Gun Show: Star players to target and avoid, Rd 8

Last year's SuperCoach BBL champion Thommo Aitken eyes the top dollar players to target and steer clear of.

Gun Show

Blink and you will miss it!

Can you believe that we are already up to Round 8!? Round 8 looms as a very interesting round for our trades indeed.

Nailing your trades or your non-trades in this round looms as a crucial part of success and could lead to a significant jump in the rankings for your team.

There are many factors and curveballs to be considered and analysed and we will consider these in this article for Round 8.

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Teams on the double: Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat.

Normally when we have two teams on the double your players will probably be a mix of performers from both sides.

But one factor that is worth monitoring this week is the predicted weather for the first game of the round for the Brisbane Heat.

Now predicting weather is not something I am an expert in, but the forecast for the match between the Brisbane Heat and the Melbourne Stars looks less than ideal.

As we know things can change quickly, but at this stage there is some rain predicted the day before and the gameday forecast looks bleak for cricket lovers with anywhere between 20 to 35mm predicted, meaning that we could have no cricket played or limited cricket played that evening.

For the purposes of this article I am going to assume that limited cricket will be played and it is not worth targeting Stars and Heat players with trades and selections this week.

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Of course things can change though and if it looked like the majority of the game will go ahead as scheduled than you would target players (especially Heat players) for your trades this week.

With game play predicted to be limited it would mean names such as Stoinis and Maxwell from the Stars as well as Heat players including Wildermuth and Lynn amongst many others should not be trade ins for your team this week.

Heavy rain would mean that Stars players may need to take a seat on your bench this week, however, Heat players should play their second game against the Sixers uninterrupted and can still be played on field.

Another intriguing prospect this round is perhaps the hottest property in BBL at the moment, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Well done to the smart coaches who already have him in their side and many coaches would ordinarily trade him straight in for his double game round.

However, his form is so good that he has been selected in the Afghanistan squad to play against Ireland.

No set departure date has been set by BBL teams at the time of writing but as time progresses it looks like they may stay a few extra days than originally anticipated.

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If you already have him you are laughing and will hold him till he eventually exits the competition.

However, with the wet weather around and knowing he will depart the tournament soon enough the appeal of a trade in diminishes.

Now we turn our attention to the Thunder and the SuperCoach weapon that is Daniel Sams.

A player who can do it with both bat and ball and he would have been a popular player and captain choice this round.

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He showed how dangerous he can be with his cameo against the Heat with 37 runs off just 18 balls.

Unfortunately, he got struck by a bouncer and had to be subbed out at halfway through the match due to concussion symptoms.

There is nothing definite from an availability perspective and I am sure the Thunder will demonstrate the appropriate duty of care so Sams can fully recover, but there has to be doubts about when he will return to action. Hopefully it is sooner rather than later!

A long article for me this round, but I guess in summary I am saying monitor the weather and trade in Thunder players because they will get two bites of the cherry compared to perhaps only one for the Heat players. Trades are valuable and we do not want to waste them!

Round 8 Guns

Alex Hales (Thunder)

I don’t want to put the mocker on him, but he is looking pretty dangerous in his last few digs.

Scores of 35, 71 and 45 before again showing form with 46 off 26 against the Heat.

The early dismissal of Usman Khawaja didn’t seem to rattle him either and he just took his time to get his eye in before showing his typical aggression. With his potential to go big and score quickly he looms as a serious buy.

Tanveer Sanga (Thunder)

He just picks up wickets this bloke! That is the sort of player you want to have in your side, especially on a double round.

He now temporary holds the golden cap for the most wickets in the competition with 13 poles.

The only minor query is how the pitch at Optus will play for spinners because it hasn’t seen much action yet this tournament, however, he will get plenty of overs in the double round.

Callum Ferguson (Thunder)

Mr Consistent. Ferguson is that under the radar operator who is having a sneaky tournament.

Whilst his strike rate is nothing outrageous, he is fairly consistent in contributing some runs. He has made some scores this tournament including 54, 61 not out, 31, 51 and then a solid enough 35 last outing against the Heat.

He is the type of batter who is unlikely to produce two absolute stinkers in a double game round. His highest BBL score of 113 not out was made against the Scorchers who he plays this round too!

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Usman Khawaja (Thunder)

I can see a Thunder batter producing a big score this week and it could be Usman Khawaja.

No massive scores for him yet, but he has made four scores over 20. Could this be the week where he goes big? One would assume he will post at least on massive score this tournament.

Sam Billings (Thunder)

He is a quality international player who hasn’t shown us his best this tournament. If I was to pick a player who could break out and score some points this round, I think Sam Billings may be your man.

It wasn’t his greatest innings ever (22 runs) last time out against the Heat, but he showed enough signs that he might explode with a big score. He’s always a chance of catches and stumpings too in a double game week.

Adam Milne (Thunder)

The New Zealand quick bowled okay against the Heat and personally I don’t think his figures justify how he bowled.

Wicketless and conceding 38 runs seems a tad harsh and misleading to me but that’s cricket.

Two games over in Western Australia might just suit him. Let’s just hope he can play in two games with a shortish turnaround. Assuming he plays both games he could be a sneaky VC option for those who are brave enough!

Josh Inglis (Scorchers)

If you wanted to be a tad different and plan ahead for future double games, Inglis could be a player to consider this week.

He was a revelation when opening the batting last year, however, seemed to struggle when opening this year.

A move slightly down the order seems to have paid dividends with scores of 72 not out and 44 not out in the last two games.

You will probably want him when Perth have a double game, so why not grab him earlier?

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Ben Cutting (Thunder)

The last round article has him as an avoid, but with doubts over whether Sams plays I need to move him up to monitor.

If he is going to bowl more overs and move up in the order and play in a double game round he may need to be considered. I would recommend monitoring team selections.


Ollie Davies (Thunder)

If you do have him in side already that is fine because on the double he could make some runs.

However, don’t bring  him in as a trade this week. He has moved down to five in the order with the inclusion of Sam Billings, also Alex Ross is back fit so you don’t know if they will make the swap and look for experience.

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Thommo’s Top Targets

*Assuming limited Sams and Heat action.

Number 1: Alex Hales

Number 2: Tanveer Sangha

Number 3: Adam Milne

Number 4: Callum Ferguson

Number 5: Usman Khawaja

Number 6: Ben Cutting (role dependent)

Number 7: Josh Inglis

Number 8: Sam Billings

Good luck and happy SuperCoaching as you navigate your way through Round 8 action!

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