Positional analysis: Bowler breakdown, verdict

We take an in-depth look at the bowler position, assessing the best options to get you off to a flyer.


With nine of the top 10 averaging players last season being either bowlers or BAT/BWL duals, there’s good reason to be looking to capitalise on bowlers in your SC team.

Furthermore, bowlers seem to be less impacted by this season’s point scoring changes than batsman.

The only change to their point scoring is a requirement to bowl at least three overs for economy rate bonuses. I’d expect this to more so impact batting allrounders.

I’ve since discovered that points for wickets taken have been reduced from 25 points to 20 points. However, batting points have also been altered for this season (as discussed in the wicket-keeper position analysis).

All-in-all I expect the changes to bowling points and batting points to go pretty close to off-setting each other.

In this article I’ll focus on bowlers who don’t have dual eligibility (keep an eye out for the duals/allrounders article prior to season start).

Whilst wicket-takers are generally your best way of accumulating points, economy rates are also rewarded. Naturally, get the right combination of both and you’ve got yourself a gun (have I mentioned Rashid Khan yet…)

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Wickets (Per wicket) 20 Points
Bonus for every 3 wickets in one match 10 Points
Maiden over bowled
(per maiden over)
15 Points
Dot Ball bowled 1 Point
Extra Conceded
(per extra, includes wides and no-balls bowled)
-1 Point
Economy Rate Bonus
4 or less r.p.o.
4.01-5 r.p.o.
5.01-6 r.p.o.
6.01-7 r.p.o.
7.01-8 r.p.o.
(must bowl at least 3 overs for ER bonus)
  25 Points
20 Points
15 Points
10 Points
5 Points
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Premiums ($140k plus)

I thought I’d start with Rashid Khan ($192.3k). Striking with a wicket every 16.6 balls in BBL, you can expect more than a wicket a game from the maestro.

He’s also incredibly difficult to get away with a BBL career economy rate of 6.37. Not to mention he’s a handy bat and more than capable of a quickfire 20 for a strike rate bonus.

You’ll need him for his two early double game weeks for the Strikers. The bigger question is whether you can start with him on your bench from round 1 for the Strikers bye.

A plan that I’ll be looking at is to start with Adam Zampa ($184.1k) for the Melbourne Stars double game week, then move him to Khan.

Price changes happen after the first round in BBL SC, so there is the possibility that you may not be able to afford the move.

However, it shouldn’t be too hard to rejig things and find a way if need be. Plus, I expect Zampa to go really well this season.

I think he found a new level of consistency in 2019-20, taking wickets in all but two of his 12 matches played.

He was also excellent for Australia in the ODI series vs England taking 10 wickets in the three game series.

He should be able to get close to his average of 64.3 SC points last BBL season and get your team off to a good start.

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Another premium with an early double game week is Hurricanes’ quick Riley Meredith ($184.6k).

He’s been great over the last two seasons claiming 27 wickets across 21 innings and averaging 64.5 SC points last season.

He did only play the six games last season though. He can also be expensive at times with a BBL career economy rate of 8.22.

Fellow Hurricanes quick Scott Boland ($171.5k) also strikes regularly, with 51 career BBL wicket across 41 innings.

For SC I probably rate him similar to Meredith as he can also be expensive at times (BBL career economy rate of 8.45).

Interestingly the Hurricanes do play the Strikers twice in the double game week. So, if you think the Strikers batting order can be exploited it could be a tactic to target the Hurricanes’ quicks. I think the Strikers batting order looks solid enough though.

Whilst many will remember James Faulkner’s ($155.8k) exploits with the bat in the earlier part of his career, he’s only listed as a bowler in SC.

He should bat around the number 7 position for the Hurricanes. There could still be a question of how much opportunity he’ll get, with the Canes boasting a stacked batting line-up.

He had an injury affected campaign last season, but in the seven matches he did play, his bowling strike rate was up with the best at 12.6.

He’s also generally not too expensive with a career BBL economy rate of 7.8. I really like him as an option. He’s got plenty of experience and can score SC points in multiple ways.

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Moving on to the Striker’s pace options, Peter Siddle ($163.6k) will have back-to-back double game weeks for rounds 2 and 3.

Siddle averaged a very respectable 57.1 SC points last season, thanks to 19 wickets, claiming one every 15.2 balls.

That’s a little better than his career strike rate of 18.8. He’s also been quite economical across his BBL career with an economy rate a tick under 7.

Fellow Adelaide Striker Wes Agar ($150k) has been highly touted at only 23 years old. He nabbed 17 wickets last season at a very impressive S/R of 14.5.

His economy rate can be an issue though, going at 8.9 last season and 9.27 across his BBL career.

Moving on to players without an early double game week.

Sean Abbott ($219.7k) was sensational in his seven matches last season, averaging 85.3 SC points.

He’s also been in great recent form in the Sheffield Shield, claiming 14 wickets in three matches, along with a century in his last outing.

However, his early season availability could be impacted by selection in Australia and Australia A squads. He might have been a bit pricey to start with anyway.

Keep an eye on him leading into the Sixer’s round 6 double game week.

James Pattinson ($162.7k) has moved back to the Renegades from the Heat.

He can be lethal on his day but has a surprisingly high BBL career economy rate of 8.49.

This was even higher in the recent IPL, going at 9 per over. He’s capable with the bat, averaging 22 across his career in the Sheffield Shield, although he hasn’t quite been able to translate it to T20 yet.

Unfortunately for SC, he’s another who’s early season availability could be limited by Australia and Australia A selection.

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Pattinson and Kane Richardson ($160.3k) could be a scary combination for batsman. Richardson was epic in 2018-19 for the Renegades, averaging 74.5 SC points.

So, he’ll be well under-priced this season if he can recapture that form. He was handy for Australia in the recent T20 internationals vs England, with figures of 1/31 (4 overs), 0/19 (2 overs) and 2/13 (3 overs) respectively.

The Renegades do have a double game week in round 6, when one or both of Pattinson and (Kane) Richardson could be key targets.

Jhye Richardson ($166.2k) was very good for the Scorchers last season, averaging 58.1 SC points thanks to 15 wickets, striking every 21.2 balls at a tidy economy rate of 7.08.

He also showed he’s capable with the bat, blasting 33 not out from 14 balls in one of his few opportunities. Unfortunately for SC though he doesn’t have a double game week until round 10.

Ben Dwarshuis ($152.6K) has been very consistent across his career for the Sydney Sixers and should come into considerations for their round 6 double game week. He averaged 53.3 SC points last season.

Speaking of consistent, Ben Laughlin ($142k) has been a mainstay of many BBL SC teams for years now.

He came home to Brisbane last season and delivered as always, averaging 49.8 SC points.

He lacks the batting opportunities of some others but tends to bowl a lot of overs at the death, when wickets are in the offering.

He’s also an excellent fielder having taken many spectacular outfield catches over the years. One to consider for the Heat’s round 8 double game week.

Mitchell Starc ($190k) and Imran Tahir ($175k) are unlikely to feature in the early part of the tournament, so no need to consider them for now.

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Mids ($80k – $140k)

Nathan Coulter-Nile ($138k) was in my team for most of last season and I thought he’d be a bit more expensive than this.

His all-round ability means he can go large on any given week. He was even used at first drop as a pinch hitter twice last season.

If this happens again it could be SC gold with the new strike-rate points. He’ll be very tough to leave out for the Stars double game week first up.

Zahir Khan ($129.9k) has moved to the Stars this season, so also has a round 1 double game week.

At only 21 years of age, he’s been excellent in his 55 T20 career matches, claiming a wicket every 17.7 balls at an economy rate of 7.

Another quality young spinner is Sandeep Lamichhane ($138.3k) who has moved to the Hurricanes.

He’s already racked up 88 T20 career matches and strikes at a wicket every 16.2 balls, going for 6.71 per over.

He was a little more expensive than this in the BBL last season though, going at an economy rate of 7.44.

Unfortunately, he’s not joining up with the Hurricanes until post Xmas, so will miss their double game week.

Danny Briggs ($138K) will make his BBL debut for the Strikers this season. He’s a seasoned international from England, with one ODI and seven T20Is to his name, having last represented his country in 2014. 

A slow left-arm orthodox bowler, he’s an intriguing option with a T20 career strike rate of 18.2 balls per wicket, going at an economy rate of 7.21.

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Nathan Ellis ($113k), who debuted last season for the Hurricanes, comes in at a great price.

He was very handy last season as a breakout cheapie, claiming 12 wickets, striking every 25.4 balls at an economy of 7.95.

He’s proven to be hard to handle in the Sheffield Shield this season, claiming 30 wickets in his five matches.

If either of Dan Worrall ($92.2k) or Harry Conway ($90.2k) play, they’ll be great value for the Strikers back-to-back double game weeks.

Moving onto those without an early double game week, South African great Morne Morkel ($138k) will catch the eye of many SuperCoaches.

He’s signed on for the Heat this season having last played T20 in a one-off game for the Scorchers in January of this year. I don’t see any rush to get him in at his price so you can wait and see. 

Andrew Tye ($134k) is capable of outperforming his price. His economy rate has been higher than usual in recent season’s though, going at 8.51 per over in 2019-20.

Sydney Thunder has signed kiwi Adam Milne ($125k) for the whole BBL season. Milne is an exciting quick capable of regularly exceeding 140kph.

He’s also handy with the bat, averaging 16.13 at a strike rate of 124.1. He may not get that many opportunities though in a Thunder team full of bowling allrounders.

It’s great to see Jason Behrendorff ($120k) returning from a back injury. He’s been a fantasy gun in the past, claiming a wicket every 18.1 balls in his BBL career at the excellent economy rate of 6.78. I’ll be keeping an eye on his pre-season and early round form.

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Fellow Thunder bowler Chris Green ($107.9k) has built a reputation as a T20 specialist with a great economy rate.

He missed a fair portion of last season’s BBL due to a doubtful bowling action. He’s been cleared and starts at a very reasonable SC price.

His economy rate across his BBL career is 7.07 and he strikes with a wicket in BBL every 26 balls. He also bats well when given the opportunity, averaging 18.47 at a strike rate of 135.5 in BBL.

I don’t think there’s too many others of interest in this price bracket. Although Renegades and Sixers will warrant consideration prior to their round 6 double game week.

This includes Josh Lalor ($134.3k), Lloyd Pope ($130.6k), Jackson Bird ($127.1k), Ben Manenti ($125.2k), Cam Boyce ($121.4k) and Steve O’Keefe ($105k). Nathan Lyon is also great value at $102.1k, but he’s not expected to be available until later in the tournament.

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Cheapies ($80k or less)

Last year’s BBL SC champion Thommo Aitken has given an awesome rundown on key cheapies across all positions here. Thommo highlights two standout cheap bowler options.

Big Billy Stanlake (75.4k) is a 2.04m quick capable of making things extremely uncomfortable for batsman.

At his price, starting with him for the double game week could give your team a real advantage.

However, as Thommo highlighted, when he is off his game Billy can be quite expensive and not bowl all his overs.

This resulted in several very low SC scores of 6, -3, 6, 9, 3 and 4 last season. He also hasn’t played any domestic and international cricket since February.

Looking through club cricket stats he doesn’t seem to have played locally either. I’ll be keeping an eye on him during the pre-season to get more of an indication on where he’s at.

The Stars play their second game less than 24 hours after their first, so backing up could be a tough ask for the quicks.

At only 15 years old, Noor Ahmad ($62.5k)has already played 15 T20s in the professional league in Afghanistan. His signing for the Renegades is an amazing story.

He’ll play the first part of the tournament before being replaced by Imran Tahir after Xmas.

Ahmad is a left-arm wrist spinner who already has 19 T20 wickets at a strike rate of 18 and an economy of 7.11 in his home league. At his price if he plays and bowls regularly, he’ll be a good option.

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Zampa, Coulter-Nile and Zahir Khan are all good options to start for the Stars round 1 double game week. I like the ploy of going Zampa to Rashid Khan for week 2.

Nathan Ellis is the best value Hurricanes bowler for mine, while I also want Faulkner for their double game week.

At this stage I’m inclined to have a look at the Strikers bowlers in round 2 before trading them in. Except for Rashid Khan who I want for both their double game weeks.

I don’t mind the idea of starting with a Striker on your bench for their round 1 bye. Briggs might be cheap enough to do this.

I can’t see myself running with any of the premium or mid-price bowlers who don’t have a double game week early on. I prefer allrounders instead, which we’ll come to in a later article.

From the cheapies, I’m leaning towards leaving Stanlake out. Ahmad I’ll be considering in comparison to batsman and allrounders at a similar price. 

5 Responses to “Positional analysis: Bowler breakdown, verdict”

  1. Great article especially for BBL newbies.
    This is my first season doing BBL SC and the team i currently have is:
    Wkt – Philippe (Holt)
    Bat – Stoin (Captain) Maxwell Jacks McDermott Bryan (Salt Wildermuth)
    Bowl – Short (VC) Zampa Coulter-Nile Khan (Stars) Ellis (Ahmed Owen
    Salary $18,900

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