Fantasy Preview BBL|08 – Melbourne Stars


The Stars finished dead last after a disappointing BBL|07, winning just two matches from 10 games. Some changes have been made and some really good recruits have been acquired.

The prices below are indicative for SuperCoach BBL.

BATSMEN

PREMIUM
Marcus Stoinis – $227,900 BAT/BOWL

Marcus Stoinis is the Stars’ most expensive player after playing just five games in the last BBL. His white-ball bowling his improved a lot since then, and along with Dwayne Bravo, will most likely be trusted with the death overs. I can see Stoinis opening the batting with Ben Dunk and getting first crack with the bat too – his highest BBL score is 99 which he scored against Brisbane in the last BBL.

MID-PRICE
Nic Maddinson – $136,700

Maddinson is the Stars’ big recruit and effectively has to replace Kevin Pietersen at No.3. Scored five 30+ scores for the Sixers in BBL|07 batting at first-drop and put together a decent season for Surrey after that. He presents quite a bit of value but has been all-or-nothing in the past.
EDIT: Broken arm in Sheffield Shield means he’ll miss most if not all of the tournament. Pass.

How will the Stars’ rivals Melbourne Renegades line up in BBL|08?

ROOKIE
Jonathan Merlo – $42,000 BAT/BOWL

The Stars’ batting looks a bit thin on paper, with one of  Travis Dean or Jonathan Merlo going to be required to play with Peter Handscomb with the Test team and Seb Gotch injured. If you want a cheaper bat for the Stars, look at Ben Dunk to hit back after a lean BBL|07.

WICKET-KEEPER

Ben Dunk – $62,500 WKP/BAT
Dunk played all 10 games last year but scored only 115 runs in total. However, he’s a star and has dominated in the past: in 13-14 (for the Hurricanes) he belted 395 runs and in 16-17 (for the Strikers) he hit 364 runs. How will the 31-year-old hit back?

BOWLERS

PREMIUM
Dwayne Bravo – $204,300 BAT/BOWL
Bravo is a genuine all-rounder but all his value in this game comes from his deceptive bowling. Nobody took more poles than his 18 last BBL (equal most with Rashid Khan) which included a five-for against the Hurricanes. Currently playing for the Paarl Rocks in the Mzansi Super League so will be fit and ready to go. If you’ve got the cash, he’s a safe pick.

Every international player’s availability for BBL|08

MID-PRICE
Adam Zampa – $122,000

Zampa bowled so, so well against India in the November T20I series and it’s a case of hard work paying off for the leg-spinner. After just two wickets in five BBL games last year, he went to England and took 12 wickets in 10 games for Essex. He followed that up with nine in nine for Jamaica in the CPL and then put together a string of impressive performances for the national team.

ROOKIE
Sandeep Lamichhane – $62,500

Speaking of spinners, Lamichhane is a Nepalese sensation. Coming off three games in the IPL, he was very effective for St Kitts and Nevis in the CPL following that. Leg-spinners have a terrific record in the BBL and he might just be the next Rashid Khan.

Jackson Bird is also a really good option at a basement price.

PREDICTED LINE-UP

Schon’s round one prediction (last updated on December 13):

1. Ben Dunk (wk)
2. Marcus Stoinis
3. Travis Dean
4. Glenn Maxwell (capt)
5. Jonathan Merlo
6. Dwayne Bravo
7. Evan Gulbis
8. Adam Zampa
9. Jackson Bird
10. Daniel Worrall
11. Sandeep Lamichhane

Unavailable: Peter Handscomb (Test), Seb Gotch (finger)


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