Adelaide Strikers v Hobart Hurricanes Big Bash Final: Rashid absence the decisive factor
Ed Hawkins previews the showpiece from Adelaide on Sunday and works out exactly how important Rashid Khan is to the Strikers...
"The control Rashid brings also helps his team-mates to build pressure and Peter Siddle, oddly expensive against Renegades, has benefitted from Rashid's skill.
Adelaide Strikers v Hobart Hurricanes
Sunday 4 February 05.16
TV: live on BT Sport
Strikers are about to find out how important leggie Rashid Khan really is. He is absent from the final after being called away by Afghanistan.
The franchise had attempted to delay his return to international duty and have kept their counsel over manoeuvres but they've failed to convince the Afghan board that his development would be better served playing in the final.
Nick Winter, a fast bowler, has been added to the 13-man squad. Liam O'Connor, another leggie, is expected to take Rashid's place, though. O'Connor had a decent record last season - taking four wickets in seven with an economy rate of 7.6
Still, it is impossible to say that Strikers are not weaker without Rashid. They are also shorn of Billy Stanlake, the rangy pacer. His value was shown when he razed New Zealand in the first T20.
They have had better news on the batting front. Alex Carey and Travis Head have been released from Australia duty so they can play.
Head's 85 set up Strikers for their semi win against Melbourne Renegades. They were strangely ineffective in the field, though, as Renegades seemed to be controlling the chase but didn't get over the line.
The Hurricanes inflicted a stunning defeat on Perth Scorchers. They amassed 210 - the highest total the Scorchers had ever conceded. Was it 'the king is dead, long live the king' moment?
Perth are ordinarily mean and miserly in the field but they had no answer to the Hurricanes power. And with the ball, Hobart showed Perth qualities to ensure the result was never in doubt.
That excellent bowling display came from unlikely sources. Tom Rogers, who has displaced Tymal Mills, took three wickets and Dan Christian four.
That is hugely encouraging for the Hurricanes as they would not want to rely too much on Jofra Archer, who has been the star of the competition. He has taken 15 wickets at an economy rate of 7.6
Cameron Boyce, the spinner, could come back into contention because of the Adelaide wicket's tacky nature. Mills, however, looks like a busted flush and Canes backers will hope he doesn't reappear. He has been profligate with an economy rate of 9.7 and his implosion against Melbourne Stars could have cost them a last-four spot.
D'Arcy Short, leading runscorer with 504 runs, returns from Australia duty. He could open with Matthew Wade, who won man of the match against Perth. Tim Paine should drop down the order.
The five scores at Adelaide Oval in this season's Bash read (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second): 178-1/187-1/151-2/147-1/163-1. We could get carried away by the toss bias but Strikers have won all of their home games so it's more likely to do with Rashid making batsmen dance to his tune. The Hurricanes will surely bat first given the chance, though.
Strikers are [1.90] and Hurricanes are [2.08]. Naturally the market is cautious because Strikers without Rashid is something of the unknown.
Luckily, the numbers have been crunched to reveal his true worth. Rashid, on average, saves Strikers eight runs per match. That is the best return of any bowler in the last three years.
The control he brings also helps his team-mates to build pressure and Peter Siddle, oddly expensive against Renegades, has benefitted from Rashid's skill.
So it's a big hole to fill and that stat alone could make Hurricanes the value. It might be best to caveat the bet, however, with them batting first.
In their previous meeting, the two sides produced a thriller. Hurricanes almost got up to chase down 188, losing by 11 runs - an interesting number given the statistic above.
Top Adelaide Strikers bat
Head and Carey share favourite status here at [3.3] each. Head is in great nick and Carey is the second-highest runscorer in the tournament. Carey made 100 from 56 balls in that Hurricanes match, a knock which earned him a call-up to the Australia squad. Colin Ingram is [3.9].
Top Hobart Hurricanes bat
Short is short at [3.0] so Wade could be the call at [4.0]. The square boundaries could look very short if he gets the cut and pull going. Alex Doolan and Ben McDermott fired Hurricanes chase in that match at the Oval. Doolan hit 70 off 55 in the opening berth but he won't bat there again. McDermott struck 45 from 29. The pair are [4.4] and [5.0] respectively.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l
Hobart Hurricanes batting first