With the Big Bash League less than a fortnight away, Footy Prophet will take a look at the chances of each club ahead of this season. The Ashes are clearly the focal point of the Australian summer, however with some quality spinners in this year’s Big Bash League, we’re sure to see more entertainment than ever before.
The Strikers have gone through a bit of change since last season, having finished a disappointing sixth. Jason Gillespie is again the head coach, while South Australian captain Travis Head will take the reins as skipper of the BBL side. The picturesque Adelaide Oval will host some fantastic cricket, however results may not fall the home side’s way consistently.
- Jake Weatherald
- Alex Carey (wk)
- Colin Ingram
- Travis Head (c)
- Jake Lehmann
- Jono Wells
- Michael Neser
- Rashid Khan
- Ben Laughlin
- Peter Siddle
- Billy Stanlake
Rest of Squad: Jono Dean, Daniel Drew, Liam O’Connor, Wes Agar, David Grant, Michael Cormack, Nick Winter
The 32-year-old South African comes to Adelaide as one of the most exciting T20 talents in world cricket. Ingram bats at three, averaging 29 with the bat at a strike rate of 137, numbers which increase to 35 and 157 respectively when looking at his numbers since 2015. His leg-spin bowling is handy at times, getting overs in each game of the recent CPL tournament. Ingram has the potential to be one of the best players in BBL|07.
Adelaide have absolutely nailed it with their bowling import this season, with the hugely talented Rashid Khan to classify Adelaide Oval as his home ground over the Christmas break. Khan is just 19 years old but is already one of the best limited overs bowlers in the world. He has 112 wickets in 78 T20s at an average of 15.66, with an astonishing economy rate of 5.8. Khan has a similar record in 56 international limited overs matches, and given the success of leg spinners in Adelaide, he’ll be one of the top bowlers in the competition.
There’s some serious firepower in this Adelaide team. Alex Carey isn’t a renowned opening batsman, however for team balance, it’s the spot that seems most likely for him. Weatherald, Head and Lehmann are the strong left-handed trio that can take games away from teams, with Carey and Wells smart batsmen who can help anchor either end of the innings. Colin Ingram is the true x-factor of this team, with his experience in this form of the game sure to make up for a slightly weaker batting team. If all players are firing, the Strikers could pass the 200+ mark in most matches.
Neser aside, the economy rates of Adelaide’s bowling attack in this form of the game are outstanding. Siddle bowls tight areas, Laughlin and Stanlake went at just six an over last season and the aforementioned Rashid Khan is a star. Adelaide Oval will provide another good advantage for bowlers who suit the way the pitch plays, which sets up the attack very nicely.
Shallow batting line-up
It’s a big question mark as to whether the explosive batting line-up of the Strikers can all fire at the same time. While Neser has shown good ability with the bat, highlighted by a big century in the JLT One Day Cup, it’s a big ask to rely on him at the number seven position. The tail is relatively long for the Strikers, putting a lot of pressure on players that enjoy attacking from the outset. Also consider the fact Adelaide’s top three run scorers from BBL|06, Ben Dunk, Brad Hodge and Kieron Pollard, have all left the club.
This Adelaide team has the potential to be extremely hot-and-cold in this slightly elongated edition of the BBL. While the bowling attack is a strength, question marks still arise from the fact that Billy Stanlake is the only truly reliable opening bowlers. Laughlin and Siddle can leak runs when bowling in the first six, while Neser is a little wild. While the home ground advantage can prove to be more than handy, the volatility in the squad is a little concerning.