Squad Breakdown: Brisbane Heat team analysis

Last year's 43rd placed finisher Tim Williams takes an in-depth look at the Brisbane Heat predicted XI for the upcoming BBL season.


The Brisbane Heat will be out to break a lengthy title drought in BBL12, have last triumphed in 2012/13 in their only final appearance.

While their bowling stocks are fairly similar to last tournament, they boast a few new faces among the batting order.

Colin Munro, Matt Renshaw and Sam Billings add a wealth of class and big game experience to their order, along with Usman Khawaja who is expected to miss the majority of the tournament due to international duties alongside Marnus Labuschagne.

Favourite son Chris Lynn headlines the outgoing brigade having signed with the Adelaide Strikers.

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The Heat have the bye in round 2, followed by the double in round 3, making them an awkward prospect that a likely worth avoiding until the double. They then have another double game week in round 12.

However, a draw like that also presents opportunity to recruit early season PODs with high upside.

Be aware the depth in their bowling contingent last season created plenty of rotation risks.

Our star SC Playbook contributor 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 pre-season as new signings land, form alters and injuries strike, we’ll do our best to update as the news drops.

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MAX BRYANT (BAT) // $95,500 // BBL SC AVE: 32.9

The explosive Bryant burst onto the scene in 2018/19 with a promising Supercoach average of 45, including some whirlwind knocks atop the order with Lynn.

However he’s struggled for consistency ever since that’s seen him moved around the order, and in and out of the squad.

Last season he scored 230 runs at 23, striking at just 113.86.

While he’s not locked into the top order spot, Lynn’s departure should see him open the batting with Munro.

He enters the tournament in good form for Queensland in the 50 over Marsh Cup, with scores this season of 88, 35, 41*, 23, 26 and 8.

If he knocks a few runs out in the opening game I’ll consider for the double, but it’s unlikely.

COLIN MUNRO (BAT) // $150,900 // BBL SC AVE: 52.00

Munro was a star at stages last season, but as a sole batsmen he was hard to catch among volatile scoring.

He scored 390 runs at 43.33, striking at 127.45. While good reading, it was inflated to the eye with a monster top batting score of 114, so there were plenty of low scores alongside the tonne.

He’ll likely start in POD range, so there will be some temptation early on, but I can’t see myself getting him outside of the double game week.

Recent form in the Caribbean Premier League is solid without going big, with scores of 30, 3, 1, 40, 42, 1 and 29.

Not for me, but there’s certainly a case to be made for anyone wanting to live on the edge early and perhaps have a player up the sleeve for the Round 3 double.

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MATT RENSHAW (BAT-BWL) // $136,400 // BBL SC AVE: 47.00

Renshaw is a big watch early on pending as to whether or not he’s utilised at all as a bowler.

On this XI, he looks a fifth/sixth bowling option that suggests he may get a few overs, but he was scarcely used last season by the Strikers.

However he could easily be used as a second spinner to Mitchell Swepson, which would potentially make him an excellent buy candidate.

He scored 306 runs at 34.00 last tournament, striking at 136.60.

Recent form is very strong for Queensland, with Marsh Cup scores this season of 37*, 104, 10, 43, 11 and 20.

He has Sheffield Shield scores of 13, 1, 26, 200*, 7* and 8.

Entering in red-hot form he’ll be one to keep an eye on in round 1 based on role, if he’s bowling regularly he’ll be a near lock for round 3, but even if not he’ll still warrant consideration as a batsmen alone.

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SAM BILLINGS (WKP-BAT) // $152,800 // BBL SC AVE: 52.7

Fresh off some strong ODI form for England against Australia, Billings will attract plenty of attention for the Heat.

In two games against Australia he produced scores of 71 and 17.

Prior to that in The Hundred tournament he had returns of 53, 4*, 0, 0, 8 and 14.

In last year’s BBL tournament he scored 284 runs at 40.57, striking at 153.51.

Normally I avoid Englishmen early in Supercoach as it generally takes them time to adjust to our conditions, Billings is definitely an exception with plenty of cricket Down Under, much of which has been recent.

While I’m happy to wait until Round 3, he’s probably the pick of the PODs from the Heat batting order to start.

ROSS WHITELY (BAT) // $105,000 // BBL SC AVE: N/A

The veteran Englishman will begin as a bit of a mystery in his first stint in Australia, where he’ll likely bat at five.

Unless promoted up the order, I’ll likely be avoiding him, especially while we see how he acclimatises to Australian conditions.

Across 178 T20 career matches, he averages 24.51 with a strong strike-rate of 141.10.

Recent form batting at five or six in The Hundred tournament, he had scores of 11, 30, 21, 18, 52 and 18.

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JIMMY PEIRSON (WKP-BAT) // $73,600 // BBL SC AVE: 25.4

Not for me.

JAMES BAZLEY (BAT-BWL) // $146,400 // BBL SC AVE: 50.5

Bazley is the first of the major all-rounders at the Heat, giving them an extremely deep batting order.

He was excellent last season, taking 12 wickets in 11 games at 27.00, with an economy of 8.13. Also very handy with the bat, he had a top score of 44*.

With plenty of depth last season, which has been enhanced for BBL12, rotation was always a risk with the Heat’s bowling allrounder contingent.

For that reason I’m likely to avoid all until we see how things play out in the opening game.

He has just two top grade games since last season, with a Marsh Cup outing where he took 1/56, while contributing 31 with the bat. In one Shield game, he had 1/26 and 2/23.

Coming off a strong season he’s awkwardly priced at $146k, so I’ll likely avoid until we understand his role properly.

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MICHAEL NESER (BAT-BWL) // $107,900 // BBL SC AVE: 41.3

Neser should play a more prominent role in BBL12, after managing just three games last season largely due to international duties.

He has one of the more appealing roles in Supercoach, being a wicket-taker that is very capable of some late order hitting.

He played just four games in BBL10, while the season prior he played 10 times for a SC average of 49.6.

Recent form for Queensland has been exceptional, with Marsh Cup returns this season of 3/48, 5/28, 2/38 and 1/52.

In Shield cricket, he has 4/22, 5/48, 2/32, 5/36, 3/57 and 2/30.

To go with that, he also knocked out 136 runs against NSW!

While I won’t start with him, he could be a prominent Supercoach figure this season.

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XAVIER BARTLETT (BWL) // $208,100 // BBL SC AVE: 71.7

Bartlett was outstanding last season, averaging 71.7 Supercoach points due to heroics with both bat and ball.

Neser’s likelihood of playing more games probably sees him drop down the order one spot, however reliance on runs shouldn’t be required anyway.

He took 11 wickets in just seven games last season at 21.74, with an economy of 8.79.

He also scored 129 runs at 64.50, striking at 124.03, not bad…

In three recent Shield games he has four wickets and top scores of 14 and 22*.

In two Marsh Cup games this season he has 1/41 and 1/47, with scores of 23 and 0.

While he may be an up-and-coming star with a fairly promising Supercoach role, I can’t bring myself to pay over $200k for him.

Supercoach is all about value early on and I don’t think there is any in Bartlett due to his stellar campaign last year.

MARK STEKETEE (BWL) // $177,000 // BBL SC AVE: 61.00

Not unlike Bartlett, I’m not sure I can pay up the hefty price tag of $177k for Steketee coming off a terrific season.

He took 12 wickets in eight games at 22.83, with an economy of 8.93.

Recent form has been great, with Marsh Cup returns of 3/30 and 1/29.

In Shield cricket he’s been immense, taking 5/18, 1/24, 6/38, 1/66, 2/39, 2/49, 4/43 and 2/42.

Another one to monitor ahead of the round 3 double.

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MITCHELL SWEPSON (BWL) // $107,400 // BBL SC AVE: 37.00

Swepson is one I’m very keen on for the round 3 double, and potentially even a sneaky little store on the bench at a decent price.

He played just five games last season, but back in BBL10 he averaged 54.7 SC points which I think he can return to in a stronger Heat side this season.

He’s a top quality spinner that continues to develop his game, and I can see him being among the top wicket-takers this season.

Recent Marsh Cup form doesn’t read too well, with returns of 1/33, 0/66, 0/13 and 2/42.

I can see him bouncing back in the T20 format where I’ll likely wait until the double in round 3 to lock it.


Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschange, Jack Wildermuth, Josh Brown, Spencer Johnson, Will Prestwidge, Matt Kuhnemann, Sam Heazlett

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