Gun Show: Elite players worth splashing on

2019/20 SuperCoach BBL champion Thommo Aitken analyses the players worth splashing the cash on, and the potential guns this season.

Key Analysis Pre-season

G’day Supercoaches,

Slowly but surely the start date for the Big Bash creeps closer and closer. Some teams have full squads finalised, whilst others still have some international and local spots up for grabs.

Regardless of what form of Supercoach you play, one concept that remains constant throughout is the need for the big dog to be part of your squad.

The players who can post massive scores and avoid minuscule scores.  

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The guns as we call them, will form a vital part of most people’s teams. Unfortunately though, the little thing known as the salary cap will mean that our side cannot be stacked full of stars, but here are some names that must be considered when selecting your Supercoach squad.

The following criteria was used to select the guns and potential guns

– Only one gun allowed per side

– Potential gun needs to start at a price of $125,000 or under

– Players need to look like they will play most of the tournament and not miss major chunks through international duties.

What would your guns and potential guns look like? Do they look similar to mine or are you eyeing off some different players? Let me know!

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Adelaide Strikers

Gun: Rashid Khan $198,700

Rashid needs no introduction and has been one of the best BBL players for many years. He regularly takes wickets and has fooled lots of batsmen over the years including many right-handers.

If he is not taking wickets he is generally very economical as is shown with a career economy rate of 6.47.

He can produce a cameo at the end of an innings too (his helicopter shot is unbelievable!).

His batting last year did not show his true potential so watch if this improves this year.

The Adelaide batting line up looks potentially shaky if some of their better batsmen are playing international cricket.

This may work well and provide opportunities for Rashid. He also has the added advantage of playing regular short form cricket recently at the IPL and the T20 World Cup where he has been doing what we have all seen before!

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Potential Gun: George Garton $125,000

He is certainly an intriguing prospect who I am keen to get a look at during round one.

He is an all-rounder and potentially could play an important role for the Strikers with bat, ball and in the field.

He played recently in the IPL and the figures weren’t exactly worth writing home about, but at least he is playing cricket recently at a very handy level. If he can pick up wickets with his left arm pace, clear the boundaries with some powerful late order hitting and field in some handy spots, he could be Supercoach gold.

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Brisbane Heat

Gun: Mujeeb Ur Rahman $208,200

With the double game in round one, people are going to need to have some high-scoring Heat players.

In a very close decision, I have chosen Mujeeb over Chris Lynn (who demonstrated remarkable consistency last year with the bat).

Mujeeb’s average of 66.6 Supercoach points could potentially be inflated due to the fact he only played half a tournament last year, but he certainly was impressive as he took wickets (14 wickets in 8 matches) and was economical with his overs (economy rate of 6.27).

Three scores of over 100 Supercoach points in just eight matches is simply outstanding. His recent form for Afghanistan at the T20 world cup has been great too, including 3/24 against South Africa in a warm up game and 5/20 against Scotland in the real thing.

Potential Gun: Ben Duckett $125,000

The cupboard does look a bit bare here, but if I had to select someone from the Heat I will take Duckett.

He will play from the start of the tournament and this is very handy with the double game round for the Heat in round one.

International batsmen do not always fire in Australia during the BBL, so some caution is needed.

However, if he can replicate some of the batting form he has shown over in English conditions during the shorter form (some handy scores when playing for the Welsh Fire this year such as a 65 and 53), then some big Supercoach scores may follow.

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Hobart Hurricanes

Gun: D’Arcy Short $179,600

For me, D’Arcy Short was a tad disappointing with the bat last tournament.

He looked a bit out of touch and he wasn’t as devasting with the bat as we are accustomed to.

Yes, he still scored runs (72 runs was his high score), but his strike-rate was well down compared to previous matches.  

Luckily, he had a couple of matches where he was dangerous with the ball and picked up some wickets to sill score some Supercoach points.

Imagine if he combines that bowling form with those powerful batting performances like we have seen before? Hold on to your hats!

Potentially, opening the batting with Matthew Wade could prove beneficial because they are one of the best BBL opening combinations according to the statistics.

Potential Gun: Sandeep Lamichhane $103,500

An international spinner who will play the entire tournament, rather than parts like he did last year.

He took eight wickets in eight games for the Hurricanes last year. I feel like he could be a player who if he gets an extended run could take bulk wickets, especially if that powerful Hurricanes batting line up can set some massive targets. Certainly one to monitor, especially at that intriguing starting price.  

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Melbourne Renegades

Gun: Kane Richardson $152,000

In what is an unfortunate, but accurate depiction of the Renegades season last year, their gun player  only ranks at number 27 for best average score last year with 48.6 Supercoach points per game.

Playing games back at Marvel, traditionally a venue that favours bowlers and not batsmen, also looks likely to benefit Richardson. Bowling with more runs on the board could prove favourable for him too.

Potential Gun: Aaron Finch $62,500

No ground-breaking analysis here, but Finch could turn out to be the best pick of the year.

His form in the T20 world cup is not outstanding, but returning to home conditions and to the domestic scene may be just what he needs to show us the innings which we know he is capable of.

He only had a highest score of 39 last year after what was a forgettable tournament for him where a combination of bad luck and poor form followed him all over the country.

Surely he tops that this tournament. Surely, he opens the batting every game too after that very brief number 3 experiment!?

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Melbourne Stars

Gun: Glenn Maxwell $195,500

A few options to choose from for the Stars, but I have decided to settle on Maxwell as the gun from the Stars.

His form in the IPL and the T20 World Cup is very solid too and one would anticipate he would carry this momentum into the Big Bash. He literally can do it with bat, ball and in the field.

This is great because this means that Maxwell is capable of going big as evidenced by five single round scores over 100 last year.

Potential Gun:  Joe Clarke $112, 500

A fresh signing and straight away into the category as a potential gun for the Stars.

He will bat up the order (possibly open) and will take the gloves for the Stars as well.

He did play briefly (three matches) for the Scorchers last year as they waited for their other international signings to arrive and his best innings was a brisk 34 off 16 balls, ironically enough against the Stars.

If he puts it all together, watch out, as evidenced by his crazy 136 from 65 balls whilst playing for Nottinghamshire this year. This knock only included a lazy 11 sixes and 6 fours!

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Perth Scorchers

Gun: Mitch Marsh $132,700

The all-rounder status of Marsh just puts him ahead of other Scorchers players such as Jhye Richardson.

He is a powerful striker of the ball and can score runs very quickly, especially after he gets his eye in, as evidenced by strike-rates in the 140s for the last two tournaments.

Before his injury last year he was getting overs in, but is not always a guarantee to bowl his full allotment of overs.

There is always the risk of the dreaded ‘Marsh injury’ which is a slight asterisk. I should know, he was my captain when he left the field during his first over after injuring himself last year.

He’s been selected in the Australia ‘A’ squad and will miss the first three rounds of the tournament.

Potential Gun: Ashton Agar $89,700

Agar did not play a single game last year, missing the tournament due to a calf complaint.

The Scorchers appear to have a fairly strong squad on paper, but Agar no doubt will have a role to play with them. He is a genuine all-rounder and if form and opportunity presents he could turn into a potential gun from a very cheap starting price.

He hasn’t had a great BBL season since BBL 07 where he did some handy things with the bat (149 runs in 7 innings) and ball (8 wickets in 9 matches), so perhaps this is the year where it all happens for him again.

Agar has also been selected in the Australia ‘A’ squad and will miss the first three rounds of the tournament.

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Sydney Sixers

Gun: Tom Curran $201,000

Welcome back! After missing the tournament last year the reigning champions welcome back proven Supercoach performer Tom Curran.

He was the Sixers’ leading wicket-taker with 22 wickets last time he played and also was handy with the bat at various times making some valuable runs in crucial situations.

He finished with the third best average when he last played and one would imagine he will score fairly well again in this edition.

Potential Gun: Carlos Brathwaite $117,300

Not with much confidence I will nominate ‘Remember the Name’.

He was only average for the Sixers last year. In fact, he only averaged 5.88 with the bat and looked out of sorts with the willow.

He was okay with the ball, taking 16 wickets in 16 matches. One noticeable thing was that the strength of the Sixers bowling attack meant that there were numerous occasions where he did not bowl his full allotment of overs.

The thing is though, he has the ability to win the game and have a cracker of a match with either bat or ball if he is on song. This is generally a good formula for decent Supercoach output.  

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Sydney Thunder

Gun: Daniel Sams $203,700

One of best BBL Supercoach scorers for a number of years now.

An important all-rounder role means that he is unlikely to produce an absolute stinker of a score.

He had by far and away his best season with the bat last year where he made 200 runs in eight matches.

Like a few others in the competition, he really seemed to relish the power surge opportunities under the new rules.

His bowling was solid last year with 11 wickets in nine matches. His best figures were 2/24 and it was surprising he didn’t take those bags of wickets like he has in previous editions of the BBL.

Considering he regular bowls his four overs and bowls during the powerplay, power surge and the death, I think he will take more wickets this year compared to last year.  

He is currently a travelling reserve for the T20 World Cup, so one would imagine he is getting plenty of net practice in.

Potential Gun: Usman Khawaja $93,300

Usman Khawaja and Saqib Mahmood are both worth mentioning here, however will have limited roles early on due to international commitments.

Mahmood will miss the first three rounds due to England Lions duties, while Khawaja has been named in Australia’s Ashes squad and may play a very limited role in BBL11.

It will be great news for us Supercoaches if he does get a few games under his belt because we will get an opening bat who plays every game without a bye in the schedule.

He wasn’t in the greatest form ever last year, having failing to reach 50, but as we have seen in other BBL editions he can post some massive scores!

Kind apologies to players such as Alex Hales, Josh Philippe, Daniel Christian, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Matthew Wade, Chris Lynn and a few others.

I probably still will call upon your services when the tournament starts at some stage!

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