BBL12 last minute talking points, trial takes

With the clock running down to the first ball of BBL12, we take a look at the key takings from the weekend trials and news.


The countdown to BBL12 is well and truly on.

As usual, the scramble of player signings is well and truly underway.

To help you keep tabs on all of the happenings here’s a summary of all the important stuff we’ve learned in the last few days, including the pointers out of the weekend trial fixtures.

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Sydney Thunder

  • Sams injury watch: The star allrounder should be in 100% of serious coaches sides given the Thunder’s back-to-back double game weeks. Having missed the NSW Blues last One Day Cup match due to injury, he’s not guaranteed to be fit for the Round 1 clash. Both Cricket NSW and the Thunder are being quiet on the prognosis which means it’s either nothing or serious. Thankfully the Thunder play in the first match so there’s time to adjust, but keep your eyes on team sheets and have a plan for what you’ll do with those funds should he miss game time.
  • 42k allrounder incoming: Joel Davies – younger brother of Ollie – is expected to be announced as a replacement player for the Sydney Thunder, assuming the roster spot of David Warner who will be unavailable for the first half of the tournament while on Test duties. Much like his older brother, he’s a gun batter and fielder. Where he differs is his bowling. He’s a talented orthodox spinner who took 2/14 (3) to go with his 68 (44) in one of his most recent First Grade T20 matches. Not likely to be in the best XI but could get a game while Tanveer Sangha is injured. He also starred in the Thunder’s trial against the Sixers with 1 wicket for just five runs from two overs and a cameo with the bat.
  • Qadir vs Farooqi: with four internationals signed for the season, something will have to give. It’s unlikely the Thunder rest Alex Hales or Rilee Rossouw, so pressure is on Afghan quick Farooqi or Pakistani Usman Qadir for the final spot in the Thunder XI. There’s been no indication of how this one is going to play out, so keep your eyes on the final team sheets. Both are $105k and worth a look into your team.
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Melbourne Stars

  • Stoinis role change: The team’s trial vs the Renegades on Friday (scorecard here) gave an indication on the role of Marcus Stoinis. Firstly, he is bowling. Which is awesome. However it does look like he’s going to be assuming a middle order role as opposed to the opener position he’s occupied to great success. Personally I don’t think you can walk past the value he offers at $83k and do not have huge concerns with him – he is still playable every round and should be set and forget in one of your batting spots.
  • Webster the allrounder?: Beau Webster had been projected (by me) as the biggest beneficiary of the Glenn Maxwell injury, and this may come true from a batting sense after the tall allrounder came in at number 4 ahead of Marcus Stoinis. I had hoped he would roll the arm over but only delivered the one over in the practice match. This could have been for a number of reasons, but has made me temper the temptation to take a punt on him. At his price though it’s not a horrible punt.

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  • Larkin at 3: no sign of Joe Burns in the Stars warm up game, meaning cheapie Nick Larkin looks set to be named to bat at number 3. No means a superstar, Larkin has had his moments in the BBL and is definitely in the Jono Wells school of quiet achievers.
  • Wood and NCN the forgotten men: not much has been made of Luke Wood, the english DPP available for $105k. Same goes for Nathan Coulter-Nile. While the latter always has concerns for being rested, the former’s DPP status should see him more highly owned than he is.
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Adelaide Strikers

  • Manenti the Striker; Ben Manenti has signed over from the Sydney Sixers. This is unlikely to impact the Strikers best XI but he may become relevant after the departure of Rashid Khan.
  • CdG the allrounder: a point of contention for round 1 is big Colin de Grandhomme. On paper he’s got the makings of a SuperCoach gun. But a deeper look at his statistics shows his bowling is very much part time – a player comparison would be Moises Henriques. Teammate Peter Siddle was quick to give his bowling a huge tick of approval to media, hinting he’s in their plans with both the new ball and middle overs. Hopefully we get some mail from practice matches.
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Sydney Sixers

  • Dwarshuis injury cloud; no official word from the club but after making his First Class debut earlier this summer, it has been a couple of weeks since we have seen him turn out in any format. While unlikely he’s in many teams to start the season, his absence might pave the way for Todd Murphy ($69k), Mickey Edwards ($69k) or Jackson Bird (62k) to get a game.
  • Murphy next in line: Offspinner Todd Murphy was a replacement player this year but has now joined the 18-man squad. The fact the Sixers preferred him to the likes of solid contributors in Ben Manenti and Lloyd Pope shows the esteem he is in. Stephen O’Keefe told media he should be the next in line to replace Nathan Lyon in the Test squad, such is the regard on him. Murphy has been in stunning form in First Class cricket and should get his opportunity at some point this year and at his value is worth a look.
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Brisbane Heat

  • Neser unavailable to start: Michael Neser at $107k offered value and DPP flexibility, but his elevation into the Test team should quash his early season availability. Pending the ongoing fitness of Cummins and Hazlewood he’s likely to be 12th or 13th man. Best to avoid stashing him for the Round 3 DGW, but well worth a look if he’s around for Round 3.
  • Renshaw baby break?; Matt Renshaw at $136k and DPP offers value and an intriguing role. Could he roll the arm over for some overs? Definitely. Will he bat top 4? Absolutely. One to watch is his partner’s due date given he is set to welcome his first child in mid-December. The Heat’s first match is in Cairns, but the first of their DGW games in round 3 (which runs 21 – 23 December) is in Geelong. Something to keep in mind when considering him for the team.
  • New Bash Bro? Josh Brown ($42k BAT) has all the hallmarks of what we’ve come to expect from Brisbane Heat openers – pure explosiveness. He’s 29 years old and only made his First Grade debut four years ago, but has set the Queensland T20 Premier Cricket season alight with his big hitting exploits. What’s really got tongues wagging is his performance for the Heat in the intra-squad trial where he top-scored with 64 from just 28 deliveries. With perennial underperformers Max Bryant and Sam Heazlett to beat out for an openers spot, he could be the man for the job.
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Melbourne Renegades

  • Who will open? It looks like Shaun Marsh (surprise, surprise) has a soft tissue injury and will miss the start of the tournament. That paves the way for a new opener for the ‘Gades. Additionally, Aaron Finch batted at 3 in the trial match against the Stars which could indicate a new role for the veteran. Sam Harper ($100k) and Nic Maddinson ($138k) were the pair to have a crack against the Stars with both looking like potentially attractive options should that be the case. If this is a tact you try however, be conscious that beyond Smash, there’s also Martin Guptill in round 5 waiting in the wings to claim a spot at the top of the order.
  • Kellapotha cheapie alert: while he won’t be relevant to start the season, Sri Lankan leg-spinner Ruwana Kellapotha should be on everyone’s radar. For $42k he offers value and should walk into the ‘Gades starting team when Mujeeb and Hosein depart. While Cooper Connolly is a good shout for best loop option due to his DPP, Kellapotha could be worth it for those who are eyeing off Cam Green as the nuff who will turn into a trade target option.
  • Sutherland a play? Will Sutherland ($62.5k DPP) is always in the conversation at this time of year as we await for his ‘break through summer’. The chatter is there again, and despite firming for a spot in the Renegades starting XI, he did not impress in yesterday’s trial for the Renegades with 0-27 from two overs. If he does earn a spot – which is likely – he is no lock to bowl his allotment and could split overs with Dre Russ in the first four rounds. After that however he might be a different prospect.
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Hobart Hurricanes

  • Stanlake to miss opening rounds: in good news for Stanlake fans but bad news for cheapie hunters, Billy Stanlake confirmed he has returned to fitness but will not be available to start the season. He is aiming to be available for selection for round 3. His first game in 18 months is this Saturday in Tasmanian premier cricket (scorecard here).
  • Neesham pushing Shadab down; Kiwi Jimmy Neesham has signed for the ‘Canes and should be available for the first 3-4 rounds of the season. A great signing but one that impacts Shadab Khan, who will now bat one spot lower in the order. Picking the ‘Canes line-up right now is difficult, but expect the top 3 to be McDermott, Short and Wade with Neesham, Ali, David and Shadab to be the next four.
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Perth Scorchers

  • Three new signings with the batting order taking shape: Adam Lyth and Stephen Eskinazi – both Englishmen – have signed on as the Phil Salt replacements. Lyth is first cab with Eski providing coverage when Lyth departs and extra squad depth. Faf and Lyth should open the batting, with Inglis, Turner and Hardie to prop up the middle order.
  • Bancroft vs Hobson: The gap in the order for the Scorchers is at 3. Bancroft and Hobson are the local options to help here to start the tournament. Realistically both will need to play once Faf and Lyth depart. Keep an eye on selections as both are a great price and have no byes between rounds 2 and 13.

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