After a monster opener in Sydney coaches turn their attentions north to chase fantasy glory at the Gabba as big Duke Hastings’ Stars take on the Heat in Brisbane.
There are sure to be some low ownership percentages about tonight as coaches wade through the muck that is the all-rounder category.
Games like this are a perfect example of the redundancy of the all-rounder position in T20 Fantasy. It’s counterproductive I say!
Ok down off my soapbox now let’s rip into some form; first thing coaches need to know is to forget what they saw last night – there will be 350-400 runs scored tonight despite the long boundaries at the Gabba so coaches thinking they will just peel off a few fantasy centuries with a bowler-stack should think again.
With Sam Badree gone this season, the Heat bowling attack is about as good as Queenslanders’ ability to merge onto freeways (or drive in general), so coaches taking Stars middle-lower order should do so knowing there is big risk the Stars will be just 3 or 4 down here.
The BOM Radar for Brissy may say zero chance of rain but the weather in god’s country right now screams arvo thunderstorm so coaches would be wise to check again closer to start of play – remember rain affected games need only 5 overs each to be classed as a game so make sure in these situations you have plenty of top order / strike bowler exposure.
Heat: McCullum, Pierson, Heazlett, Lynn, Burns, Ross, Cutting, Khan, Lalor, Steketee, Swepsom, (Prestwidge, Doggett)
Stars: Wright, Dunk, Peiterson, Maxwell, Stoinis, Faulkner, Hastings, Gotch, Zampa, Boland, Beers, (Gulbis, Bowe)
The sides pick themselves here. I just can’t see the Heat taking a risk on either of their rookie pacemen against that Stars batting, it's more likely they will stack their batting and back themselves to post a score or chase down anything.
Gulbis is likely to be the unlucky one to miss out for the Stars. I have Dunk down to open which shifts Stoinis down to slot into the #5 left vacant by David Hussey’s departure.
Ben Cutting will float for the Heat and could well come in at #5 if the occasion calls for some power hitting.
Coaches can bank on the five front line Heat bowlers all getting their 4 overs, mainly because they literally have no one else that bowls – Lynn has bowled 13 overs in 92 T20 matches and looms as their next best option!
It's the opposite problem when looking for coverage of the visitors bowling with 7 legitimate bowling options (which doesn’t include Wright nor Dunk who have both bowled on occasion in the last few series). Boland, Zampa and Faulkner will all get their 4 overs and big Hastings loves the Gabba so expect him to get at least 3. That leaves 5 overs for Beer, Maxy and Stoinis so coaches banking on all-rounder value from Stars players be very wary.
Six Good Nuts
Bowler – Adam Zampa
Gun. Badree and Swepson both proved beyond a shadow of a doubt last season that taking spin at the Gabba is a good play. In a game where economy bonuses and dot balls are likely to be at a premium, Zampa can be banked on for a 50+ game. If bowled at the right time, he could really cash in against some of the lesser Heat batsmen. I like Swepson as well but that Stars top 6 could take him apart tonight.
Batsman – Kevin Pieterson
Heart and head align here with KP coming in at #3 for the Stars against what he will absolutely know is a second-rate T20 bowling attack. Suspect he will relish silencing the home crowd (whilst telling Gilly and Co where every boundary is about to go!). Price is right as well.
Keeper – Jimmy Pierson
I'm taking some medicine here and just chipping one to within wedge distance. Expect that Dunk will outscore him but Pierson’s price tag is too tempting given the host of guns I want to fit in. Can always flex Dunk (who I do like on debut for the new franchise against a pretty poor Heat attack).
All–Rounder – Ben Cutting
I know, it hurts me even to type it, but Cutting represents the best exposure of the all-rounders. Flip a coin that Faulkner and Hastings will even get a bat and Stoinis will bat #5 and maybe get 2 overs. So it’s Maxy (who is in red-hot form mind you) with the price tag, or Cutting. Can lock Cutting in for 4 overs, two likely at the death when Stars players are hitting out, and as mentioned above will float as high as #5 in the order. Not banking on economy here but a wicket, a few runs and some dots have him floating around the 50-60 mark which I’ll take at that price. Coaches fielding multiple teams don’t leave Maxy out though.
POD Pick – Alex Ross
If you’re fading Cutting then Ross needs to be strongly considered both on the value front and the likelihood that the Stars bowling attack (which includes no less than 5 current Australian limited overs bowlers) could have the Heat in trouble early on. Having Ross up your sleeve as he peels off a run-a-ball 20 then dashes late could rocket you up the rankings. Ownership likely to be single digits tonight.
Avoid – Mark Steketee
Expensive things are usually are usually quality but in Steketee’s case it’s because he is coming off a 2/21 off 4 in the BBL semi last season which bumped his price up into the stupid range. 17 wickets at 8.80 economy from 13 matches at the Gabba tells you everything you need to know.