The last time these two teams met, It was a thriller that went down to the wire at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. Thanks to an extraordinary century from Ben McDermott who couldn’t put a foot wrong that night, the Hurricanes snuck over the line on the last ball of the innings.
Without their captain from last seasons campaign (currently representing Australia in the test side), Tim Paine will undoubtedly be a massive loss at the top of the order as well as behind the stumps for the start of the tournament. That doesn’t necessarily mean their a weaker outfit though, the Hurricanes managed to pick up former Melbourne Renegades wicketkeeper Matthew Wade who is no mug with the bat. As well as his cricketing ability, Wade will bring a level of energy & enthusiasm out on the field which has been a highlight of his game for both Australia & the Renegades in the past. As mentioned in the intro, Ben McDermott has some lofty expectations to live up to after his freak-knock against the Renegades in BBL 06, belting 114 off just 52 deliveries including a whopping nine sixes in one of the greatest BBL innings of all time. As electric as that performance was by McDermott, the odds of him replicating that innings down in Hobart tomorrow seem pretty slim, that’s why the likes of George Bailey, D’Arcy Short and Dan Christian need to throw their weight around if Hobart are any chance of winning. Former Australian skipper George Bailey is the match winner for mine, his consistency in this format is something that has been an asset in his game and can more often than not be relied upon to dig his team out of a hole. All-rounder Dan Christian is an elite ball-striker who can find the stands more frequently than the boundary itself, and they’ve also added Tasmanian batsman Alex Doolan to the squad who is a prolific domestic run scorer.
Northern Territory-born batsman D’Arcy Short is another who can hit the new ball tremendously well, but unlike Bailey consistency is his major weakness. It’s also worth mentioning that the Hurricanes will be without a huge chunk of their bowling attack from BBL 06 for their tournament opener against the Renegades tomorrow, although a fresh start might just be what they’re looking for. A team with plenty of potential, Hobart haven’t been the most successful bowling unit in the past which has hurt them significantly. The squad shakeup has resulted in the additions of former Brisbane Heat & New Zealander Tymal Mills and the very flavorful West Indian Jofra Archer who impressed in the BPL as well as county cricket in England. Both are handy seam-bowling options and should give the Hurricanes some flexibility alongside Hamish Kingston, Dan Christian and Cameron Boyce. A handy wicket-taking option and proven leg-spin bowler, Cameron Boyce will be relied upon to make an impact as soon as he’s thrown the ball, not a big wicket taker but a reliable option nevertheless. We all know Dan Christian has previously taken a hat-trick in the BBL, and it just so happened to be at this very ground in Hobart.
After a pretty sub-par BBL 06 with the four wins and four losses, the Melbourne Renegades will be out to prove a point to their competition with an early win away from home down in Hobart. Potential isn’t everything, if it was the Melbourne Renegades would have been in almost every BBL final given the names they’ve had represent them. This is a game that must be dominated by their skipper Aaron Finch who is one of the most well-known players in this franchise, and that’s a reflection of his dominance since the Big Bash league was established in 2011-12. Finch currently sits second on the overall leading run scorers of all time in the BBL with 1561 & averaging 43.36, some people are unaware of just how dominant this man has been in this comp. If the Renegades have any aspirations of winning tomorrow, Finch must put in a solid contribution. Opening partner Marcus Harris has not yet established himself at the top of the order for the Renegades despite his talent, and Cameron White has just ever so slightly been down on his usual output in the past couple of campaigns. That’s where the two new recruits could come into play and make this team a formidable opponent, recruiting former Adelaide Strikers players Brad Hodge and Tim Ludeman who have had their fare share of success in the BBL. An accumulator of runs in the middle order, Hodge is a huge bonus given how consistent he’s been in the past, the 42-year-old has scored 11 BBL fifties in total.
It seems the Renegades are happy to pick the veterans, they’ve named six 30-year old’s & two forty-year old’s in their 13-man squad to take on the Hurricanes tomorrow. Experience shouldn’t be undermined though, they can easily do as much damage as the younger players they’re up against. A huge addition to the Melbourne Renegades bowling attack for BBL 07 is fast bowler Kane Richardson who previously represented the Adelaide Strikers. Lacking that front-line bowler to lead the attack last year apart from James Pattinson, Richardson should add some fiery spells with his express pace on Hobart’s wicket which tends to have a bit more life in it compared to others around the country. Chris Tremain had his moments in BBL 06 where he really troubled opposition batsmen with some brilliant fast bowling, but he can be a loose cannon at times which just shows you how hard it is for a bowler in this new era of T20 cricket. Dwayne Bravo and Brad Hogg, two veterans of the game will be the heavily-relied upon wicket takers in BBL 07. Bravo has had a lot of success all around the world in formats like this, a bowler who can really make the batsman cough up his wicket through sheer frustration. Still going strong at age 46, Brad Hogg continues to surprise us with just how proactive his bowling can be, still taking plenty of wickets and keeping the runs to a minimum.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Hobart Hurricanes | BBL | 3rd match | Hobart
- George Bailey
- Matthew Wade
- Dan Christian
- Jofra Archer
- Ben McDermott
Wildcard pick – D’Arcy Short
Top 5 fantasy picks | Melbourne Renegades | BBL | 3rd match | Hobart
- Aaron Finch
- Dwayne Bravo
- Cameron White
- Kane Richardson
- Brad Hodge
Wildcard pick – Tim Ludeman
Hobart Hurricanes (possible) – 1. D’Arcy Short 2. Ben McDermott 3. Alex Doolan 4. George Bailey (c) 5. Matthew Wade (wk) 6. Dan Christian 7. Nathan Reardon 8. Jofra Archer 9. Hamish Kingston 10. Cameron Boyce 11. Tymal Mills.
Melbourne Renegades (possible) – 1. Tim Ludeman (wk) 2. Aaron Finch (c) 3. Marcus Harris 4. Cameron White 5. Tom Cooper 6. Brad Hodge 7. Dwayne Bravo 8. Mohammad Nabi 9. Kane Richardson 10. Chris Tremain 11. Brad Hogg.