Squad Breakdown: Brisbane Heat player-by-player analysis

We take a look at the Brisbane Heat's likely XI for the upcoming season, with in-depth SuperCoach analysis on every player.

Pre-season Squad Breakdown

The Brisbane Heat will roll out a few new faces in BBL11 as they chase their second title following their triumph way back in BBL02.

The Heat will be hot property to begin the season with the Round 1 double game week and another double in Round 6.

Awkwardly they do have a bye in Round 2 though, so don’t go too hard too early.

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Adding further difficulty into their SuperCoach selections is the fact all of Michael Neser, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson and Tom Abell are in line to play in the England Lions v Australia ‘A’ clash which would likely rule them all out for the opening round or two.

With the uncertainty, it makes things hard to gauge for that early double.

They present several big name SuperCoach options, including a few key internationals that many will be tempted to gamble on to begin the season.

Newest SC Playbook contributor and cricket whiz Max Bryden has done the hard yards to predict the starting XI of each team, I’ll be running my analysis off these forecasts.

Note that the starting XI’s will alter throughout the season as new signings land, form alters and injuries strike, we’ll do our best to update as the news drops.

This decimated Heat squad is proving particularly hard to assess due to international selections and rookies given an opportunity, so we’ll monitor any pre-season news and warm-up games closely to get a more accurate gauge of their roles.

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BEN DUCKETT (WKP/BAT) // $125,000 // BBL10 SC Ave: N/A

UK import Ben Duckett comes in with a brief scattering of international experience to his name, with just one T20 cap for England.

The left-hander will likely open the batting alongside Bryant (provided he signs), however will probably act as a backup keeper to Jimmy Peirson.

He has 129 T20 caps to his name, averaging 30.26 at a decent strike-rate of 135.56.

Of late, he’s been solid in first class cricket without getting on with his starts.

His most recent short form across the Vitality Blast and The Hundred competition have produced returns of: 16, 6, 7, 16, 12 and 65.

It doesn’t make for terrific reading, but there is a level of class about the opener.

Plenty of English internationals have struggled in Australian conditions in the Big Bash, but opening the stick with the double game week to start his campaign will make him hard to pass up.

I’m tempted to tread cautiously and avoid unless he produces something in any warm-up fixtures should he get a crack.

He may also bat at three with Lynn opening.

MAX BRYANT (BAT) // $117,600 // BBL10 SC Ave: N/A

Bryant has finally officially been added to the Heat squad for the season.

The official SuperCoach site hasn’t added him as yet making those relevant stats hard to track.

In 14 knocks last season he scored 302 runs at 21.57, at a strike-rate of just 127.42.

Due to his fairly poor showing he should start fairly cheap and he’s actually my preferred option of the Heat openers due to his familiarity with the Gabba surface and likely price difference.

His career strike-rate in T20 cricket is 139.39, so I’d be hoping he could reproduce something closer to this.

He hasn’t played much top line cricket to go off lately, so for me he’s a big watch in warm up games. If he does get a spot at the top of the order he’ll be very hard to pass up at a fairly cheap price.

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CHRIS LYNN (BAT) // $172,500 // BBL10 SC Ave: 55.2

Lynny will be extremely hard to pass up for the opening week double game.

However, with so many guns such as Abbott, Curran, Ur Rahman etc. on the double, along with the likelihood of adding Rashid Khan for the Round 2 double it may not be as easy to get him as many think.

That being said, at $172k I wouldn’t say he’s at all overpriced.

He was strong again last season with a SC average of 55.2, backing up previous seasons of 46.1, 43.6 and a whopping 106.6 (five games back in 2016/17).

Last edition of the tournament he was the fourth top run-scorer with 458 runs at an average of 35.23 with an explosive strike-rate of 154.72.

His most recent cricket has been in England’s The Hundred competition, where he had eight knocks, seven produced double digit scores, although he failed to go on with them too significantly with a top score of 49.

He had one game in the IPL back in April prior to the competition’s postponement, belting 49 off 35 for Mumbai.

While I’m not at all convinced on him outside the double game weeks, I think he’s far too big a risk to leave out of your initial squad with two cracks to kick start the season.

He’ll be heavily owned, meaning there’s a serious anti-POD opportunity, but you can be left very far behind early if he goes nuts.

He may also open with Duckett at three.

TOM COOPER (BAT) // $62,500 // BBL10 SC Ave: 16.2

Cooper is a huge winner out of international selections, going from outside our predicted XI into as high as number four in the batting order.

Ordinarily he’d be of no SuperCoach relevance, but if he can claim a top four spot at $62.5k for an opening round double he warrants serious consideration.

He’s never had too much success in a scattering of opportunities in the BBL, however he did average a huge 63.3 SC points across eight games in 2016/17.

He also played a prominent role with the ball that season though which was vital to his scoring.

Across 150 career T20s he averages 22.45 with a strike-rate of 127.47.

He doesn’t have any top grade cricket behind him of late to follow.

I’d probably need confirmation he’s batting at four and a decent chance at jagging a few overs to consider.

SAM HEAZLETT (BAT) // $97,200 // BBL10 SC Ave: 31.1

If batting at five I wouldn’t be keen on Heazlett despite the double, but with Abell on England Lions duty there’s a chance he bats at four.

I still think I’d opt elsewhere, but it should give him a decent enough stint in the opening round, and he is cheap.

He had nine knocks last season scoring just 180 runs, but that did include a very impressive 74*.

He averaged 31.1 SC points last season and 33.6 the tournament prior.

His recent Marsh Cup form has been excellent which may push him up into the top four.

He has scores of 0, 93, 65, 20 and 27.

I’m unlikely to touch him, however, if you’re looking for a cut-priced option he’s not the worst if, and only if, he’s batting at four.

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JIMMY PEIRSON (WKP/BAT) // $89,800 // BBL10 SC Ave: 28.8

Peirson was in sublime touch last season, scoring 324 runs at an average of 46.28 with a strike-rate of 126.56.

Despite this, he still averaged just 28.8 SC points for the season. As a result he starts cheap at just $89k.

He did knock out 132 and 106* in Shield cricket for Queensland recently, so he’s coming in in nice touch, albeit long-form.

Unless promoted up the order, it’s hard to see him improving on this output with the bat, so he’s not for me.

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JACK WILDERMUTH (BAT/BWL) // $155,200 // BBL10 SC Ave: 49.7

Wildermuth bursts into our predicted XI off the back of international signings and into SuperCoach contention.

He should get some opportunity with the willow, though don’t rely on it when considering, and he’ll be prominent with the ball.

The all-rounder has had flashes of SuperCoach brilliance at times, but a fluctuating role and lack of job security has always made him hard to own.

He took 13 wickets in 12 games last season with an economy of 7.42.

In three Marsh Cup games this season he has scores of 12, 7 and 37 (off 18) batting at seven. With the ball he has returns of 0/66, 0/34 and 2/62.

Let’s monitor his role across any warm-up games, but there’s big upside to him for the opening round double.

JAMES BAZLEY (BAT/BWL) // $96,500 // BBL10 SC Ave: 30.9

Bazley joins the list of massive watches leading into the Round 1 double pending the role we expect him to play.

He’s another worth considering as an all-rounder at a cheap rate.

He’s impressed in two Marsh Cup games for QLD this season, producing returns of 2/73 and 3/12 (off 4.4), along with knocks of 8 and 9* with the willow.

Until we get more solid information on the Round 1 team make-up it’s hard to fully assess his SuperCoach credentials at a slightly awkward price.

CONNOR SULLY (BWL) // $42,000 // BBL10 SC Ave:

Sully faces competition from Kuhnemann and Willans for the final spot in the XI.

For that reason I won’t go into too much detail, however if he does snare a spot he’ll be almost impossible to ignore at $42k with a double to kick things off.

Even if you don’t play him in your SuperCoach starting XI he’d be hard to ignore as a cash cow off the bench.

He’d drop out as soon as Australian players returned, but the job would be done by then anyway.

The 21-year-old has played two Marsh Cup games for Queensland this season for returns of 0/57 and 4/39 (off six).

XAVIER BARTLETT (BWL) // $97,900 // BBL10 SC Ave: 31.3

Bartlett’s scoring last season is extremely skewed as he was a victim of the X-factor super sub initiative.

He often bowled just an over or two before being subbed off at the 10 over mark.

He’s not locked into this team, but is a big chance at cracking the XI.

Rather than look at his stats in matches, they can be broken down finer to get a more accurate gauge of his output.

He bowled 15 overs, taking 12 wickets in that time which is quality. He had an economy of 8.00.

He hasn’t played much top line cricket in recent months so form is hard to dissect.

The 22-year-old was extremely promising and looks to have a big future, but with an uncertain role and poor job security he’s hard to start with unless we get confirmation he’ll get his four overs.

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MUJEEB UR RAHMAN (BWL) // $208,200 // BBL10 SC Ave: 66.6

Mujeeb was exceptional last campaign, in eight games he took 14 wickets at an economy of 6.26, for a SC average of 66.6 points! That makes for very nice reading…

He’ll cost you an arm and a leg, but it’s for good reason.

The Afghani off-spinner was in brilliant form at the T20 World Cup prior to injury, producing returns of 1/14 (4 overs) and 5/20 (4 overs).

In T20 internationals he has 31 wickets in 21 matches, at an outrageous economy of 5.96.

Granted lots of these matches were against sub-par opposition, but you can only face what’s put in front of you.

He excelled in different competitions across the world, and at just 20-years-old he’s a bowler on the up.

He’ll be very hard to ignore in Round 1 teams.

OTHERS

TOM ABELL (BAT) // $125,000 // BBL10 SC Ave: N/A

Abell makes his BBL debut this season, and while he doesn’t have an international cap for England to his name, he brings with him a wealth of County experience in the UK.

In 53 career T20 matches he averages a very impressive 34.51 at a stellar strike-rate of 144.94.

He can roll the arm over from time-to-time with his medium pace, but it’s more in longer form cricket. In his T20 career he’s bowled just 10 overs, so don’t bank on him bowling at this stage.

His recent form across the Vitality Blast and The Hundred tournament is frankly exceptional.

Batting at number four, he has recent returns of 26 (20 balls), 50 (35 balls), 78* (45 balls), 8*, 68 (33 balls) and 69 (44 balls). Not bad at all…

On that he’d be a lock for the opening round double, but unfortunately he’s been named in the England Lions squad for their clash with Australia ‘A’.

That means he’s likely to miss the opening three rounds at least which is a blow.

He’s untested in Australian conditions, so at least it’ll give us an early look at him then we can consider for the Round 6 double.

He has runs on the board, plenty of them, and if they translate even somewhat to the BBL he’s starting well under-priced.

MICHAEL NESER (BWL/BAT) // $127,300 // BBL10 SC Ave: 40.8

Tied up on other duties last summer, Neser played just four games for an average of 40.8.

The man is a bit of a weapon, and his additional ability with the bat makes him a fairly tantalising SuperCoach prospect when in the right role.

While you won’t rely on him adding batting points, coming in at seven will hopefully give him a few opportunities to bolster his score with the willow.

Looking back to the 2019/20 tournament, the veteran allrounder averaged a healthy 49.6 SC points across 10 games.

All his SC scores were between 36 and 76 which is extremely consistent in this game.

In that tournament he had 10 wickets in 10 games with an economy of 8.10.

Three of his four scores last season were also between 41 and 66, with an outlier of 4.

His most recent outing was in the Marsh Cup where he took 2/85 and scored 55.

Prior to that nearly all his cricket was in long-form first class cricket, where he took a host of wickets and was impressive with the bat.

Unfortunately he’s likely to miss the opening round double due to Australia ‘A’ duty.

If not picked, I’ll be tempted for the opener, but he’s awkwardly priced, so he’ll be a close watch in warm up games.

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MARK STEKETEE (BWL) // $153,300 // BBL10 SC Ave: 49.1

Another who is a big chance at playing for Australia ‘A’ early on.

Steketee was excellent last campaign, finishing third on the wicket-taking tally with 24 scalps in 16 games at a very high economy of 9.26.

He had one SC tonne and seven scores over 50 which is extremely good going!

His BBL appearances were fairly limited in prior seasons.

He had a 10 wicket haul in his most recent Shield outing, including 7/44 in one innings!

He has no recent short form cricket to report on.

Should he not be named for Aus ‘A’, I do anticipate he’ll be fairly low-ownership for a DGW player due to his awkward price, so I don’t mind him as an early POD.

MITCHELL SWEPSON (BWL) // $170,800 // BBL10 SC Ave: 54.7

Unfortunately another likely to miss the opening round due to Aus ‘A’ duty, however it’s not locked in.

I love Swepson as a SuperCoach prospect, however the handicappers haven’t missed him at $170,800 off the back of last season’s 54.7 point average.

He played just six games, taking 9 wickets at an outstanding economy of 6.75.

He was a little underwhelming the season prior, averaging 37.0 SC points across 10 games, and the year prior was similar with a 34.3 average.

However, I do think he’s matured as a leggie in recent times, and he’s gained a wealth of experience being in and around the Australian squad on different occasions, including seven T20 internationals.

He’s currently with the Australian squad at the T20 World Cup but hasn’t featured at this stage and is unlikely to do so with Adam Zampa on a tear.

In three recent T20 internationals against Bangladesh and West Indies he had returns of 0/14 (2 overs), 3/13 (4 overs) and 0/41 (3 overs).

Should he be named for the opening round double I’ll be very tempted to start with him even at the expense of another SuperCoach gun.

MATT KUHNEMANN (BWL)

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