Both the Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Renegades had relatively successful campaigns in BBL07, it’s just a matter of taking it one step further than last season for the pair. The newly-renamed Marvel Stadium (previously known as Etihad Stadium) hasn’t been the kindest batting venue in recent times, giving the bowlers something to work with on a relatively flattish-deck.
It’s a new-look Melbourne Renegades for the upcoming BBL, some big names such as Brad Hogg, Brad Hodge and Windies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo who’s signed with cross-town rivals the Melbourne Stars will leave a big vacancy in their XI. On top of those key outs, last year’s leading run-scorer Marcus Harris and Renegades skipper Aaron Finch are both expected to make very-little appearances in the first half of the tournament due to International playing commitments. Realistically, the Renegades have had to scrape together what’s left of their squad for their BBL08 opener against the Perth Scorchers. Veteran Tom Cooper will captain the side in Finch’s absence, directing a lot of the responsibility to the three experienced campaigners including himself, Cameron White and Dan Christian. A highly-rated domestic cricketer these days, Cameron White had another superb tournament with the bat last season for Melbourne blasting 304 runs from just eight appearances.
If White can stay fit for a large chunk of the tournament, it’ll go a long way to elevating the Renegades position in the competition. Former Australian all-rounder Dan Christian makes his way over from the Hobart Hurricanes, he’ll bring a lot of experience to this Renegades line-up and potentially add a bit of X factor. Christian averaged 27 with the bat in BBL07 and bagged 11 wickets with the ball including a four-wicket haul. You’d expect the runs to come from White, Cooper and wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman in this first match, the stand-in skipper also made a serviceable contribution in last season’s tournament averaging just under 50 with the bat. Leg-spinner Cameron Boyce will be another handy inclusion for the club, he’s jumped over from Hobart with Christian as the two impact-recruits. Excluding Dwayne Bravo, Kane Richardson and Jack Wildermuth led the way for the Renegades in the wickets department with 12 & 10 respectively. Don’t be surprised if this line-up looks a bit foreign compared to previous seasons…
Finishing on top of the BBL07 points table, it was a shock to many when the Perth Scorchers were knocked out of the finals by the Hobart Hurricanes. It was a golden opportunity to win back-to-back BBL titles, but the cricketing gods had other plans. Similar to the Adelaide Strikers, the Scorchers are a very strong bowling team that seems to possess limitless avenues to wickets. That being said, their bowling attack was nowhere near as potent last season apart from Andrew Tye who registered elite numbers with the ball for the Scorchers. The 32-year-old seamer played just six matches, but he was able to extract 16 wickets striking at a ridiculous 8.8! The return of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Perth skipper Mitchell Marsh should bolster the Scorchers attack tomorrow night against the Renegades, not to mention a vast amount of bowling options to choose from including David Willey, Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson and Ashton Agar.
The retirement of former Aussie quick Mitchell Johnson has opened the door of opportunity for an extra fast bowler to make the most of their opportunity in BBL08. While Hilton Cartwright and Vice-captain Ashton Turner led the way with the bat last season, the Scorchers will be desperate for veteran opener Michael Klinger to rediscover that tantalizing run he produced for a number of seasons in the side. Klinger averaged just 19.40 with the bat in BBL07 from his 10 matches. Perth coach Justin Langer faces the difficult task of deciding who will take the gloves for them this season, Sam Whiteman could possibly edge out Josh Inglis given his aggressive approach with the bat at the top or in the middle order. Pushing for a spot in the Boxing Day test against India at the MCG, Mitchell Marsh will be determined to come out and produce a big score to catch the attention of the national selectors. The Scorchers are the superior team on paper compared to the Renegades, but we’ve seen time and time again that means very-little if a team go’s in with that sort of mentality.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Melbourne Renegades | BBL | 2nd match | Docklands, Melbourne
- Cameron White
- Tim Ludeman
- Mohammad Nabi
- Dan Christian
- Cameron Boyce
Wildcard pick – Jack Wildermuth
Top 5 fantasy picks | Perth Scorchers | BBL | 2nd match | Docklands, Melbourne
- Andrew Tye
- Mitchell Marsh
- Michael Klinger
- Nathan Coulter-Nile
- Ashton Agar
Wildcard pick – David Willey
Melbourne Renegades (possible) – 1. Tim Ludeman (wk) 2. Cameron White 3. Tom Cooper © 4. Mohammad Nabi 5. Dan Christian 6. Kelvin Smith 7. Sam Harper 8. Jack Wildermuth 9. Cameron Boyce 10. Kane Richardson 11. Usman Khan Shinwari.
Perth Scorchers (possible) – 1. Sam Whiteman (wk) 2. Michael Klinger 3. Hilton Cartwright 4. Mitchell Marsh © 5. Ashton Turner 6. Ashton Agar 7. David Willey 8. Nathan Coulter-Nile 9. Andrew Tye 10. Jhye Richardson/Jason Behrendorff 11. Usman Qadir.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.