bbl players, thunder vs heat

A welcome to Nick Hanlon, who put together a BBL Season Preview for us, including this analysis of the top BBL players. Nick has been involved in cricket for decades as a player, umpire and tour organiser. He looks for value selections in the summer game using a combination of match data, statistics and experience.

In Part 1, Nick tells us about the BBL team that already has a big advantage this season before a ball is bowled.

Stay tuned for Nick’s BBL Team Previews in the coming days.

BBL players: International players

Before we get into the top BBL players, let’s just take a look at each team’s contracted international players for this season. Each team is allowed three international players but, as you can see, some teams have elected to only contract two.

Adelaide Strikers
Rashid Khan
George Garton

Brisbane Heat
Ben Duckett
Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Tom Abell

Hobart Hurricanes
Harry Brook
Sandeep Lamichhane
Jordan Thompson

Melbourne Renegades
Reece Topley
Unmukt Chand
Mohammed Nabi

Melbourne Stars
Joe Clarke
Qais Ahmed

Perth Scorchers
Colin Munro
Laurie Evans

Sydney Sixers
James Vince
Tom Curran
Carlos Braithwaite

Sydney Thunder
Alex Hales
Sam Billings
Saqib Mahmood

There’s some prominent names here. Colin Munro, Rashid Khan, Roy Vince and Tom Curran will get plenty of attention and therefore will be at short odds. I’ve listed my top players to watch for the tournament below, which includes a number of these international names.

Of course, most of the players are Australian and the foreign players don’t have a monopoly on talent. An understanding of the local conditions is also a big advantage in the BBL, and winning the recent T20 World Cup proves the big names for Australia can still find a way to win. However, selection for Australia plays a big part in who can play in the BBL so be wary.

BBL players: The top 9 to watch this season

Ben Duckett (Heat)
Duckett will provide good value with his wicket-keeping and batting and he should be available throughout the season. His aggressive batting has landed him 19 fifties out of 129 matches so far and he was excellent last season for Notts. He might surprise as the top run scorer for the season.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Heat)
Ur Rahman took five wickets against Scotland in the T20 World Cup recently and he can mix and match his off spinners, googlies and legbreaks to suit the situation. An outstanding economy rate of 6.04 means he is sure to put huge pressure on the batters which no doubt will cause them to play bad shots.

Reece Topley (Renegades)
Topley was picked as reserve for the 2021 T20 World Cup for England and this be his chance to shine. His accurate left-arm yorkers will cause problems for the tailenders if he can stay injury free. A poor man’s Mitchell Starc perhaps? I think this level will suit him better and he could be nice value on the market.

Qais Ahmed (Stars)
Ahmed is under-valued and should be considered as one of the top bowlers in the BBL. A DANGEROUS and restrictive spinner who is young, fresh and not particularly well known which is what the smart punters should be looking for in a T20 spin bowler. Ahmed looks a 20 player with the class, fitness and temperament to match.

Glenn Maxwell (Stars)
Maxwell has still got it but he’ll probably be over backed in the markets. The thing that stands out now about him is his ability to play to the situation now and he is more than just a middle order slogger. Probably will do very well but everyone knows that.

Chris Lynn (Heat)
Lynn can run hot and cold and he sure loves to see the ball travel far. Now into the back half of his glorious BBL career but he should score some big runs against the weaker teams. Might surprise as a value pick after a few low scores because he can never be written off and when he does perform he tends to win the game with his strength and skill.

Mitchell Marsh (Scorchers)
Marsh kept it tight with the ball and he starred with the bat in the recent T20. Middle East conditions are comparable to Perth but the class and temperament he showed means that his form is applicable anywhere. Has turned into a class player after much criticism and he should be dominant at this level.

Peter Hatzoglou (Renegades)
Hatzoglou is a highly promising spin bowler who might prove dangerous because he is under rated and is the one player who should start to get a few headlines this season. Put him in for most wickets for the game when conditions suit and he might provide a sound investment.

Alex Carey (Strikers)
We don’t know if Carey will be selected for national duty but if he isn’t then he should be one of the most important players for the Strikers. Been around for a long time and at the peak of his career. Just doesn’t get the love from the selectors which he deserved and the fact that a reliable character has the most important job on the team (wicketkeeper) means that the Strikers will always be decent on the field.

Check out Part 1, The BBL team that already has a big advantage this season, and stay tuned for Nick’s BBL Team Previews in the coming days.

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