Final Word: Skippers, tactics, weather, RD 16

We have the final say on the major Round 16 plays, including weather reports, super PODs, skippers and more.

Final Word

We’ve arrived at the penultimate round of the SuperCoach Big Bash season.

There’s plenty on the line in head-to-head leagues, and of course the race for overall glory and the big cash prize that comes with it.

Again there’s just one game in the round, with the Brisbane Heat facing the Perth Scorchers.

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The Cooma Stallions scored an okay 434 points in Round 15, leading to a narrow drop to 934th overall.

A few big weeks can lift me into the top 500, but it’s hard yards finding PODs with just one game to work with.

The flat deck at Manuka Oval in Canberra does bring batsmen into greater contention as POD skipper options, rather than the safer all-rounder picks, also known as Marnus Labuschagne.

Here’s our final say ahead of SuperCoach Round 16.

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WEATHER WATCH

All weather is courtesy of the Bureau of Meteorology as of Wednesday, 11am. All times are in AEDT. Forecasts are subject to change.

THURSDAY

7:40PM: Heat v Scorchers, Manuka Oval, Canberra

Forecast: Shower or two, 28 degrees, 50% chance of 0-5mm of rain. The chance of a thunderstorm.

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SUPER PODS

In the Final Word, we’ll look at the super POD options (point of difference), the players at under 5% ownership (or around about) 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.

The super PODs/anti PODs have been in form over the last few rounds.

In last round’s article, Callum Ferguson was okay with 30 points, while the anti POD of Tanveer Sangha was effective having only scored 3 points despite being in 34% of teams (far higher % in active teams).

Super PODs by definition will once again be harder to find this round due to only two teams playing, but we’ll keep it at as low-ownership as possible.

As such, I’m throwing in another anti-POD option alongside my super POD.

I won’t go on current ownership, because they’ll change dramatically come game time, I’ll predict the guys that are likely to remain at relatively low ownership for the round which is going to be difficult.

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Joe Denly

It hasn’t been Denly’s tournament this year, however there are signs he’s not far off the mark.

He does have a half-century to his name, and a 41 just two games back.

He played at Manuka Oval on January 14 and scored 31, and also rolled the arm over for a few overs.

He’s dirt cheap at under $70k (although money shouldn’t be an issue) and he’s opening the batting on the glorious deck for batsmen in the nation’s capital.

Surprisingly he was only owned by 11% of all SuperCoaches (including a few non-active players) last round.

Coming off a duck there’s no real reason why this should be increasing you’d have to think.

We know form is everything in cricket, but the old saying that class is permanent holds plenty of merit.

Across 224 career T20 games he averages a very respectable 27.37 with four tons to his name.

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ANTI POD

Jhye Richardson

This is an easy one for me as Richardson will, for good reason, be owned by just about every player in SuperCoach.

Furthermore, a decent number of those owners will captain him for double points.

He’s been a star this season and probably will score well and should be in your team, but as we know with only one game to choose from it’s extremely difficult to find differentials.

At any other venue I wouldn’t consider Richo as an anti POD, but at Manuka it can be hard yards finding wickets.

Last round at Manuka Richardson took 0/36, and the game prior at the same venue he had 1/31.

Strike bowler Sean Abbott managed just 1/38 off three overs in his last outing there too.

Throw in some forecast showers and it makes it even more enticing. If they do hit, and we get a shortened game, he may not even get his four overs in.

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SKIPPERS

Skippers this week will rest entirely on your personal situation.

If you’re in a head-to-head final, or are sitting pretty in the overall race and want to play it safe then Marnus Labuschagne is by far and above the best pick.

He’s averaging 101 points and hasn’t scored below 67 in five games this tournament.

He’s bowling close to max overs each week and is batting at three, enough said about him.

Perhaps you’re just outside the top 3, or 10, or 100, or 1000 and need an edge to make that jump.

Who do you turn to as a POD skipper?

Chris Lynn is a huge option at Manuka Oval despite his form slump.

I can’t see anyone in a strong overall position going with Lynny, and we know what he’s capable of on his day.

Yes there’s huge risk if he scores below 20, but that’s the point of a POD skipper.

If he scores 50+ at a typical Lynny strike-rate, you’ll gain an enormous jump.

My top pick for POD skipper though is Liam Livingstone.

He’s found form with the bat and has bowled in four of his last five games, although he’s only likely for 1-2 overs.

He scored just 15 in his last game at Manuka Oval, and in the game prior at the same venue he scored 67 off 38 balls at a strike-rate of 176.32.

What’s more encouraging is that he only has one single digit score in his past 10 knocks, and has surpassed 20+ runs in five of his past seven.

If he can get that 20+ run strike-rate bonus at a minimum and maybe jag a wicket to bolster his score, look out!

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