Cricket

Melbourne Renegades BBL|07 Preview

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The Renegades are perhaps the most disappointing team in the history of the Big Bash League given the potential they promise on a yearly basis. With their only finals appearance coming in BBL|02, where they lost a semi-final having finished first, the lack of any success will hurt everyone involved at the club. That should change this season. The Renegades have put together a fantastic squad that should do some damage this year.

          Projected XI

  1.  Marcus Harris
  2.  Aaron Finch (c)
  3.  Cameron White
  4.  Brad Hodge
  5.  Tim Ludeman (wk)
  6.  Dwayne Bravo
  7.  Tom Cooper
  8.  Mohammad Nabi/Kieron Pollard
  9.  Jack Wildermuth
  10.  Kane Richardson
  11.  Brad Hogg

Rest of Squad: Will Sutherland, Matt Short, Jon Holland, Chris Tremain, Joe Mennie, Guy Walker, James Pattinson*

*injured

The Imports

Dwayne Bravo

Bravo is back after his BBL|06 campaign was ended by a bad hamstring injury early in the tournament, depriving fans of one of the world’s most entertaining cricketers. He has been a staple for the Renegades for a couple of seasons now and will once again be one of the most damaging players in the league this season. For those doing BBL Fantasy, Bravo is a set-and-forget player.

Mohammad Nabi

Nabi arrives at the Renegades as one of two international replacement for Sunil Narine, who was a late withdrawal from BBL|07 for personal reasons. Nabi is one of the top three T20 all-rounders in the world according to rankings, making him a handy inclusion for the Renegades. Much like Narine, Nabi is a crafty off-spinner who keeps it tight, while also being a very damaging batsman. The all-rounder will be available for the first half of the tournament.

Kieron Pollard

Pollard is well known to BBL fans, having played a number of seasons at the Strikers. He will arrive at the Renegades in the second half of the tournament to replace Nabi, where he will also likely play his 400th T20 match. Pollard is one of the most accomplished players in this format and will prove to be handy in the mid-to-lower order.

Strengths

Batting Depth

The Renegades are going to have to try and fit four opening batsmen in their team, which could be a tough task. There mightn’t be a better spot than seven for Tim Ludeman, despite him having been one of the league’s best openers in the past. The additions of Wildermuth and Richardson do so much for the team, given both can bat well. Wildermuth particularly will be a great selection. We shouldn’t see any collapses from the Renegades in BBL|07.

Strength of squad

This could be one of the better squads in the short history of the Big Bash League. Assuming the above XI is accurate, the likes of Chris Tremain, Jon Holland (may rotate with Hogg), Beau Webster and Joe Mennie will miss out on games, while James Pattinson’s injury allows for the club’s new signings to be guaranteed matches. When the likes of Finch and Richardson are selected for Australia, the Renegades will now have excellent players ready to come in, which has been an issue previously.

Weakness

Ground Fielding

There aren’t many issues with the Renegades, however a lack of mobility from some players could put some question marks over their fielding. At 42 and 46 years of age respectively, Brad Hodge and Brad Hogg don’t move as well as they used to in the field, while there are a number of slips cordon specialists that will have to be open to moving around. It’s only a minor issue for the Renegades, however.

Team’s chances

This is a huge chance for the Renegades to break their duck and set the standards in the BBL. The squad is great, the home ground is a nice advantage and there is enough depth within the XI to adapt to any game situation. The Renegades are the best team in BBL|07 and should finally deliver on their potential

Prediction: 1st (champions)

 

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