It looks as if the Hobart Hurricanes are the team to beat in BBL08, they’re yet to lose a game in the tournament and have become a formidable-force on their home deck in Tasmania. Maintaining a winning formula, the Hurricanes will travel to Marvel Stadium in Melbourne where a sixth-consecutive win is on the cards. The sliding-Renegades will be hoping that the return of their skipper Aaron Finch can get them back on the right path, they’ve lost their past three BBL games and look visibly-vulnerable as a unit.
It’s not hard to see why the Melbourne Renegades are starting to slide down the standings, lack of runs are becoming an overwhelming-issue and have been a major contributor in their current three-match losing streak this season. In this instance, it’s the senior players in the squad who’re to blame. Renegades stand-in skipper Tom Cooper is averaging a dismal 9 in the middle order, meanwhile arguably their biggest weapon at the top of the order Cameron White has also capitulated as a big performer in BBL08. The question being asked at the moment is “Where are the runs going to come from?” Thankfully the gods have answered their prayers as Australian test opener Aaron Finch returns to the Big Bash. There’s no doubting whatsoever that this is a huge inclusion for the Renegades, but it still doesn’t entirely fix their batting woes.
Walking to the crease earlier than anticipated has definitely restricted the impact of power hitting-duo Mohammad Nabi and Dan Christian in particular who are both exceptional finishers nearing the end of an innings. Hopefully the return of Finch will allow both Nabi and Christian to play their natural games after the halfway point in the innings. Queensland leggy Cameron Boyce is starting to find form with the ball, he’s picked up multiple-wickets in his past two outings for the Renegades and will play another important role tomorrow night against his old BBL side Hobart. After a good start to the tournament, fast bowler Kane Richardson has been held wicketless in his past two matches which won’t be sitting well with him. This Docklands surface should suit the slow bowlers, although Richardson’s pace has proved quite effective producing 6 wickets in his two games at this venue this season.
If there was ever a venue that could play the role of the “party pooper” for the sizzling-hot Hobart Hurricanes, Docklands Stadium immediately comes to mind. It’s not unusual to see a team bowled out for under three figures at this ground, the pitch acts completely different to its opposites around the country and can prove difficult to bat on for teams who aren’t used to the surface. Even the home team struggles at times, so this match could go either way despite both teams differing form guides. It should come as no surprise that Hobart opening batsman D’Arcy Short has got off to a flying start in BBL08, after the tournament this man had last season it’s merely the sequel. With 257 runs in the competition already, Short is averaging a more than healthy 51.40 which includes three half centuries, two of which have been scored in Hobart. It’s worth mentioning that Ben McDermott has scored his one & only T20 century at this very ground, surely he can’t defy all odds and wind back the clock?
Apart from one innings where he missed out against the Scorchers, age & experience has served George Bailey well in BBL08 as he relishes the role of the finisher, something James Faulkner was well-known for in the Australian ODI squad. The batting line-up gets a 10/10 so far, it’s been nothing but a success. The bowlers haven’t done a bad job either, although Jofra Archer has been surprisingly quiet in his past three outings with the ball. That can only be seen as a positive for Hobart, simply because they relied on his X factor so much in BBL07 and have now found alternative options to back up the Caribbean excitement machine. As expected, former Stars all-rounder James Faulkner has been an excellent recruit taking 10 wickets in the tournament so far, Riley Meredith has also offered a lot with his zippy-pace. It’s the amount of bowling options that has given Matthew Wade the confidence to keep chopping & changing, and it appears to be unsettling opposition teams which is a big tick!
Top 5 fantasy picks | Melbourne Renegades | BBL | 23rd match | Melbourne, Docklands
- Aaron Finch
- Dan Christian
- Cameron Boyce
- Kane Richardson
- Mohammad Nabi
Wildcard pick – Sam Harper
Top 5 fantasy picks | Hobart Hurricanes | BBL | 23rd match | Melbourne, Docklands
- D’Arcy Short
- Ben McDermott
- James Faulkner
- Matthew Wade
- Jofra Archer
Wildcard pick – George Bailey
Melbourne Renegades (possible) – 1. Aaron Finch © 2. Sam Harper (wk) 3. Cameron White 4. Tom Cooper 5. Mohammad Nabi 6. Dan Christian 7. Beau Webster 8. Jack Wildermuth 9. Cameron Boyce 10. Kane Richardson 11. Usman Shinwari.
Hobart Hurricanes (possible) – 1. Matthew Wade (c & wk) 2. D’Arcy Short 3. Alex Doolan 4. Ben McDermott 5. George Bailey 6. Simon Milenko 7. James Faulkner 8. Johan Botha 9. Jofra Archer 10. Clive Rose 11. Riley Meredith.
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.