If we have learnt one thing in the last three nights it is that any one player can stand up in this fantasy format and win you cash or fail miserably and cost you plenty.
With that in mind we have a new format today to allow coaches to get some info on each and every squad member.
Strikers: Weatherald, Carey, Head, Ingram, Dean, Wells, Khan, Siddle, Agar, Laughlin, Stanlake, (Lehman, Winter)
Thunder: Buttler, Patterson, Watson, Ferguson, Blizzard, Rohrer, Nair, Green, McClenaghan, Sandhu, Ahmed, (Fekete, Gibson)
Pitch and Weather
The Pitch at Adelaide Oval is always very batsman-friendly and almost always delivers 350+ runs. Clear skies on the radar with very light winds – perfect for Big Bash!
Jake Weatherald: Left handed opener who will look to be aggressive early. Had a solid JLT series after piling on 290 odd runs in Perth in a Sheffield Shield match five weeks ago. Averages 22 at Adelaide in BBL from four starts. Take on Trust.
Alex Carey: Keeper-Batsman who should get his chance at the top of the order. Has been opening with Weatherald in the JLT and is coming off a last-start 139 in a Shield match in Cairns early this month. Tough for coaches to bet against Buttler failing again but the Strikers have a good opening bowling combo so Carey could be a great POD tonight. Others Stronger.
Travis Head: New captain who will bat #3. If the Strikers name a seventh batsman then Head will get at least two overs with the ball. 25-run average at Adelaide Oval in his 17 T20 matches. Must be considered.
Colin Ingram: Has been slaughtering the ball in the T20 Blast in the UK this year, and was named MVP with 500 runs at a 165 strike rate. Likely to bat #4 and his partnership with Head will make or break the Strikers' night. His leg breaks could be called upon for an over or two if the Strikers go in batsman-heavy so watch teams. Respect recent form.
Jono Dean: Looks likely that Dean/Lehman/Wells will go into two spots and bat #5 and #6. Coming off a shoulder injury the power hitting Dean could be the one to miss, but coach Gillespie will know he is the man most likely to save the innings should the top order fail, so expect he starts here and bats #5. Presents value.
Jon Wells: Former Hurricanes and Perth batsman who can open the innings but who has recently been used at #6 or #7 to clear the fence at the end. Not loving the price if he bats down the order. As with any lower order batsman if he gets the overs he can be fantasy gold but first up he is a watch for me. Watch team news.
Jake Lehman: South Australian cricketing royalty may get him a game here but I have him missing to the import in Wells and the power hitting of Dean. BBL starts very unappealing averaging 8 runs in 10 games (6 run average in 5 starts at the Adelaide Oval). May get a chance up at #5 this season but until I see it I’m looking elsewhere.
Rashid Khan: Spin bowling all-rounder from Afghanistan who has PLENTY of hype coming into his BBL debut. Averaged 40+ with the bat in first class so expect he comes in ahead of the posse of bunnies that the Strikers have assembled down the order here. 112 wickets in 78 matches at 15 with an economy of 5.83. Available as a bowler which allows coaches to take Watson as well. Takes beating.
Peter Siddle: Call me crazy but ‘he runs in hard’ should not be a reason one keeps getting picked for their country, let alone a BBL side. But hey, what do I know. Will get the new ball with Stanlake which further entices me to look elsewhere. Take on Trust.
Ben Laughlin: Really says plenty about the lower order batting ‘talent’ when Ben Laughlin is coming in at #9. Batting jokes aside, Laughlin is a gun death bowler who loved the Adelaide Oval (19 wickets in 15 matches with a 7.65 economy rate). Appeals strongly.
Billy Stanlake: Monster of a man who will cause plenty of headaches for the Thunder top order. His 3 games at Adelaide last season yielded 7 wickets at just 7.41 economy rate but his price tag will mean POD status for the big bean. If you have the cash, spend it as he could go straight through the strikers here. Looms as a threat.
Wes Agar: Young paceman who is right on the cusp of selection here, though will depend if they have faith in Head/Ingram getting through four overs of spin as they already have 12 overs of pace in Siddle, Stanlake and Laughlin. 2 games last season for zero wickets at 13.80 economy. Lacks appeal.
Nick Winter: Another pacey youngster who has come over from the Renegades where he played four games (7 wickets with an economy rate of 7.13). Looks likely to miss out tonight. Not keen this game.
Jos Buttler: Will probably be up in the 70% ownership zone with Watson here, despite failing first up, given he is against an untried youngster in Carey. Coaches can and should have faith in Buttler though, he has three of the fastest limited overs century’s of any Englishman. Forgive last start.
Kurtis Patterson: Looked good for his 31pts against the Sixers despite finding the field with frustrating regularity. Will get plenty of value for shots at Adelaide but I don’t like him against Stanlake as he can tend to push and prod at balls he should leave or smash. Consider.
Shane Watson: Watto delivered for coaches with the bat first up but geez his bowling effort was poor. Expect that the Thunder will take 5 bowlers into tonight’s game which creates some doubt around Watson’s involvement with the ball. Still 138pts first up probably shouldn’t be over-thought. Takes Beating
Callum Ferguson: Quad strain delayed his Thunder debut and is yet to be given all-clear but back in Adelaide where he has been so prolific you’d expect he gets up for this one. Averages 22 runs at 122 in Adelaide. I expect Stanlake to make inroads early which will clear the way for Ferguson to bat plenty of time. Consider strongly.
Ryan Gibson: Looked all at sea first up so can’t see him holding his spot here if the Thunder bring Ferguson back. Just lacks the power needed to really score well in BBL fantasy. Not keen this game.
Aiden Blizzard: As much as I love to rip on him Bliz actually came in and did the job last start which will have given him plenty of confidence. Can see a scenario where he comes in at #5 and gets to bat good time with Ferguson here given the Strikers bowling attack. Could be a great POD this game. Presents value.
Arjun Nair: 85pts on debut will have more than a few coaches wondering if fading Watson could be the play of the night. Against this weaker Strikers top 6 Nair can easily repeat that score. Include in Multiples.
Chris Green: Poor effort first up for Green just 35pts for a front line spinner doesn’t get it done. Plenty will jump off because of it so coaches who stick with him could be rewarded. One game at Adelaide yielded 1 wicket in four overs at just five runs per over which puts him on 50-60 before he picks up the bat or takes a catch which he is good for given how highly they rate his fielding. Forgive last start.
Gurinder Sandhu: Thinking that Sandhu comes in for Fekete here if fully fit he is definitely in their best XI. Has good change ups and always seems to take wickets but it is the price that appeals most here. Watch team news late, will be a good POD if he plays. Appeals on price.
Mitch McClenaghan: 91pts on debut will have coaches paying plenty of attention. Looked threatening and was bowled at very good times – given how poor the Strikers lower order is I can see Macca (yeah I'm only typing that name once) repeating his score here. Appeals very strongly.
Fawad Ahmed: Raised the fantasy ball first up with 2 wickets and a maiden over which is unheard off. That is his ceiling and I just can't see him getting up there tonight. Looking elsewhere and hoping that plenty of coaches jump on him. Consider.
Andrew Fekete: 31pts on debut is about where I rate the Fek. Will be lucky to hold his place in the side with Sandhu and Ferguson both likely to come in. Can’t hit his yorker and generally lacks the creative thinking needed for a fast bowler who isn’t fast. Not keen this game.