this season and I’d expect him to push his average into the 70-80 range. He’ll bat at 3 for the Thunder and should bowl 3-4 overs most games. Easily the best captaincy option to start off the season.
2. Jos Buttler – $82,000 (BAT/WKP)
The powerful keeper-batsman from England returns to the Big Bash this season with the Thunder. Buttler is a terrific T20 batsman and has an average just below 30 in T20’s at a strike rate of 144. The Englishman is expected to slot in at No.4 in the Thunder’s batting order but he could also be a candidate to open the batting since he opens for Lancashire, Mumbai and England at T20 level. Unfortunately, Buttler will miss out on keeping points because Jay Lenton will take the gloves for the Thunder but that is a very minor issue. Buttler is a great option especially if you want a POD with since most coaches will opt for Watson.
3. Aaron Finch – $113,600 (BAT)
The Renegades star is the first non DGW player to feature this week. Finch had a superb BBL|06 amassing a total of 601 points at an average of 75 per round. He’s in good touch leading into the opening round too after a quickfire 64 runs off 29 balls against the Heat in a warmup match. Finch’s Renegades face the Hurricanes this round who he absolutely loves facing. Finch averages almost 60 with the bat against the Canes and he should fare well once more against a weak bowling attack. You know what you are getting with Finch and if you’re willing to bet against a DGW player he’s your man.
4. Mitchell McClenaghan – $65,000 (BWL)
McClenaghan recently opted out of his New Zealand contract to focus on T20 Cricket. This comes as good news to Fantasy coaches since he’ll be available the entire tournament. The New Zealand quick is an expensive bowler with a career economy rate over 8 but he makes up for that with an impressive strike rate with the ball. McClenaghan comes into the tournament in good form after a strong performance for Mumbai in the IPL collecting 19 wickets and finishing fourth on the overall wickets tally. McClenaghan could be a good captaincy option if you’re willing to take the risk on a specialist bowler.
5. Brendon McCullum – $92,600 (BAT)
The former New Zealand captain returns to the top of the order once again for the Heat. McCullum was superb last year averaging almost 50 with the bat at a whopping strike rate of 170. This equivalated to an average of 61 per game in BBL Fantasy last season. He does face a strong Stars bowling attack this round, but it shouldn’t matter for a cricketer as vastly experienced as Baz. The Heat captain is another great non DGW option for coaches.
Other viable options who just missed the cut are Chris Lynn (barring he’s cleared), Glenn Maxwell and Ben Dunk.
As always, I hope you enjoyed the article and if you have any queries or questions about your teams feel free to leave a comment below and I will try get back to you as soon as I can or you can send me a tweet on Twitter.
Good luck coaches!