Squad Breakdown: Sydney Sixers analysis, predicted XI

We've analysed every player in the Sydney Sixers predicted starting XI for the upcoming Big Bash SuperCoach season.

Pre Season Squad Breakdown

The Sydney Sixers enter Big Bash 10 as reigning champions following victory over the Melbourne Stars in last year’s decider.

It was their second triumph in the tournament having won the inaugural edition of the tournament.

Veteran’s Dan Christian and Carlos Braithwaite will bring plenty of experience to the side and act as handy additions with bat and ball, particularly with Tom Curran set to miss the opening half of the season.

A superstar of last year’s tournament, Curran will be on international duty for England’s tour of South Africa.

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Fortunately for SuperCoaches top order bat James Vince missed selection and will be available.

The Sixers don’t have a bye in the tournament, and have their sole double game week in Round 6.

We’ve had a stab at the predicted side for the tournament, taking into consideration the fact that Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc are likely to be unavailable for the December 10 opener with the Hobart Hurricanes as they prepare for the first Test on December 17.

Likewise, Moises Henriques and Jackson Bird have been picked for Australia A and will miss the opening game or two for the Sixers, but we’ve added them to the XI as they won’t miss much action.

West Indian skipper Jason Holder is a massive recent signing for the Sixers and will play a cameo mid-tournament.

Keep in mind the predicted line up is very much subject to change with the potential arrival of new signings and selections.

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PREDICTED XI

Josh Philippe (WKP/BAT) // $150,800 // BBL09 SC Ave: 52.7

Philippe rose to prominence last tournament with a monster in the opener for an outrageous 189 points.

It was one of three SuperCoach centuries for the year for the wicketkeeper.

The rapid rise continued with an IPL contract with the Royal Challengers Bangalore alongside superstars Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.

He played six games and produced respectable scores of 33 and 32 in the process.

That’s a huge form line coming into the BBL tournament, and with additional points behind the stumps he’s a massive play for the opening round.

James Vince (BAT) // $98,700 // BBL09 SC Ave: 34.5

Vince’s English snub is a win for SuperCoach as he’s likely to be available for the entire tournament.

He’s likely to open, although he may bat at three should Dan Hughes be promoted up the order.

Vince underwhelmed last season in his 15 games with a high score of just 51.

On a more promising note, he did only record one single digit score, so getting his innings started isn’t an issue, going on with his scores was.

His form entering the tournament is grim (hence the England demotion), averaging just 15.5 runs in six recent T20s for Hampshire.

On form he’s hard to justify buying, but as a result his price is very cheap at under $100k which makes him far more tempting.

I’m after the players that can hit three figure scores as big PODs (point of difference) to my rivals, and I’m not sure he ticks this box.

Form is everything in cricket, so I’ll be tempted to avoid early, but plenty can change between now and the season opener.

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Moises Henriques (c) (BAT-BWL) // $100,400 // BBL09 SC Ave: 35.1

The absence of Curran may bode well for Henriques’ chances of rolling the arm over, but the signings of Christian/Braithwaite fairly well nullifies that.

He scored 267 runs last campaign at 24.7 but wasn’t utilised as a bowler.

His recent Shield form has been stunning with two centuries, and he did bowl a few overs against WA.

I’ll be avoiding early, but if he does earn a few overs at any stage he’ll skyrocket as a buy prospect.

Daniel Hughes (BAT) // $74,100 // BBL09 SC Ave: 25.9

Hughes’ buy prospects rest solely on whether he opens or bats down the order to start the year.

If he’s in the middle order I’ll be avoiding, if he opens he’ll be cheap for Round 1.

Last campaign he scored 267 runs at 20.53.

Hughes has no real white ball cricket behind him since last season (like many in the competition), and he has failed to hit a half century in three games this season.

Following last year’s BBL tournament he hit two centuries in a single game against SA.

It’s really hard to make a case even if he does bat on top of the order.

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Jordan Silk // (BAT) // $62,500 // BBL09 SC Ave: 18.00

Silk had two key unbeaten knocks to finish last year’s tournament where he averaged 26.85.

The potential is there as a SuperCoach prospect, but batting deep in the order it’s far too big a risk.

Carlos Braithwaite (BAT-BWL) // $160,000 // BBL09 SC Ave: N/A

Braithwaite is the Sixers’ third international signing and forms a stellar lower/middle order with Christian and Curran (when available).

He’ll be available for the entire tournament and looms as a key SuperCoach figure.

Crucial to his prospects will be his spot in the batting order. He will likely bat at six ahead of Christian, while it’s highly unlikely he bats any higher.

Whether he bats at six or seven will be enormous as he’d likely see plenty more opportunity with the willow at six.

His most recent cricket has been in the Caribbean Premier League and a game in the Pakistan Super League.

He’s been batting at 7/8 in the CPL giving him minimal opportunity with the bat, which also suggests Christian may be a chance at coming in ahead of the West Indian all-rounder.

His performances with the ball were fairly erratic, with best efforts of 3/14 and 3/11 to go along with several wicketless outings.

The upside as an all-rounder is there, but I’ll likely wait to see how he’s utilised in the opening game.

Dan Christian (BAT-BWL) $105,000 // BBL09 SC Ave: 32.6

The new recruit looms as a decent prospect but I’m concerned at how often he’ll bowl.

The make up of the Round 1 team will be crucial to his buy credentials as you’d probably want a batter-heavy line up to suggest he may get overs in.

He is the logical replacement for Curran prior to his arrival, so perhaps he does bowl a few?

He scored 128 runs at 12.8 last season but can be well utilised as a pinch-hitter.

Enormously in his favour is that he has a lengthy recent T20 campaign with Notts in the UK where he’s bowling maximum overs and scoring well with the bat.

His most recent match he scored 23* and took 4/23.

I’ll likely be watching closely early, and if he’s utilised with ball in hand I’ll consider, but it’d have to be close to max overs due to his likely batting position.

If he is bowling decent overs he’ll be starting undervalued.

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Sean Abbott (BWL) // $219,700 // BBL09 SC Ave: 85.3

I’ve named Abbott hesitantly as he’s in the Australian Test squad and his availability for the Sixers (assuming he isn’t selected for the first Test) is a little uncertain.

In seven games last season he was in absolute beast mode, making or breaking many seasons with an average of 85.3.

As such he starts at top dollar for the new campaign.

He took 14 wickets at 13.57 and was clutch when rounding out the innings.

He was only given few opportunities with the bat coming in at 7.

If he was higher up he’d have easily eclipsed the 100 point average.

The man can hold the stick, with his last five Shield knocks producing scores of 102*, 15, 18*, 66 and 60*.

Despite all this form I’m reluctant to pay the big price early on with no double games until Round 6 and his spot down the batting order.

I’ll likely utilise my big spending on players with double game rounds early in the campaign, but he looms as a huge POD for that reason.

Ben Dwarshuis (BWL) // $152,600 // BBL09 SC Ave: 53.3

Dwarshuis was a surprise packet in SuperCoach circles last season as the eighth highest scoring player.

He took 26 wickets at 26.18 and an okay economy of 8.03.

He opened last year’s campaign with a ridiculous 211 runs, and had five scores over 80 points.

He’s one to seriously consider as a POD for the early stages of the tournament.

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Steve O’Keefe (BWL) // $105,000 // BBL09 SC Ave: 36.7

While there’s potential for the Sixers to play Lloyd Pope as their spinner, you’d think the experienced O’Keefe gets the nod.

In nine games last season, SOK took just the 7 wickets, but was one of the tournament’s most economical bowlers at 6.92 which was a major source of his SuperCoach scoring.

While wicket-taking isn’t necessarily what he’s renowned for, if O’Keefe can jag more scalps, which is obviously a huge chance as a T20 spinner, he can provide value at $105k.

He’s one to consider heading into the new season.

Jackson Bird (BWL) // $127,100 // BBL09 SC Ave: 44.4

Bird was an effective SuperCoach scorer last season in his 10 games for the Sixers.

He took 10 wickets at 24.00 with a decent economy of 7.27.

He also showed ability to go large with 126 runs in his first game against the Sydney Thunder last season.

While he should certainly be considered, I think he’s a little awkwardly priced and there appears to be better options with higher scoring ceilings available.

Update: Bird has been called up to the Australia A squad and may miss the opening round.

OTHERS

Jack Edwards (BAT) // $62,500

The signing of Braithwaite could end Edwards’ chance of starting in the tournament opener, but he won’t be far off a start.

He underwhelmed in four appearances last season, but at just 19-years-old there’s plenty of potential.

In three Shield appearances this season he has scores of 48*, 27 and 21, but most promising for SuperCoaches is the fact he’s been bowling.

He recorded a century in his most recent Sydney grade cricket knock.

He bowled 11 overs in his most recent game in a show of faith in the youngster.

He’s at a bargain price and is certainly a cheapie option if named, but for mine he’s only a watch until we see if he’s given any overs (or an unlikely promotion up the order).

Tom Curran (BAT-BWL) // $204,700 – Likely out until after Christmas

Mitchell Starc (BWL) // $190,000 – Unlikely for open game prior to Test duty

Nathan Lyon (BWL) $102,100 – Unlikely for open game prior to Test duty

Lloyd Pope (BWL) // $130,600

Ben Manenti – $125,200 – BWL

Mickey Edwards – $62,500 – BWL

Hayden Kerr – $62,500 – WKP / BAT

Jason Holder – $175,000 – BAT / BWL

Lawrence Neil-Smith – $42,000 – BWL

Tom Rogers – $78,000 – BWL

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