The 10th edition of the Big Bash League is almost here, with Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers all set to face off in the first match this season on Thursday (December 10). While the Sixers are the defending champions, the Hurricanes will be aiming for their first title.
Interestingly, though, the Hurricanes have a good record against the Sixers, having secured six wins against the Sydney-based franchise in the BBL over the years. In the last five fixtures between the two teams too, the Hurricanes have been on top, winning three and losing just once.
Overall: Matches – 12 | Hurricanes – 6 Wins | Sixers – 5 Wins | No Result – 1
Last 5 Matches: Hurricanes – 3 Wins | Sixers – 1 Win | No Result – 1
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
GROUND DETAILS & TEAM COMBINATION
Among stadiums where at least 10 BBL innings have been played since 2018, the Bellerive Oval has seen the joint second-highest run-rate (8.5) during that period. So, going by that stat, you can expect batsmen to do reasonably well here.
There’s something in it for the bowlers as well. In the ninth edition of the BBL, the bowling strike rate at this venue was 16.2, which was the best from a bowling perspective across all stadiums that hosted at least two matches in that season. So, you should look for a good balance in your side – we have gone with five batsmen (including one wicketkeeper), three allrounders and three bowlers.
A common theme that we tend to see across stadiums in T20 cricket is spinners having a better economy rate while pacers tend to be taking wickets more regularly. That’s no surprise considering the faster bowlers tend to bowl during the phases when batsmen are looking to attack more. This detail holds true for the Bellerive Oval as well.
In fantasy cricket, though, wickets are more important when compared to saving runs. On that front, the pacers come out on top by a huge margin here. The quicker bowlers have a better bowling strike rate by 8.7 runs per wicket since 2018 in the BBL at this venue. While they have bowled 57.4% of the overs during that period, they have taken more than two-thirds of the wickets when compared with the spinners. Hence, we have selected a pace-heavy bowling attack.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too.
Ben McDermott will be key to Hurricanes’ chances and will be expected to be the mainstay in the middle-order in the team. He is likely to come up against Gurinder Sandhu who will be keen to impress and cement his place in a team where there is a lot of competition. So far, McDermott has had the better of the contest – while he has been dismissed by Sandhu once in 17 deliveries in T20 cricket, a batting strike rate of 247.1 is just superb.
The stock of both Daniel Christian and James Faulkner has fallen recently, but they are still likely to be crucial members of their respective teams this season. While these two allrounders could come up against each other during either team’s innings, we’ve considered the one where Christian is the batsman and Faulkner the bowler. While a batting strike rate of 144.7 is decent, Faulkner will be pleased that he has been able to dismiss Christian thrice from 38 deliveries in T20 cricket.
Josh Philippe was one of the stars as Sixers clinched their second title last season. While he had a mini-slump in the middle of the tournament, he ended with 487 runs at an average of 37.5 and strike rate of 129.9. During the last four matches of the season, he scored three 50+ scores and 30+ in each of those innings. He can also get you some valuable points with his wicketkeeping as well.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Philippe could score 14-37 runs in this match.
D’Arcy Short has been one of the most consistent players in BBL history. In the last three editions of the competition, no-one has scored more runs than him (1566) and he has done so at an incredible batting average of 52.2 which speaks volumes about his consistency. In fact, Short could be a very good captaincy option as well. It was a close call between Philippe and him for us.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Short could score 17-40 runs and could take 0-1 wickets in this match.
James Vince had a mixed BBL last season, managing just one 50+ score in 15 innings, but it must be noted that he did get a lot of starts. As an overseas player, the Sixers will be hoping that Vince can bring his best form to the table this time around. Since the start of 2019, Vince has a batting average of 30.6 in T20 cricket.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Vince could score 14-37 runs in this match.
In his debut BBL season, Nathan Ellis impressed, taking 12 wickets at a strike rate of 25.4. With more experience now, he should be able to improve on those numbers this season. What makes Ellis a good fantasy pick is that he is likely to bowl during the death overs, a period of the innings where there are more opportunities to get wickets.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Ellis could take 0-1 wickets in this match.