Final Word: Trades, tactics, skippers, RD 1

We have the final say on the major Round 1 plays, including super PODs and captaincy options to kick start your SuperCoach season.

Final Word

The wait is finally over, with the Big Bash season launching on Thursday night.

Hobart take on the Sydney Sixers to kick things off, with the first set of SuperCoach players locked into our sides.

With the rolling lockout in action, we’ll still be able to trade players and move them around in our sides throughout the round, except for the Hurricanes and Sixers players who can’t be moved at all.

Clubs are required to submit their 14-man squads the day before the game, but unlike previous years, they don’t have to make them public which makes it even more difficult to pick SuperCoach sides.

While some may opt to make them public, we’ll generally have to wait until the coin toss half hour before the games to get the sides, and obviously the final XI.

If there’s one round all year you’ll need to watch the final teams like a hawk, this is it, so have your eyes on the cricket!

Let’s go over a few key factors and players to consider ahead of Round 1.

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WEATHER WATCH

All weather is courtesy of the Bureau of Meteorology as of Thursday, 12pm. All times are in AEDT. Forecasts are subject to change.

THURSDAY

7.15PM: Hurricanes v Sixers, Blundstone Arena, Hobart

Forecast: Cloudy, 17 degrees, 20% chance of rain in the morning

FRIDAY

7.15PM: Stars v Heat, Manuka Oval, Canberra

Forecast: Partly cloudy, 20 degrees, 5% chance of rain.

SATURDAY

4.05PM: Stars v Thunder, Manuka Oval, Canberra

Forecast: Partly cloudy, 20 degrees, 10% chance of rain.

7.15PM: Renegades v Scorchers, Blundstone Arena, Hobart

Forecast: Mostly sunny, 23 degrees, 0% chance of rain.

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SUPER PODS

Each week one of our contributors will provide a full analysis on the point of difference (POD) players to consider.

In the Final Word, we’ll look at the super POD options, the players at under 5% ownership that could send you soaring (or falling) up the overall ranks.

They come with big risk, but the reward is immense if it comes off.

Harry Nielsen

This is very speculative, especially as he’s actually on the bye in Round 1.

However, his last five Sheffield Shield scores are 114, 0, 43, 40 and 64.

Having the bye in Round 1 means he can be used for VC/AE loopholes.

The Strikers have the Round 2 double, he will play the first game, then there’s a question mark over Alex Carey returning for game two.

Carey is with Australia A in a day/night game until the 13th in Sydney, the Strikers play their second game on the night of the 15th in Hobart.

The latest word is that Aus A players may not be available until the 16th.

You could pick Nielsen at $62,500 to free up coin, bench him for that first game of the double round, and if he scores well you can AE loophole him.

Then there’s the chance he actually plays both games in the round regardless.

At under 0.1% ownership he’s the ultimate super POD.

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Jason Behrendorff

He’s slightly over the definition of a super POD at 5.5% ownership, but the left-arm quick is one of the world’s best short form bowlers when fit.

It’s rare, but for now he is good to go.

He’s hardly managed any BBL games in recent years due to injury, but prior to missing last year with injury he averaged 49.6 SuperCoach points in 11 games.

During that stint he had a top score of 154 points.

He has enormous upside and is a serious option for those who like to play with fire.

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LOOKING AHEAD

A few quick things to consider for your final teams.

While we’re all heavy on Stars players with the early double game, be aware they have the bye in Round 3, so we’ll have six trades available to move the majority of them on before this time.

It doesn’t mean you can’t start with six or seven of them in your squad, just have a plan to get rid of the brunt of them in coming weeks.

The Strikers have the bye this week, but then have the double game week in Round’s 2 AND 3.

It looks a wise move to start with one or even two on your bench in preparation for this. They’ll also provide you with a good opportunity to vice-captain loophole and auto-emergency loophole.

The Hurricanes are loaded with SuperCoach relevant players and they have the double in Round 2, so try and get one or two of them minimum in your side to start the season.

D’Arcy Short will be an absolute must-have next week and is basically a lock in skipper, so why not just get him in this week and save the inevitable trade?

After the Stars Round 3 bye there are no more byes in the entire season, and following that week there are two straight rounds without a double game.

This further enhances the need to load up on double round players in the Stars/Strikers/Hurricanes early on.

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CAPTAINS

Glenn Maxwell is the obvious choice. He enters the round in sensational form in the Australia v India series, will bat high for the Stars who have the double game week and will bowl. He’ll be an extremely popular choice this week.

Tread cautiously with Marcus Stoinis who won’t bowl for at least three weeks, meaning he’s relying on scoring well with the bat.

However, he did average 64.9 SuperCoach points last season having hardly bowled, so he looms as a sneaky option regardless, but not for me.

Adam Zampa looks the next best option at the Stars. He had some success against India and averaged 64.3 points last season.

I’d be avoiding anyone else outside of those three this week.

Provided you choose one of the above, your vice-captain will have to come from the Thursday night clash between the Hurricanes and Sixers.

D’Arcy Short is the obvious choice who plays at the batsmen friendly Blundstone Arena, and he should roll the arm over for 2-4 overs also.

In nine games last season he had four scores of 99 and above, including a 160 and 173 which are the numbers required to utilise the loophole.

Good luck in Round 1 SuperCoaches!

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