BBL|09 – Predicted XIs

With only two weeks until the BBL kicks off for another season, what better time than now to lodge my annual pre-tournament side predictions?

Keep reading to find vital info and international player availability or click here to see the international players spreadsheet.

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The Strikers welcome a new international batter Phil Salt (replacing Colin Ingram) and the English opener has shown he can be destructive at the top of the order. They might be reluctant to break the Weatherald-Carey opening stand, but Salt’s best results have come as opener. Rashid Khan is yet to sign with a Bangladesh Premier League team (like last year), so he’s available for the whole BBL.  I’ve locked Michael Neser into the side (assuming he’ll be released from the Test squad), but the next in line for that spot would be Cameron Valente.

1. Phil Salt (England)
2. Jake Weatherald
3. Alex Carey (c/wk)
4. Cameron White
5. Matt Short
6. Jono Wells
7. Michael Neser
8. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
9. Peter Siddle
10. Wes Agar
11. Billy Stanlake

Others: Jake Lehmann, Harry Nielsen, Cameron Valente, Liam O’Connor, Nick Winter, Harry Conway

Internationals unavailable for round one: Travis Head

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PHIL SALT

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South African superstar AB de Villiers won’t be seen until the Heat’s ninth match (January 14), where he and Mujeeb will replace Banton and Zahir. The Heat are pretty thin-on for batsmen with Burns and Labuschagne in the Test squad, but their top seven is pretty strong. I’ve locked James Pattinson into the side (assuming he’ll be released from the Test squad), but the next in line would be Mark Steketee.

1. Tom Banton (England)
2. Max Bryant
3. Chris Lynn (c)
4. Matt Renshaw
5. Sam Heazlett
6. Ben Cutting
7. James Peirson (wk)
8. James Pattinson
9. Josh Lalor
10. Ben Laughlin
11. Zahir Khan (Afghanistan) 

Others: Mark Steketee, Jack Prestwidge, Mitch Swepson, Matt Kuhnemann

Internationals unavailable for round one: Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, AB de Villiers (South Africa), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan)

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In terrible news for the BBL, we’re unlikely to see any of Jofra Archer this season due to his Test commitments. It’s allowed the ‘Canes to bring in David Miller though, and he’s a very handy middle-order blaster. Assuming Bailey gets the captaincy in Wade’s absence and Nathan Ellis first crack ahead of several other quicks.

1. D’Arcy Short
2. Caleb Jewell
3. Ben McDermott (wk)
4. David Miller (South Africa) 
5. George Bailey (c)
6. Simon Milenko
7. James Faulkner
8. Qais Ahmad (Afghanistan) 
9. Nathan Ellis
10. Scott Boland
11. Riley Meredith

Others: Jake Doran, Jarrod Freeman, Clive Rose, Aaron Summers, David Moody, Tom Rogers

Internationals unavailable for round one: Matthew Wade, Jofra Archer (England)

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Last season’s champions have only strengthened their squad ahead of BBL09, namely with the arrival of Shaun Marsh. Sam Harper was a star as opener last BBL but it looks very unlikely he’ll be at the top again. Harry Gurney comes in for the ‘Gades seventh match (January 7, replacing Shinwari) while Mohammad Nabi returns for their ninth (Jan 12, replacing Ashraf).

1. Aaron Finch (c)
2. Marcus Harris
3. Shaun Marsh
4. Sam Harper (wk)
5. Tom Cooper
6. Dan Christian
7. Faheem Ashraf (Pakistan)
8. Will Sutherland
9. Cameron Boyce
10. Kane Richardson
11. Usman Shinwari (Pakistan)

Others: Beau Webster, Mackenzie Harvey, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Zack Evans, Jack Wildermuth, Jon Holland, Joe Mennie

Internationals unavailable for round one: Harry Gurney (England), Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)

FIVE YOUNG GUNS TO WATCH IN BBL|09

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The Stars will look to atone for last season’s Big Final loss with the additions of Cartwright, Coulter-Nile and Steyn, all of whom should walk into the starting XI. South African legend Steyn will play the first six matches before being replaced by Pat Brown. As usual, the Stars’ squad will be heavily stretched when the ODI series in mid January rolls around, which will open the door for the likes of Larkin and Gotch.

1. Ben Dunk
2. Marcus Stoinis
3. Glenn Maxwell (c)
4. Peter Handscomb (wk)
5. Nic Maddinson
6. Hilton Cartwright
7. Nathan Coulter-Nile
8. Adam Zampa
9. Dale Steyn (South Africa) 
10. Daniel Worrall
11. Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal) 

Others: Seb Gotch, Jonathan Merlo, Clint Hinchcliffe, Nick Larkin, Lance Morris, Jackson Coleman, Tom O’Connell

Internationals unavailable for round one: Pat Brown (England)

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As is always the case, the Scorchers are built up almost exclusively of allrounders. Josh Inglis finished last BBL as their opener and I expect him to get first go alongside the new international Liam Livingstone.  Livingstone has shown he can bat anywhere in the top four and bowl handy leg-spin while you might remember Chris Jordan from his stints at the Thunder and Strikers. Mitch Marsh won’t be back from injury yet and Patterson and Tye look unlikely too.

1. Liam Livingstone (England)
2. Josh Inglis
3. Cameron Bancroft (wk)
4. Ashton Turner (c)
5. Nick Hobson
6. Cameron Green
7. Ashton Agar
8. Chris Jordan (England)
9. Jhye Richardson
10. Matthew Kelly
11. Fawad Ahmed

Others: Sam Whiteman, Aaron Hardie, Joel Paris

Injured: Kurtis Patterson, Andrew Tye, Jason Behrendorff, Mitch Marsh

Internationals unavailable for round one: n/a

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The two English internationals are both returning from last season and both are available for the whole tournament. Jackson Bird is the main addition but otherwise the squad is very settled and they will gain access to Nathan Lyon (mid January) and Steve Smith (late January) who will be crucial if they are making a finals push.

1. Josh Philippe (wk)
2. Daniel Hughes
3. James Vince (England) 
4. Moises Henriques (c)
5. Jordan Silk
6. Jack Edwards
7. Tom Curran (England)
8. Sean Abbott
9. Stephen O’Keefe
10. Ben Dwarshuis
11. Jackson Bird

Others: Justin Avendano, Henry Thornton, Mickey Edwards, Daniel Fallins, Lloyd Pope

Internationals unavailable for round one: Steve Smith, Nathan Lyon

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Usman Khawaja is basically a new signing as previous seasons have seen him ruled out through international duty. Not the case this year. Chris Morris and Alex Hales have dominated T20 comps all over the world and are great additions to this side. On the slower pitches like the Sydney Showgrounds they may opt to play another spinner like Cook or Nair, but given they start at the Gabba four quicks is the most likely.

1. Alex Hales (England)
2. Usman Khawaja
3. Callum Ferguson (c)
4. Jason Sangha
5. Matthew Gilkes (wk)
6. Alex Ross
7. Chris Morris (South Africa) 
8. Daniel Sams
9.  Gurinder Sandhu
10. Chris Green
11. Chris Tremain

Others: Jay Lenton, Oliver Davies, Nathan McAndrew, Arjun Nair, Jono Cook, Brandan Doggett, Tanvir Sangha

Internationals unavailable for round one: n/a