Final Word: Round 1 skippers, tactics, weather

We have the final say on the major Round 1 plays, including weather reports, super PODs, captains and more.

Final Word Key Analysis

The Big Bash season gets underway on Sunday night with the Sixers hosting the Stars in a blockbuster opening round clash.

Our months of pre-season preparations will be put into action as the first ball is delivered on the hallowed turf of the Sydney Cricket Ground.

It’s absolutely vital that we watch final team lists like a hawk in Round 1.

They’ll drop an hour before games begin, and we as SuperCoaches need to act accordingly.

While coaches often play silly buggers and can manipulate batting line-ups from the ones listed, it’s generally pretty close to the mark.

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Prepare for several scenarios as our squads could change in an instance should team lists deliver a few curveballs.

For rookie SuperCoaches, know that the game runs on a ‘rolling lockout’ system, meaning you can chop and change your team throughout the round.

This is ONLY possible for players who haven’t yet played in the round.

For example, in Round 1 the Sixers and the Stars are the first fixture, so approximately five minutes before that game starts all those players will be locked into your team and YOU WON’T be able to move them around or change captaincy/auto emergency selections.

However, teams playing later in the round will be able to be switched around and traded in and out of your squad.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask us for more clarity as this is very important to get your head around.

Weather will also be essential to monitor as always, but in Round 1 with flexibility in switching around your teams it’s more important than any other stage of the season.

All that being said, let’s take a look at a few final topics of importance as we near lockout.

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WEATHER WATCH

All weather is courtesy of the Bureau of Meteorology as of Sunday, 12PM. All times are in AEDT. Forecasts are subject to change.

SUNDAY

7:35PM: Sixers v Stars, SCG, Sydney

Forecast: Possible morning shower, 22 degrees, 40% chance of 0-0.4mm of rain.

Verdict: Weather unlikely to impact the clash.

MONDAY

7.15PM: Thunder v Heat, Manuka Oval, Canberra

Forecast: Cloudy, 22 degrees, 30% chance of 0-1mm of rain.

Verdict: Weather unlikely to impact the clash.

TUESDAY

7.15PM: Renegades v Strikers, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne

Forecast: Showers, 18 degrees, 80% chance of 2-5mm of rain.

Verdict: Monitor, rain may impact the clash. However Marvel Stadium have the capacity to close the roof which should allay any fears.

WEDNESDAY

6.35PM: Hurricanes v Sixers, UOT Stadium, Tasmania

Forecast: Cloudy, 17 degrees, 10% chance of any rain.

Verdict: Weather unlikely to impact the clash.

WEDNESDAY

9.35PM: Scorchers v Heat, Optus Stadium, Perth

Forecast: Partly cloudy, 36 degrees, 20% chance of any rain, the chance of a thunderstorm.

Verdict: Weather unlikely to impact the clash.

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LOOKING AHEAD

Obviously the Sixers and Heat have the double in Round 1, so they’ll be hot property.

But it’s important to plan ahead with our squads, and to do that we need to take a close look at the fixture planner below.

The Heat have the bye in Round 2, so don’t overstock your squad with their players as it may leave you short next week.

The Strikers have the Round 2 double, so it’s advised to start with one or two of their players at least to have yourself well prepared.

Rashid Khan and Harry Nielsen look the main two, while I’ll personally wait a week on the cheapie Matt Short to see his role in the opening game.

The Stars have the Round 3 double, and they’re littered with SuperCoach guns, so getting well ahead of preparations and starting with a Glenn Maxwell and/or Marcus Stoinis type players could be a savvy move.

SUPER PODS

Each week one of our contributors will provide a full analysis on the point of difference (POD) players to consider.

In the Final Word, we’ll look at the super POD options, 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.

MACK HARVEY

I fully expect this to change by the time the Renegades play, but at the time of writing Mack Harvey is owned by just 1.8%.

I’m not sure if people are late onto the news of injuries to Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh, but Harvey is expected to bat top four for the Renegades and he may even open as we’ve currently predicted in our line-ups.

He’s cheap at $97,800 and boasts plenty of talent and SuperCoach upside.

He played 10 games last season, scoring 198 runs at 28.28 with a strike-rate of 135.61.

Showing his class, in his last seven BBL knocks last season he recorded single figures just once, and scored 20+ on five occasions.

The Gades have an early game in the first three rounds, so he’s an auto-emergency loop option (more for Round 2 and 3).

While he’s not necessarily a super POD in the sense of producing huge SuperCoach totals, he could earn decent cash if he gets a few decent knocks under his belt and plenty will miss the jump.

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MATTHEW KELLY

Kelly is set to benefit greatly from the international call-up of Jhye Richardson.

He’s set to bowl at the death for the Scorchers which we all know is a golden role for SuperCoach purposes.

He’s fairly cheap and is owned by just 1.3% of all SuperCoaches.

The Scorchers have the Round 4 double, so he’s a player you can hold for that, then sell hopefully at a significant price rise afterwards.

The issue will be the signing of Englishman Tymal Mills who may well take his role at the death once he’s completed his quarantine into the country.

He’s not a season-long keeper anyway, so hopefully he can do enough early on before being sold off.

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SKIPPERS

Another tip for rookie SuperCoaches is that using the vice-captaincy loophole is imperative to success in this game.

In short, select a vice-captain playing early in the round (this week Sixers players are the obvious option).

If that player scores low, you simply leave the captaincy on a player taking the field later in the round.

However, if your Sixers player goes large, let’s say Dan Christian, you can then substitute a non-playing option from your bench (e.g. Aaron Finch/Josh Kann) and put them into your team and put the captaincy option on them.

This will double up Christian’s big score (with a second game to play), and you will get an auto-emergency player from your bench that will come in and substitute for Finch/Kann who won’t have played this round.

In a nutshell, you get two free cracks at getting a captain selection right. This should be utilised every single round.

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Again, if there’s any questions just ask away and we can clarify for you.

Moving onto this week’s selections…

With the Sixers and Heat on the double we’re blessed with captaincy options to kick start the season.

It always makes things more interesting as it makes for a more diverse range of selections.

I wouldn’t be looking outside these two teams for my skipper, and to be honest Mujeeb Ur Rahman is the only player I’d consider from the Heat.

Jack Wildermuth is a smokey, but there’s not quite enough assurance over his role for me to overlook some of the more fancied Sixers guns.

Chris Lynn is a huge POD skipper, but if he flops in his two knocks you could get left behind quickly.

Tom Curran is the man that stands out for me and will be my vice-captain, although I’m hoping he is an easy loop after a decent score in the first game of the round.

He’ll bowl at the death for a red-hot Sixers outfit who should be defending a decent sized total if batting first.

He’s likely to bat at seven behind Dan Christian where he’ll hopefully get a few late innings cameos to bolster his scoring, any 20+ scores would be gold at what would almost certainly be a rapid strike-rate.

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In the 2019/20 edition he averaged a huge 71.5 SuperCoach points across 14 games, with four tonnes, including scores of 256, 175 and 165!

I’m one for taking gambles, but this early in the season I’m more than happy to play the safety first option that also boasts significant upside.

The fact we have two teams on the double to start the season has SuperCoach squads looking fairly diverse, so PODs aren’t as hard to find at this stage.

My captain will then be Mujeeb who was outstanding last campaign, combining his elite economy with a stack of wickets.

In eight games he took 14 wickets at an economy of 6.26, for a SC average of 66.6 points!

He’s an extremely promising prospect that is learning his craft at a rapid rate, helped on by experience across the world’s biggest stages.

I’m astounded that he’s in just 19.1% of teams at the time of writing, which makes the captaincy choice in serious POD range which is particularly exciting.

Good luck to everyone in Round 1!

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