Welcome to BBL08! Enthusiasm levels for this DFS BBL season skyrocketed last week when Draftstars announced their big $150,000 Live Final promotion, so much so we thought why not help spread the word.
So enjoy daily expert analysis from Extra Cover over this Big Bash season, starting with a highly controversial lineup construction that has a whopping $5,700 left in the bank!
The Big Bash has arrived! It's game one in Operation: Make Mulah Over Summer, time to pad up and get amongst it!
First step is remembering that this DFS BBL caper is all about conjuring up a likely game script and then picking and sticking at selection, so switch off the part of your DFS brain that likes to use up all of your salary cap and focus instead on players who will soak up the exposure that your game script dictates will be there.
Being the first game of the season we don't have great baselines on final teams, batting orders or who will bowl and when. Yes it's a bit tough but from adversity comes opportunity (...write that down!)
I'm building my team around both attacking spinners from either side having an impact with the ball in the early overs. This is somewhat against the grain at the Gabba which often produces more runs and is unkind to the spinners relative to other grounds which puts the death bowlers in position 1A but with some uncertainty surrounding the Heat’s death option and the Heat’s power hitting depth (Cutting and Peirson are more than capable of taking Laughlin down for 20 in one over) I feel it’s a lesser risk with huge upside.
Weather No rain forecast but a 30+ degree day in Brisbane always brings the chance of a very isolated storm. Monitor prior to selection.
Pitch The Gabba has been a Big Bash runs-fest relative to other grounds so coaches can expect 320+ runs here very comfortably.
Likely XI’sHeat - McCullum, Lynn, Heazlett, Burns, Peirson, Cutting, Steketee, Doggett*, Pattinson, Swepson, Ur Rahman (Bryant*, Lalor) Strikers - Carey, Weatherald, Short, Ingram, Wells, Lehman, Neser, Siddle, Khan, Laughlin, Stanlake (O'Connor, Valente)
Strikers look very settled. It’s the Heat that have options which will force coaches to wait until the toss. Either they leave youngster Byrant out and play the settled top 6 above, or they include him. If he plays I expect he opens and that they drop a seamer and just trust Cutting to get through his 4 overs with the ball.
SelectionMujeeb Ur Rahman: First player picked for mine tonight, I’ll be nearly 100% on the kid. I expect the young Afghani spinner to be used very similar to how the Heat have used attacking spinners in the past and that is to open the bowling. If you haven’t seen the footage, watch it. Likely to have an immediate impact.
Mitchell Swepson: If Mujeeb makes early inroads I love pairing him with Swepson who will get to bowl to a Strikers middle order who will not want to take him on. They will try and see him off and attack the seamers which means good economy hopefully. Add a wicket and a 50+ night is there for the taking.
Rashid Khan: Really looked for an excuse to fade the Rash but couldn’t. The Heat top order just don’t know how to play in 2nd gear so even if Adelaide bowl second and are defending a small total, Brisbane will attack him which means wickets.
Chris Lynn: Hopefully Bryant plays and opens which would slide Lynn to #3 and allow Rashid Khan to take a wicket before Lynn gets in. But even if he opens, all Lynn has to do is get through Khan and he will absolutely dominate this Strikers attack. Slight negative correlation here if Lynn opens but at least if Khan nails him early then likely 50% of the field will take a hit with me (many without Khan). If you don’t have him and he goes big it is game over.
Colin Ingram: Exposure to the Strikers middle order is in keeping with our team game script of Mujeeb making early inroads, so stand in captain Colin Ingram is the perfect fit and a very attractive price. Coming in needing to play an anchor/resurrecting role should see him place more value on his wicket early and he can certainly go big. Hopefully, he doesn’t take the Heat spinners apart.
Joe Burns: Really feel Burnsy is going to go under-owned here (sub 15%) but he fits perfectly with an early wicket or two from Rashid Khan. He also gives us some insurance for a Lynn failure. Plenty being spoken about the bash brothers and the Heat young guns but Burns is the class batsman in this side and I suspect he will be tasked with building his innings early and playing around the likes of Pierson/Cutting. Can find the fence if needed too.
Jon Wells: If he bats #5 Wells is an absolute steal at this price. Has not had the opportunity at his other BBL franchises. Gets it here and again, if the Strikers top order is in the sheds early Wells will be part of that rearguard with Ingram (at least this team hopes so!). With Mujeeb so cheap I expect Wells to be hovering around that 15% ownership as well and certainly expect very few teams to include both of these min price players. Wells gives this team great uniqueness as well as solid exposure (for our game script).
With $5,700 left in the bank some may think I've lost my DFS marbles but in this format where anyone can go big or fail miserably, there is nothing wrong with leaving cash so long as you are happy with your team. Don't forget to tune into this week's Inside Edge Podcast, brought to you by Stats Insider, where you can hear everything you'll need to know about the Big Bash!