Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Another year, another BBL season.
With both footy comps over its now time for Australian Cricket to take its rightful place in the hearts of us all across the country.
Although many said the previous BBL season felt like an eternity as the competition dragged a long way into the early stages of the hell hole called 2020, I for one couldn’t be more excited to see the return of copious amounts of KFC advertising on my screens.
With a new year came some new rules, most of them a weird novelty that’ll be over explained by Adam Gilchrist and Mark Howard. But the one you need to keep in mind here is that BBL teams are now allowed to sign 6 international players to use over the space of a season and they can now have 3 play in any one game.
So with the season beginning soon, lets jump into each of the teams and have a geeze at what can be expected of them this year.
First up, the Strikers.
Last year the men in blue finished a respectable 3rd on the ladder, wining 8 games and losing 5. They did however slip to finishing fourth overall in the finals as they lost to the Sydney Thunder in the knockout stage.
It absolutely could have been worse though and I’m sure they think that they can improve on that this year.
For the upcoming season the team has picked up a few big names in the grand scheme of Aussie Cricket who look to bolster a slightly weaker batting line-up than bowling.
Most notably the Turtle, Matthew Renshaw has migrated from the Brisbane Heat down south and is a very solid pickup despite his reputation.
Now he isn’t going to hit any sixes into orbit, but what you have here is a batsman who knows how to pick apart set fields with a wide array of shot selection. He scores his runs along the ground but consistently bats above the magic 100 Strike rate in T20 matches.
Alongside Renners you of course have the staples of this South Australian team. Travis Head, Jon Wells, Matty Short and Alex Carey all pack a punch and can certainly put runs on the board when asked to do so.
But if there has been a problem with this Strikers batting line-up over the past couple of seasons it has been consistency. This has seen the team finish as high has Champions in the 2017/18 season, to the very next finishing 7th and missing the finals all together.
When all clicking and working well, they are as dangerous as any line-up, but when one or two players faulter and some pressure is on they tend to crumble rather than perform and that should be a worry for them this season too.
Bowling wise, the Strikers have a nice mix of both youth and experience that should hold them in good stead.
Star-wise they’ve picked up British International Danny Briggs and have resigned T20 star Rashid Khan. These two teamed up with veterans like Peter Siddle and Michael Neser have potential to be potent within the BBL. Khan and Siddle will pick you apart whilst Neser and Briggs will go straight through you.
BUT this is all reliant on if the Batting line-up can set good scores for them to bowl too, because if you try pick teams apart, you have to be prepared to go for boundaries.
Another big factor I want to look at across this series is the impact that any international play will have on the teams. For the Strikers they are going to lose Travis Head and Michael Neser for test matches plus Travis Head and Alex Carey for ODI’s and T20s.
This is going to take the leaders out of that batting line-up, giving it even more potential to crumble when put under pressure.
Looking into my crystal ball, what I can see for this team is:
Weird Matthew Renshaw sound bites when he gets thrown the infamous on field microphone
Aussie Cricket legends from the Ponting era reminiscing of the old days whenever Strikers Coach Jason Gillespie is shown on screen
Most importantly, however.
A lower seeded finals berth from last year, I think finishing probably 4th overall in a tight midfield but with only a few points separating 3-7.
Once in the finals, I don’t see them going all the way, so perhaps another slightly disappointing season for Adelaide.
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