Squad Breakdown: Brisbane Heat analysis, predicted XI

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

Pre Season Squad Breakdown

The Brisbane Heat enter their 2020/21 campaign with a history of underwhelming performances.

Their sole title came way back in the 2012/13 edition of the tournament, and they’ve played in just two finals series with the most recent in 2016/17.

The Heat have no byes and have the double game week in Round 8.

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Dan Lawrence, Morne Morkel and Lewis Gregory are the big name international recruits, along with key locals Tom Cooper and Jack Wildermuth.

Gregory and star opener Tom Banton likely won’t be available until the new year due to international duty with England.

The positions of Mitch Swepson and Joe Burns are uncertain due to their place in Australia’s Test squad, and with strict bubble conditions expected it’s hard to see them featuring in the early stages of the tournament.

To further complicate matters, Mujeeb ur Rahman, who was initially expected to play the entire tournament, may miss games due to the recent announcement of Afghanistan’s series with Ireland in the UAE in January.

Mark Steketee has been picked for Australia A and will miss the opening game or two for the Heat, but we’ve added him to the XI as he won’t miss much action.

Despite the uncertainty, we’ve thrown together a projected starting XI for the Heat’s opener based on what we know.

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PREDICTED XI

Chris Lynn (BAT) // $131,900 // BBL09 SC ave: 46.1

With key experience from the squad set to be missing throughout the tournament, the skipper is really going to have to step up to the plate.

Lynn was solid by his lofty standards last campaign, averaging 29.76 runs at the explosive strike rate of 148.84.

His form of late is hard to get excited about, however the flat Australian decks will obviously suit on return to home soil.

He scored a stunning 113* off 55 balls in his final game before the Covid break with Lahore in the Pakistan Super League, but his form since the return of action has been less impressive.

Playing in the Caribbean Premier League, he’s had nine games with a high score of 34 and seven scores under 20.

He’ll be hard to pass up at the price, but as he’ll be extremely popular early on it may be worth an anti-POD play in leaving him out.

Dangerous, but certainly a viable option.

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Max Bryant (BAT) // $67,800 // BBL09 SC ave: 23.7

Bryant struggled in 10 games last season for an average of 14.5, which included a high score of 65.

As such, he starts very cheap and is a big chance to partner Lynn on top of the order due to the early absence of Banton.

You only need to go back to BBL 2018/19 where Bryant produced far more appealing numbers, scoring 335 runs at 27.91 with a stunning strike rate of 150.22!

I really like him as a batsmen, and at 21-years-old he’s still learning his craft. If he can recapture his form there are big scores awaiting the opener.

He doesn’t have any first-class cricket under his belt since February which is an issue, but if he jags an opening spot he’ll loom as a serious bargain option.

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Dan Lawrence (BAT) $125,000 // BBL09 SC ave: N/A

Some may remember the name Lawrence from the England Lions tour of Australia last summer.

The top order batsman scored 498 runs at 98.6, and took 11 wickets with his off-spin.

Unfortunately he’s only listed as a batsmen, but he may well roll the arm over for the Heat.

While rarely bowling his maximum four overs, he frequently bowls with County side Essex.

In his past three T20s with Essex he has scores of 3, 49* and 81.

He has a seriously impressive career T20 strike rate of 141.46.

If Darren Lehmann opts to go a batsmen-heavy line up for the Heat’s opener it may suggest he’s set to bowl, which would be enormous for his buy credentials.

Keep an eye on trial games to get a greater indication.

Sam Heazlett (BAT) $96,200 // BBL09 SC ave: 33.6

Heazlett had a disappointing campaign in 2019/20, playing eight games for an average of 16.62 at a strike rate of 127.88.

His SuperCoach average was reasonable, but was propped up by eight catches (worth 10 points each).

I’m not convinced he’ll regularly bat as high as four, but if he does you can make some sort of case for him

However, I’m finding it hard to convince myself he’s worth the investment.

Tom Cooper (BAT) $78,900 // BBL09 SC ave: 27.6

Cooper ended last Sheffield Shield season with decent outings of 99 and 62, but failed to reach double figures in his two knocks since the competition returned.

Like most of this batting order he may not actually bat as high as five, but it’s pretty slim pickings early in the tournament unless further signings are announced.

He did score 324 runs at 23.14 at a bleak strike rate of 113.28 in the 2018/19 tournament, so there’s potential, but we’d need to see him bowling to warrant consideration.

He took two wickets for the Renegades last season in very few opportunities with the ball.

Jimmy Peirson (WKP/BAT) // $69,700 // BBL09 SC ave: 24.4

While it’s hard to make a case for Peirson as a starter, he may be worth recruiting as a back up keeper at cut price.

His place looks pretty secure while Tom Banton is on England duty, so it’ll depend where he bats as to whether he’s worth looking at.

He’s been in sublime form with the bat for Queensland in the Shield this season, so perhaps he may earn a promotion up the order?

In three games this season, he has a century and two half-centuries.

If he can bat in the top five, or even six as touted, he may be worth a flyer to free up cash elsewhere.

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Jack Wildermuth (BAT/BWL) // $62,500 // BBL09 SC ave: 18.7

The talented all-rounder has been batting at seven for Queensland in the Shield, while he batted at eight for the Renegades last season.

The all-rounder status is handy, but how many overs will he bowl? The new SuperCoach rules state that economy rate bonus is only added after three overs (two overs last season), which further dents his buy credentials.

If he earns any sort of batting promotion (unlikely) or he bowls max overs I’ll consider, but not for me at this stage.

Mark Steketee (BWL) // $87,500 // BBL09 SC ave: 43.7

Steketee will miss the first game or two due to Australia A duty, but should be back for the remainder of the tournament from there.

He played just three games last campaign and took three wickets in the process.

His Shield form, most recently taking 4/43 v SA, earned him the Australia A call up.

He’s capable with the bat and could earn some very handy late order runs to bolster his scoring.

In 37 career T20s he has a nice return of 42 wickets, at an economy of 8.74 which would see him earn very few bonus points in that regard.

With Morkel and Laughlin on deck, it’s unlikely he’ll be handed the pill for the all-important final overs of the innings where wickets fall for fun and major SuperCoach wickets are scored.

I’ll be avoiding early on but keeping a close eye on him to see if he can translate his Shield form into the shorter format of the game.

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Morne Morkel (BWL) // $138,000 // BBL09 SC ave: N/A

The South African great is sure to attract interest this season at a decent price.

The bouncy Australian decks always suited the rangy quick and they’ll continue to do so this campaign.

He played the one game for the Scorchers last season and took 0/18.

Having retired from the international scene, he also hasn’t seen any first-class cricket since that game outside of one outing for Surrey in English County cricket.

He has 202 wickets in 184 first-class T20 fixtures at an economy of 7.50.

He’ll likely bowl at the death which is huge for his wicket-taking potential, while a promotion up the batting order ahead of Steketee would be an added bonus.

Despite an obvious class factor on the competition, I’ll likely be leaving Morkel out of my side early on.

Ben Laughlin (BWL) // $142,700 // BBL09 SC ave: 49.8

At 38-years-old Laughlin is very much a veteran of the game, but he still has plenty to offer.

He averaged a very healthy 49.8 SuperCoach points last campaign and is always a huge chance of bowling the overs at the death.

In 2019/20 he took 15 wickets at a very poor economy of 8.77, but it’s high as a result of taking on the all-important late overs.

What he lacks in economy bonus he can make up for in wickets.

He hasn’t played first-class cricket since last tournament, but he’s been one of Australian domestic cricket’s most reliable bowlers for a long time so I’m not too concerned.

His age and price tag will scare off plenty, but I think he’s a very viable POD play to begin the tournament.

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Mujeeb ur Rahman (BWL) // $115,900 // BBL09 SC ave: 40.5

The recently announced Afghanistan v Ireland series in January will likely impact the star 19-year-old, but here’s hoping it isn’t going to impact SuperCoaches prior to the new year.

Still an extremely raw off-spinner, Mujeeb took five wickets in six appearances last tournament.

His potential saw him earn an IPL contract with Kings XI where he played just two games for poor returns of 0/44 and 0/39.

While concerning, the fact he was picked shows how well regarded his is.

Prior to that he saw plenty of T20 action in the Caribbean Premier League, where in his past eight games he took 10 wickets, including returns of 3/14, 3/11 and 1/12, all off four overs.

He’s a player with limitless potential and the growth will continue to come rapidly, so at the price he’s an extremely enticing prospect.

OTHERS:

Tom Banton – $156,600

Joe Burns – $73,800

Matthew Kuhnemann – $62,500

Mitch Swepson – $105,900

Marnus Labuschagne – $64,400

Lewis Gregory – $175,000

James Bazley – $42,000

Jack Wood – $42,000

Simon Milenko – $71,800

Lachy Pfeffer – $42,000

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