Positional analysis: Deep dive into batting options, strategies

2019/20 SuperCoach BBL runner-up Mathew Broom breaks down all the major batting options and strategies to consider.

Key Analysis Pre-season

I’m having a look at batsmen today and the things to look for that can hopefully give you an edge on your fellow Supercoaches.

Pure batsman can be rocks or diamonds at times and can be slightly more risky Supercoach options compared to bowlers or all-rounders.

One good ball or one batting mistake and their day is basically done for Supercoach scoring, whereas most bowlers at least have 24 balls to try and score points, while all-rounders can do it with bat or ball.

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Although a top order batsman hitting them well can provide substantial return, remember Marcus Stoinis’ 147 not out? That was 244 points! Massive!

Scoring runs at a good strike-rate will make up the bulk of points for batsman and getting past that magic number of 20 runs in order to get a strike-rate bonus.

Two names that stand out for getting the most strike-rate points last season are Josh Philippe with the most at 185 points and Chris Lynn with the fourth highest with 160.

Both these guys have a Round 1 double but also come at a high price due to their successful seasons last BBL.

Out of all pure batsmen, Philippe had the second highest Supercoach average at 56.8 with Lynn in third at 55.2, bested only by the highest run-scorer Alex Hales who finished with an average of 58.9.

Both Lynn and Philippe will be popular Round 1 options with Philippe currently 59% owned and Lynn 28%.

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Given their scoring upside, it will be brave to leave them out and they can hurt you not owning them if they go big.

Philippe in particular also being available to pick in the wicket-keeper position is crucial, he is almost a must-have for Round 1 teams and it might be safer to follow the crowd on that one rather than risk falling behind the pack early on.

Batsmen that have a career T20 strike-rate of 140+ will help them score well in Supercoach.

A career T20 average of 30+ for pure batsmen is also a good guide as of course, you want your batsman to be able to regularly score bulk runs.

Strike-rate bonus isn’t everything though. Whilst Tim David was a revelation last season, finishing numerous innings with some big hitting and also finishing in the top five for strike-rate points, he could only manage an average 36.4 in Supercoach due largely to his batting position.

Regularly batting at number six he just didn’t face enough balls and get enough opportunities with the bat to really capitalise in Supercoach.

He’s definitely one to watch though should he ever get better opportunity with the bat with his hitting ability.

Batting position for pure batsman is important as you generally don’t want batsmen who bat any lower than number four as you want them to regularly face enough balls to score as well as they can since their primary source of scoring points is with the willow.

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Looking at a batsmen who comes in regularly lower than number four, Jordan Silk was the best but still not that great for Supercoach.

Batting at number five and having one of his best BBL seasons, he still only managed a 41.7 average.

That was the 14th highest average amongst pure batsmen and 46th out of all players.

Nine of his games last season he only scored 27 points or less in Supercoach.

Jono Wells is another example that plays a role for his team but doesn’t necessarily translate into Supercoach points.

As a general rule, it’s probably best to just avoid those batting lower than number four as the best options typically bat in the top four, especially the top three.

It’s worth noting that prices change after a player has played one game as well. It’s important to monitor the prices and breakevens of batsman, especially with how quickly their price can rise and fall.

Jumping on or off at the right time can be critical to success, especially when building your team value.

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Alex Hales was the leading run-scorer last season but still had very up and down price changes. After a slow start he was $126.7k at Round 4.

Three rounds later he was $205.7k, three rounds after that back down to $154.3k, and again three rounds after that up to $215.2k.

I tend to avoid paying top dollar for pure batsman, especially anything over $170k as batsman are more susceptible to a bad score which sends their price tumbling down.

The only time I will be looking at a top dollar pure batsman is on their double game round.

They at least have two opportunities in one round to score runs then which reduces the risk a little.

Hales at $183.9k is overpriced. He also tends to start slowly so look to pick him up cheaper ahead of the Thunder’s Round 10 double. He’s currently at 16% ownership so some clearly still like him, but not for me to start with.

The likes of Philippe $177.3k, Lynn $172.5k and Henriques $171.8k are bordering on being overpriced but have the Round 1 double which makes them more viable options if playing.

Ben McDermott at $163.2k could possibly be overpriced but that will depend on where he bats in the Hurricanes lineup.

He averaged 31.3 and 41.1 in Supercoach batting at mostly number four or five in the two seasons prior to last.

His average improved last season to 52.3 as a result of his improved role, but with Matthew Wade and D’Arcy Short likely opening together again, McDermott won’t be opening the batting. One to monitor ahead of his Round 6 double.

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Max Bryant at first glance may seem an odd choice as being overpriced at $117.6k.

Except for a few glimpses of his talent over his three seasons in the BBL, he is yet to really fire.

He’s only managed to score 40 or more runs on four occasions and only two of those were in his last 24 innings for the Heat.

It’s not great reading for an opening batsmen, but he’s still young and has potential.

He will be an interesting option for the Round 1 double, but given his lack of consistency or ability to score big regularly, he comes with a bit of risk.

At the end of the spectrum there are those batsmen who look good value and are under-priced based on what they can produce or have produced in the past.

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Aaron Finch, the Australian T20 captain, is an obvious one at $62.5k.

He’s an absolute bargain and should be highly owned. He looks a great option to loop off the bench. 

He really struggled last season and as a result only averaged 17.6 in Supercoach.

Compare that to his previous three season’s averages of 64.6, 41.4 and 86.9 and it’s clear to see the significant upside he has and how under-priced he appears to be.

A career T20 average of 34 with a strike rate of 140 is great and if the old saying ‘form is temporary, class is permanent’ holds true, then expect him to bounce back.

He has looked much better this year in his T20 games for Australia scoring 454 runs at an average of 30 so far.

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Shaun Marsh at $106k is coming off a poor season by his standards but looks good value. He’s been a consistent performer for a long tim

He averaged 33.9 in Supercoach last season but has averaged over 50 in multiple seasons.

He’s currently in decent form for his state team, although he recently picked up a calf strain and isn’t expected to be available until around the New Year, so he’ll have to wait for anyone interested.

Oliver Davies at $74.2k has been tipped to replace Callum Ferguson in the top four. If that happens he is very cheap given his upside.

A young gun with stacks of potential, he burst onto the scene last season with Supercoach scores of 71 and 83 in his first two games before fading away in his next few.

He will be better for the experience and potentially play a better role. A big watch for Round 1. He’s a perfect guy to loop with Aaron Finch.

Harry Nielson at $76.2k could be a value guy with a Round 2 double should the Strikers be missing a few players early and provided he gets an elevated role.

Nick Larkin at $112.5k is one to watch should he get the number three spot where he has performed well in the past, averaging 33.8 runs in the BBL when at three. He has the Round 3 double with the Stars as well.

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Usman Khawaja at $93.3k is another who is currently in fine form for his state team.

He’s definitely under-performed the past two seasons in the BBL.

He’s now been selected in the Australian Test team meaning his opportunities appear limited, however, if he does jag some games he could be a good value option who’s more than capable of doubling his Supercoach average of 29.9 last year if he can return to form in the T20 arena.

He’s taking over the captaincy for the Thunder as well, that added responsibility might actually help his batting and opening the batting is a good role, especially for a guy under $100k.

Josh Inglis at $133.8k appears slightly under-priced from what we know he can produce.

He has been in great form this year earning himself a call up to the Australian T20 squad. He’s also been selected for Australia ‘A’ meaning he’ll miss the first three rounds.

He could return to open the batting for the Scorchers, especially if Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone aren’t there.

He averaged 56.6 in Supercoach when opening the batting two seasons ago.

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Matthew Wade at $145.8k is also fairly under-priced given what we’ve seen in the past, and of course most recently in the T20 World Cup.

The two seasons prior to last where he only played three BBL games, he was a Supercoach gun averaging 63.2 and 65.1.

Hopefully he will be available all tournament and if so he could be a great option to get early before his Round 6 double and likely rise in price.

Is anyone brave enough to pick Inglis or Wade over Philippe from Round 1?

International batsman can be tricky to assess for Round 1, in particular those playing in their first BBL.

Whilst some will be relatively unknown to a lot of Aussies and be lower ownership as a result which can be tempting as a POD, I would be very cautious when picking these guys.

International batsman playing in their first BBL tend to struggle straight away as they try to adapt to our conditions here, especially guys with limited exposure outside their home conditions, although occasionally one guy will break this trend.

England batsmen especially tend to start slow in their first BBL as conditions can be pretty different when comparing Australia to England, but conditions here are different to most places like the IPL, CPL etc.

While it’s good to see batsmen in form in various tournaments around the world, you have to take those stats with a grain of salt as they might not translate to playing well in the BBL from their first game.

Also keep an eye on their travel times and when they arrive in Australia and how long they have to settle in before their first game which could also have some impact on their performance early.

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Also check when they are available to play in the BBL as some might be involved in different tournaments or playing for their country.

I will be avoiding all new international batsman in my Round 1 team and see how they go in a few games first.

Even with guys like Joe Clarke who played three games last BBL, it might be better to have a look first before looking to trade him for his Round 3 double.

Ben Duckett has the Round 1 double but could be a risky option still. Whilst he has been playing well in England, the 14 games in his career played outside England he averages 22.8 and only in two of those games he has scored more than 23 runs.

Recent guys like Joe Denly, Will Jacks, David Miller, Rilee Rossouw and Sam Billings to name a few, all struggled early in their first BBL, with a few of them struggling for form for the duration of the tournament.

If you are looking at international batsman then it’s best to go for guys that have played in Australia before as they are more likely to start well from Round 1.

Form this year, especially in T20s, and games leading into the BBL is worth looking at too.

Especially if finding it hard to choose between two batsmen, go for the guy who is in better form and hopefully they can continue that into the BBL.

Other small factors to possibly look at is if a player has an improved role at a new club.

Also their Supercoach average at their home venue considering each team plays significantly more at their home venue compared to elsewhere and therefore we have a bigger sample size to look at.

If they average well at home and have a run of fixtures coming up where they play there then that could be another indication that they could score well.

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