No Billy Stanlake and no Rashid Khan – at first glance the home side look to be in seriously deep poop here in this BBL07 decider. The return of gun keeper-batsman Alex Carey is a boost to be sure, but just how the Strikers will manufacture 20 quality overs (even 12!) with the ball against a rejuvenated and confident Hurricanes top six is the real question heading in. As is stands they look to be pushing it uphill in the bowling department having to replace eight quality overs against a full-strength Hurricanes outfit who welcome back D’Arcy Short to partner Matthew Wade at the top of the order. Embed from Getty Images
Strikers: Carey, Weatherald, Head, Ingram, Dean, Wells, Lehman, Neser, Siddle, Laughlin, Agar (Winter, O’Connor)Hurricanes: Short, Wade, Bailey, McDermott, Christian, Paine, Milenko, Archer, Rose, Rogers, Meredith (Reardon, Boyce) Expect that Dean will be retained despite Carey coming back in with Head/Ingram to bowl 4 overs of spin and Agar to replace Stanlake. This gives the Strikers batting depth as insurance for what will be plenty of pain in the field given all of the seamers can be taken for runs even Laughlin at times. For the visitors Short comes in and will open most likely with Wade whose innings against the Scorchers demands he opens again. This should push Paine as far down as six given the success of the middle order in recent games. Can’t find a spot for Boyce even though I like him – just too many left handers at right throughout that Strikers batting order and with Short there they have a second slow bowling option already.
With such a stark difference in batting to bowling talent, this should be an absolute runs-fest especially with both teams getting to bat in sunlight at Adelaide oval. I expect both teams to do as they did in their semi-finals and elect to bat first to create run-rate pressure, which can make second-rate bowling look first class at times so don’t be scared to stack bowlers from the team fielding second as both sides are capable of a big 180+ first innings against these respective bowling outfits. I’m taking as much batting power as I can and the bowlers be damned!
Given we don’t yet know who will bat first, this is a team created assuming the Hurricanes bat first. Happy to fade Dan Christian tonight as I just don’t see him getting a bat if they bat first and have no run rate pressure to contend with. I expect Short and Wade to take the Strikers seamers apart tonight, and if Wade takes guard then the Strikers will be reluctant to bowl Head up front. If Short gets set before Head comes on for his over or two I can see the Hurricanes being only two or three wickets down batting first so I’ve selected accordingly. Weatherald and Head are both in form and are likely to treat the Hurricanes openers with similar disdain.
Above is an example of a side created around the strikers batting first where I’ve replaced Hurricanes strengths (Short, Meredith out) with Strikers strengths (Laughlin, Ingram in). Again, I have three of the top four batsman and two top order Hurricanes bats, but I also have 10 overs from the side bowling second to take advantage of that run-rate pressure I expect to be there. Naturally, if there is no run-rate pressure and the ball is dominant tonight then neither line-up will likely cash, but BBL is all about determining exactly what you think will happen then giving yourself the maximum amount of exposure for that scenario. In both teams my core of Head/Bailey/Wade remains as I am placing a premium on the captains both rising to the occasion as well as the experience of Wade to get near enough to or outscore the rampaging Carey who looks just too expensive here given the prices of Head/Short.