Cricket

Hobart Hurricanes BBL|07 Preview

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The Hurricanes are looking to put an end to their three-year absence from the finals by sticking with their bowling-heavy squad. Hobart was one of the better teams in the first three instalments of the BBL, with a runner-up and semi-finals appearance, but have really struggled to have any sort of impact with their home-ground advantage. Tim Paine appears to be their only international unavailability, while David Moody was ruled out for the tournament.

        Projected XI

  1.  D’Arcy Short
  2.  Matthew Wade (wk)
  3.  Ben McDermott
  4.  George Bailey (c) 
  5.  Dan Christian
  6.  Nathan Reardon
  7.  Simon Milenko
  8.  Jofra Archer
  9.  Clive Rose
  10.  Cameron Boyce
  11.  Tymal Mills

 Rest of Squad: Tim Paine*, Tom Rogers, Hamish Kingston, James Bazley**, Sam Rainbird, Riley Meredith, Jake Reed, 

*will play after The Ashes

**injured

The Imports

Jofra Archer

Archer was called in as an international replacement for Tom Curran, who’s presence in the English international squad made him unavailable. Archer is a relatively unknown player from the West Indies who has proven to be a good talent the English domestic scene, while impressing in multiple T20 tournaments globally. He averages 21 with the bat and goes at an economy rate of 8 in this form of the game and will likely settle at number seven in the batting order. Archer will hope to outperform many other failed international signings for the Hurricanes.

Tymal Mills

Some will remember Mills’ few games at the Heat last season, where he brought great pace and bounce to the team. It will be interesting to see how the left-arm quick will adapt to Hobart’s conditions, but he’s the best genuine pace bowler the team has and will be relied upon heavily. Mills has a good T20 record and will want to prove that he can once again break into the English T20I squad.

Strengths

Bowling depth

Hobart is full of bowling options which can be both a blessing and a curse. It will end up being a lottery as to which players are selected for the Hurricanes, with the likes of Milenko, Kingston, Reed and Rainbird all players who have failed to make the most of their previous opportunities. Them, along with Tom Rogers, are all likely to receive chances at some point. This depth, however, can lend itself to forcing players to step up to cement their spots in the XI, which will only be a positive for Hobart. The spin duo of Boyce and Rose will be as solid as ever.

Weaknesses

Batting

The Hurricanes top five is one of the most explosive batting line-ups in the league, but there’s a heavy reliance on inconsistent all-rounders later in the order. While the late addition of Nathan Reardon may help to stabilise the team somewhat, the loss of early wickets could still see an almighty collapse. It’ll be a massive season for Ben McDermott, whose century last season needs to be replicated in some form in BBL|07.

Conditions

While the conditions are an uncontrollable factor, the Hurricanes need to have a home ground advantage to push for finals. Unfortunately, their players have been just as confused as the opposition at times throughout the last few seasons and have been unable to adapt to the unique weather in Hobart. They need to hope for no washouts and that their players make the most of what can be a decisive advantage.

Team’s chances

When a team has multiple T20 centuries among its best batsmen, it’s hard to rule out finals. Short and Wade will be an interesting duo if the Hurricanes go with that opening partnership, and there’ll be a reliance on Short and McDermott to push on with their impressive past performances. The bowling depth is good but once again, there’s question marks on the reliability of the players selected. Hobart won’t be the worst team around, but there are a few too many unproven players for them to push finals.

Prediction: 7th

 

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