Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Next up we have the Champs.
This squad is stacked.
But it's only stacked on paper.
The team has so many big name signings that make them look like the powerhouses of the BBL.
They have Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Steve Smith all ‘on’ the payroll, but lets be honest with ourselves, none of them will play a single game for the team due to the Aussie Test Summer so lets ahead of time just pretend like they don’t exist.
Even despite these massive losses, there is absolutely no doubt that this team is very strong in all aspects of the game.
Missed some of our BBL team previews? You can catch them here.
Recent news has come out that stand out player last year, Tom Curran will not be taking part this year for COVID reasons and has been replaced by fellow English fast bowler Jake Ball. Although not a massive name compared to Curran, he is still an international level player that the team can plug into the bowling line-up.
With that being said, the rest of the bowling attack for the Sixers is strong too. Ben Dwarshuis, Jackson Bird, Sean Abbott, Lloyd Pope, Steve O Keeffe, Moises Henriques and Carlos Braithwaite can all bowl. There isn’t room in the team for them all and thus the depth here is ridiculous, good luck setting massive totals against this attack.
This team absolutely bats deep too, English International James Vince along side the likes of Daniel Hughes, Jordan Silk, Josh Philippe, Peter Nevill and All-rounders Moses and Carlos are sure to see this team be able to both set and chase down totals alike as a balanced line up should be able to.
What intrigues me the most about this team is its balance, and it will be very interesting to see how Coach Greg Shipperd approaches this with his line-ups throughout the season. Does he load up with Batsmen and rely on his all-rounders to fill in overs within games? This is absolutely going to increase the batting capacity of the team, but on the same plane, this may leave them vulnerable when bowling.
I can see Shipperd heading down this route and setting a very solid score of 180, just to have those players who helped you get that there throw it away when put under pressure by the likes of someone in the class of Chris Lynn.
On the flipside though, you can load the team with bowlers because of the sheer depth available for disposal here and hope to limit other teams to lower totals. This once again may backfire though if they themselves have to chase a reasonable score to win a game.
In many ways the uncertainty of what the Sixers line-up is game to game can be a weakness that other teams can exploit. It almost sounds silly to say depth is a weakness here, but too many chefs in a kitchen is always going to clutter things in the long run.
Despite all of this, I expect the team to finish highly once again on the Big Bash Ladder, probably falling into that 2nd or 3rd spot. If you had to press me on it, I say, 3rd, a slight decrease from last year but only for some of the reasons outlined above.
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