Squad Breakdown: Strikers analysis, predicted XI

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

Pre Season

The Adelaide Strikers will be striving to add to their trophy cabinet this season that boasts just the sole title back in BBL 07.

They’ve finished first on two occasions and reached the knockout final last tournament.

Danny Briggs, Matt Renshaw and Dan Worrall are the side’s major recruits, while Englishmen Phil Salt returns for another stint.

The side have a number of players picked for Australia A including Michael Neser, Harry Conway, Alex Carey and Renshaw which makes them an awkward side to target due to their opening round bye and Round 2 double game week.

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The Australia A side finish their clash on December 13, the same day as Adelaide’s opening game which falls at the beginning of Round 2.

Their next game in the same round falls two days later on the 15th, so with uncertainty around the release of players we’ve added these players to the starting XI.

However, it is expected they will miss the first game and are in some doubt for the second match.

Michael Neser is also a question mark having been picked in the Australian squad.

Although he’s highly unlikely to get picked in the Test team, his release from the squad is unknown.

Here’s how we see them lining up for their opening round, with Australia A players included in the expectation they play the second game.

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PREDICTED XI (In batting order)

Phil Salt (BAT) // $134,300 // BBL 09 SC Ave: 46.9

At a very reasonable price, with dual double game weeks early in the season as an opening bat, Salt is very hard to look past.

He may not have the enormous credentials of some of his counterparts, but it’s hard not to see him scoring well in Rounds 2 and 3.

Last season he scored 361 runs at 25.78 with a stunning strike-rate of 164.09.

In eight games for Sussex in the recent Vitality Blast, he scored 211 runs at 26.37 with a strike-rate of 167.46.

If he can produce even one 50+ knock at that 160+ strike-rate in his four innings in those two rounds he’ll pay back the investment.

Jake Weatherald (BAT) // $122,500 // BBL 09 SC Ave: 42.8

I’ve always been a huge fan of Weatherald and I’m lucky to recruit both he and Salt for Round 2.

Last year he was the eighth top run-scorer with 407 runs at 29.07 and a strike-rate of 133.88.

He scored a century for South Australia two matches back in the Sheffield Shield before taking a break due to personal reasons.

Like Salt, I think he only needs one 50+ score at a decent strike-rate to go close to justifying his purchase for the two double rounds.

Alex Carey (Neilsen) (WKP-BAT) // $165,800 // BBL 09 SC Ave: 57.9

At this stage I expect Harry Neilsen to play game one of Round 2, with Carey likely to replace him for the second game of the double round, but this could change.

At this stage, I’m likely to wait until the Round 3 double to recruit Carey.

Last tournament he scored 391 runs at 35.54 with a solid strike-rate of 125.32.

His form of late has been okay, with an ODI century for Australia against England in September the highlight.

He’ll take the gloves on return for a few additional points and looks an essential buy for at the very least the Round 3 double game week.

Matt Renshaw (BAT-BWL) // $137,000 // BBL 09 SC Ave: 47.9

Renshaw impressed last tournament with 348 runs at 29.00 and a strike-rate of 123.28.

Initially slated as a bit of a long-form specialist, he’s proven his capability in recent years to flourish in the shorter forms of the game.

He looks the obvious choice to anchor this Strikers middle order and can have a decent impact in SuperCoach.

It’d be great to see him jag a few overs for some additional points, but the Strikers aren’t short on bowling options so his opportunities may be limited, especially with Khan and Briggs as front-line spin options.

He’s in form having scored 168* for Queensland in his most recent Shield outing.

I’ll likely be avoiding as I’d prefer opt towards genuine all-rounders and top three batsmen, but he certainly warrants consideration.

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Jono Wells (BAT) // $138,300 // BBL 09 SC Ave: 48.3

Wells was a star last tournament with a simply outrageous 478 runs at an average of 68.28 and a strike-rate of 135.41.

It sounds ridiculous, but I think I’ll have to put a line through him at this stage as I think he’s priced at close to his peak due to his stellar tournament last year.

There’s a realistic chance he bats at four ahead of Renshaw though, in this instance I’d consider him far more strongly.

But while there’s uncertainty over his position I can’t justify paying $138k for a number five batsmen who won’t bowl.

The major thing in his favour is that Renshaw and Carey are expected to miss at least the first game of the Round 2 double, so he probably bats at three of four in that game, and potential the second game if they’re missing.

If we get word that this is the case I’ll reconsider for sure, but for now I’m a hesitant no.

He hasn’t played first-class cricket since last tournament.

Matt Short (BAT) // $65,300 // BBL 09 SC Ave: 22.8

Short is a guy I’m really on the fence with at this stage as his role is so fluctuating in this side.

One week he’ll bat at three, the next he’ll bat at seven. Then he’ll bowl three overs another week, then not bowl for another month.

How will the Strikers utilise him this campaign?

Provided they opt for five front-line bowlers like last year, it’s hard to see him getting much opportunity with ball in hand.

He has been bowling regularly for Victoria (without much success), so who knows?

But with Khan and Briggs on deck as spinners it’s unlikely.

With a pretty stellar top order he may also struggle to find much opportunity with the bat also.

It’s the $65k price tag that’s hard to look past.

He opened up his 2018/19 season with SuperCoach scores of 89 and 104 in a show of his potential.

At this stage I’m leaning towards picking him on my bench to free up cash while avoiding playing him in my side.

It’s a really, really tough decision but in all honesty the cards probably aren’t quite in his favour.

Rashid Khan (BWL) // $192,300 // BBL 09 SC Ave: 67.2

I’m all for a big anti-POD play, but Rashid Khan isn’t one of them.

He’s among the elite tier of spinners in world cricket and is the gift that keeps on giving.

With four games in his opening two rounds you simply have to own him, and he’s a massive captaincy option in that period.

He averaged an enormous 67.2 SuperCoach points last tournament, and 70.6 the year prior.

Last season he took 19 wickets with an economy of 7.15.

In the recent IPL campaign he played 16 matches and took 20 wickets at a mind-blowing economy of 5.37 against the world’s best batsmen.

Some are opting to pick him in Round 1 on the bench to avoid the inevitable trade for Round 2, but I’ll be waiting and utilising that money in the opening week.

Peter Siddle (BWL) // $163,600 // BBL 09 SC Ave: 57.1

It’s been 10 years since his infamous Ashes hat-trick, so I reckon Sidz is due for something special again…

The veteran still has plenty to offer and should bowl plenty of overs at the death for the Strikers.

He took the sixth most wickets last year with 19 at an economy of 7.18, leading to a very healthy SuperCoach average of 57.1

As a result he’s not cheap this season, but with four games in two rounds he could be well worth the investment.

He’s been in good touch of late in the Shield, and he’s always capable of some late innings runs to boost his scoring if there’s a collapse above him.

Dan Worrall (BWL) // $92,200 // BBL 09 SC Ave: 32.2

The Stars recruit didn’t exactly light up last tournament with just eight wickets in 14 games, but the bonus is that he starts cheap this season.

This is fairly well in line with his career strike-rate, having taken just 27 wickets in 33 matches at an economy of 8.33.

His recent Shield form since returning from the Covid break hasn’t been great with just two wickets in two innings.

He’s hard to have but with four games in two rounds it’ll only take a few scalps to match his value, so if you’re looking for a cheapie after Round 1 he’s worth consideration.

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Wes Agar (BWL) // $150,000 // BBL 09 SC Ave: 52.4

Agar impressed last season with 17 wickets in 12 games at an economy of 7.18.

His recent Shield form hasn’t been great, taking just two wickets in four matches.

While the consecutive double game weeks make him a viable option, I’m apprehensive to invest at a pretty hefty price.

Danny Briggs (BWL) // $138,000 // BBL 09 SC Ave: N/A

Short-form specialist Briggs arrives with strong credentials having taken the most wickets of any bowler in English T20 cricket with 186.

In the recent Vitality Blast competition, the off-spinner took 12 wickets in 11 games at a very impressive economy of 6.55.

Furthermore, he’s likely to be available for the whole tournament.

I’ll be strongly considering as a Round 2 buy option.

OTHERS

Harry Conway – $90,000 – Will be in strong contention on return from Australia A duties.

Liam O’Connor – $109,000

Spencer Johnson – $42,000

Cameron Valente – $62,500

Travis Head (c) – $173,200 – Likely unavailable until the back end of the tournament.

Michael Neser – $142,000 – Availability unknown due to Australia and Australia A duties.

Liam Scott – $42,000

Harry Nielsen – $62,500 – Likely to play at least the Strikers first game.

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