Seeing double: Two games for Gades’, Stars to deliver

Each week, we'll take a deep dive into the clubs playing the all-important Supercoach BBL double game round.


What an incredible start it’s been to this BBL season. 

Round 1 threw up never before seen challenges and while round two was relatively straight forward, the challenges of picking Strikers having not seen their game plan in round 1 proved a fruitful lottery if you got it right – well done to those who went for Jamie Overton whose five wickets were immense.

In round 3 we’ve got a rare round with two teams on the double – the Melbourne Stars and Renegades. 

I’d expect you’d have some representation from both clubs in your side already, so this is a round where good planning should see you feature close to a full-team of players on the Double Game week.

Looking at the draw ahead, round 3 is the final double game week for the Renegades, while the Stars have a second double game week in round 5. 

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Naturally, you should evaluate your Stars targets as players you’ll keep until at least the end of that round so choose wisely. 

This is the last Double for the Renegades but with no bye until Round 7, you can afford to slowly move them to other players as soon as round 4. 

Let’s dive in and have a look at the best options for this round 3 double.

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Melbourne Stars – vs Sydney Thunder @ Lavington Sports Ground, vs Sydney Sixers @ SCG

What we know

The Stars have been rubbish so far this season but should have Glenn Maxwell back. Even if he’s not named for the first game, he’s worth having on field or as an AE for your side given his destructive potential.

Collectively they’re a hard team to pick. In their first match the Stars selected five bowlers as well as Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis. 

The more bowling optios a team has, the worse they are for SuperCoach as we always want to find players who will bowl their four overs. 

The team’s batting depth is poor with not much form to show so far in the tournament and their tail is pretty long.

With two huge losses to start the tournament, there’s no players guaranteed to make money, or even with a locked in role. It makes it tough, but there’s some diamonds in the rough.

The Grounds

Lavington is a belter. Last season this same ground produced almost 400 runs and 24 sixes – that’s almost double the league average. You’d expect to see a huge amount of runs and one of the batters is going to get hot.

Conversely the SCG is a lottery of late. If there’s no rain between Saturday and Tuesday, it’s a ground where 170+ is the norm. 

However rain in the lead up takes a good score down by about 10-20 runs and makes conditions more in favour of seam bowlers.

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The Opposition

The Thunder are in all sorts. They’re a young team and have wilted against the pressure of quality opposition so far in the Heat and Strikers. 

Their bowling is crafty but inexperienced. Their batting is also a little thin, however they were good enough to score 200 at Adelaide Oval.

The Sixers, conversely, are experienced and always in the game. Good teams don’t give up many SuperCoach points and their presence in a double always makes scoring big points circumstantial. 

The Players

This is a rare round where I’ll advocate for bat only options. The Lavington ground is juicy enough that having a piece of whoever can go huge could be a big advantage. 

And with question marks around the bowling potential of the allrounders, you need to evaluate their whole top 5 as batters first.

Let’s assume you’ve already got Glenn Maxwell – here’s who I like:

  1. Beau Webster; big price tag, great role batting at 3 and with potential to bowl. Takes catches too. Big Beau is a good player and has been in great form in domestic cricket so far this season
  2. Sam Harper; one for the wicket-keeper loop spot. Harper on his day is world class. He’s been poor so far in BBL but at $112k he’s value
  3. Marcus Stoinis; don’t love him, but Lavington could unlock him and he has bowled in one match so far. The price is good as is the DPP.
  4. Tom Rogers; batted well in the practice match and is an aggressive and POD choice

In the bowling department;

  1. Haris Rauf; unclear if he will be here for their next double in round 5, but for now he’s their best bowler
  2. Usama Mir; showed a bit of form in the Stars last game but having never visited Lavington before, economy rate bonus are unlikely
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Melbourne Renegades – vs Hobart Hurricanes @ Blundstone, vs Perth Scorchers @ Optus Stadium

What we know

Highly fancied at the start of the tournament, no wins in three games is going to bring a response from this group – we hope. They have a pretty settled lineup at this point of the competition with only five real bowling options.

The middle order batting has let them down a few times, and without Jake Fraser-McGurk they’d have been out of their matches a lot sooner. 

We know he’s up there for cheapie of the year already, and Will Sutherland is a busy cricketer who will score SC points in all three disciplines. 

There’s quality across the board but plenty of underachievers amongst them.

The Grounds

Blundstone is a nice track to bat with short square boundaries. It’ll suit McGurk perfectly. Average scores batting first should be around the 160 mark or even higher if the weather is good.

Perth is similarly a nice track to bat, and one their opponents know very well. Both grounds suit quality fast bowlers, especially those who can swing it early.

The Opposition

Hobart without Matt Wade and Riley Meredith are weak. With them both in the side, they’re a lot better but still towards the bottom of the table. 

They’ve got a long tail and their spinners are hittable. Hobart are always capable of a surprise, and play their home grounds very well, but this should be a good game for the ‘Gades.

The Scorchers at Optus present the worst away trip in the BBL. Their fast bowlers are ferocious and their batters play local conditions brilliantly. 

It might suit the stroke play of their top order batters if they can get past the Power Play, but that’s a big challenge.

The Players

Without making any assumptions as to which Renegades you may already own, here’s a ranking of the prospects for this round:

  1. Will Sutherland; a great BBL role and he’s playing as well as he ever has this season. Worth the price tag as he’s as capable as scoring runs as he is at taking wickets.
  2. Jake Fraser-MCGurk; bat only brings risk, but he’s passing the eye test big time at the moment. He’s upstaging some very experienced teammates at the moment and showing why he was contracted to the club aged 16.
  3. Tom Rogers/Kane Richardson; hard to split these two, but as death bowlers they should have opportunities to score well this round, albeit the early returns have been meek.
  4. Quinton de Kock; especially against the ‘Canes he will be a scary player not to own. And Perth should suit him too. Big coin, big risk, but surely this is where he earns his paycheque
  5. Mujeeb ur Rahman; there’s a lot of left-handers at the ‘Canes which brings Mujeeb into the game. I prefer him marginally to Zampa for this DGW.
  6. Adam Zampa; being bowling okay without having a moment yet.

The Verdict

In all, leaning towards Stars is better for the long game and maximising your double game week potential. 

As such, I like taking a punt on some batters from the Stars top 3 if you’re already stacked with Renegades. 

Two teams always presents a heap of opportunities to go different ways so back your gut – if you like the look of someone, have a crack!

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