Big Bash Team-by-team Guide: Scorchers the team to beat

Glenn Maxwell
Can Maxwell rescue Stars?

Ed Hawkins has the possible XIs, ins and outs, player availability and key data ahead of the tournament...

  • Scorchers eye back-to-back titles

  • Top four to play-offs

  • Squad churn expected

  • Player availability key dates

    Abu Dhabi T10 - final is on December 9

    Australia v Pakistan - players may available from January 9

    ILT20 - overseas players could miss play-offs

    Afghanistan v India: Afghan players depart for series from January 11. Could return for play-offs

    Pakistan v New Zealand - Players depart for series from January 12 Jan missing last vestiages of group and play-offs.

    *Possible availability clashes by player in squads below

    Perth to win Big Bash 11/43.75

    To reach final: 11/102.11
    To qualify: 2/51.40

    2023 finish: Winners
    2023 Batting strike rate rank: 1
    2023 Bowling economy rank:

    Squad (possible availability clashes): Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Cooper Connolly, Aaron Hardie, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Mitch Marsh (Aus v Pak), Hamish McKenzie, Lance Morris (Aus v Pak), Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman, Zak Crawley (Eng v WI, ILT20), Laurie Evans (ILT20)

    In: Zak Crawley (Hobart Hurricanes), Sam Whiteman (Sydney Thunder)

    Out: Cameron Bancroft (Sydney Thunder), Peter Hatzoglou (Hobart Hurricanes), David Payne (Adelaide Strikers)

    Possible XI: Crawley, Evans, Whiteman, Inglis, Hardie, Turner, Hobson, Agar, Richardson, Tye, Behrendorff

    Analysis: With Mitch Marsh and Lance Morris in Australia's Test squad, Perth are two players down. But Marsh missed the entire title-winning campaign last season anyway so it's no biggy. Zak Crawley misses the start of the tournament and the denouement. Keeping Jhye Richardson fit will be important but they have pacer Matthew Kelly also. Surely only an injury crisis halts a play-off charge and they could be even stronger when the Tests are done.

    Betting nugget: A Scorchers-Sixers final is 6/17.00 with Sportsbook

    Sydney Sixers to win Big Bash 4/15.00

    To reach final: 4/15.00
    To qualify: 8/151.53

    2023 finish: 2nd
    2023 Batting strike rate rank: 2
    2023 Bowling economy rank:

    Squad: Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Joel Davies, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Todd Murphy, Steve O'Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Josh Philippe, Jordan Silk, Tom Curran (ILT20), James Vince (Abu Dhabi T10, ILT20), Steve Smith (Aus v Pak), Izharulhaq Naveed (Afg v Ind)

    In: Joel Davies (Sydney Thunder), Izharulhaq Naveed (Afg), Tom Curran (Eng)

    Out: Dan Christian (retired), Chris Jordan (Hobart Hurricanes), Nathan Lyon (Melbourne Renegades), Naveen-ul-Haq

    Possible XI: Philippe, Vince, Patterson, Silk, Kerr, Henriques, Abbott, Curran, Dwarshuis, O'Keefe, Izharluhaq

    Analysis: A solid line-up for the Sixers again. But they could be impacted by player churn, which may have cost them last term. James Vince is likely to arrive after the Abu Dhabi T10 while he could also miss the play-offs because of the ILT20. Likewise Tom Curran. Domestic players like Todd Murphy, Jack Edwards and Jackson Bird could mean they retain some strength, though.

    Betting nugget: Tournament success has been built on chasing

    Hobart Hurricanes 6/17.00

    To reach final: 3/14.00
    To qualify: 4/51.80

    2023 finish: 6th
    2023 Batting strike rate rank: 3
    2023 Bowling economy rank:

    Squad: Iain Carlisle, Tim David, Paddy Dooley, Nathan Ellis, Peter Hatzoglou, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Mitch Owen, Billy Stanlake, Matthew Wade, Mac Wright, Chris Jordan (ILT20), Sam Hain (ILT20), Corey Anderson, Liam Guthrie, Nikhil Chaudhary, Sam Heazlett

    In: Peter Hatzoglou (Perth Scorchers), Chris Jordan (Sydney Sixers), Sam Hain (Brisbane Heat), Corey Anderson, Sam Heazlett (Brisbane Heat), Nikhil Chaudhary, Liam Guthrie (Brisbane Heat)

    Out: Joel Paris (Melbourne Stars), D'Arcy Short (Adelaide Strikers), Scott Boland (Melbourne Stars), Zak Crawley (Perth Scorchers), Tim Paine, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Jimmy Neesham

    Possible XI: Jewell, McDermott, Heazlett, Hain, David, Wade, Anderson, Jordan, Ellis, Meredith, Dooley

    Analysis: Hurricanes had to do something after a second sixth-placed finish in three years. They've revamped their squad in an effort to try to find a winning combination. It's not convincing work, sadly. Chris Jordan, Sam Hain and Corey Anderson could all be leaving for the ILT20 which would mean a new line-up for the playoffs. They have to be classed as unbackable as a result particularly as they haven't strengthened a pricey bowling attack on a road of a home ground.

    Betting nugget: Hurricanes are a bet for big death-over runs

    Melbourne Renegades 6/17.00

    To reach final: 3/14.00
    To qualify: 4/51.80

    2023 finish: 3rd
    2023 Batting strike rate rank: 6
    2023 Bowling economy rank:

    Squad: Nic Maddinson, Aaron Finch, Jake Fraser-McGurk, MacKenzie Harvey, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Kane Richardson, Tom Rogers, Peter Siddle, Jono Wells, Will Sutherland, Adam Zampa, Quinton de Kock (Abu Dhabi T10, SA v Ind SA T20), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afg v Ind, ILT20), Joe Clarke (ILT20), Harry Dixon

    In: Adam Zampa (Melbourne Stars), Nathan Lyon (Sydney Sixers), Peter Siddle (Adelaide Strikers), Quinton de Kock (RSA), Harry Dixon, Joe Clarke (Melbourne Stars), Fergus O'Neill

    Out: Sam Harper (Melbourne Stars), Andre Russell, Martin Guptill, Matt Critchley, Akeal Hosein, Corey Rocchiccioli (Melbourne Stars)

    Possible XI: Maddinson, Clarke, Fraser-McGurk, Finch, Harvey, Wells, Sutherland, Mujeeb, Richardson, Zampa, Siddle

    Analysis: Renegades have a great chance for their first title if they make a big call early enough. And that's ditching skipper Nic Maddinson, who has averaged 16 and 18 in the last two editions. There's plenty of other batting options and leadership in Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch. The capture of Adam Zampa could make all the difference, too. Quinton de Kock will be available for a short window between the Abu Dhabi T10/South Africa-India T20 series and the SA T20 so shouldn't be the reason you back them.

    Betting nugget: Short Maddinson runs every time

    Brisbane Heat to win Big Bash 7/18.00

    To reach final: 16/54.20
    To qualify:

    2023 finish: Runners-up
    2023 Batting strike rate rank: 4
    2023 Bowling economy rank:

    Squad: Usman Khawaja (Aus v Pak), Xavier Bartlett, Josh Brown, Max Bryant, Spencer Johnson, Matthew Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne (Aus v Pak), Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Will Prestwidge, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Colin Munro (ILT20), Sam Billings (ILT20), Paul Walter, Jack Wildermuth

    In: Paul Walter (Eng)

    Out: James Bazley (Adelaide Strikers), Mark Steketee (Melbourne Stars), Sam Hain (Hobart Hurricanes), Seam Heazlett (Hobart Hurricanes)

    Possible XI: Renshaw, McSweeney, Munro, Billings, Peirson, Walter, Neser, Prestwidge, Swepson, Johnson, Kuhnemann

    Analysis: Have they filled gaps left by Sam Hain (top of the averages) and James Bazley (16 wickets)? Probably not. Last year's runners-up look a little light therefore. Michael Neser being left out of the Test squad for Pakistan is a boost, though, after he supercharged their play-off run. Colin Munro potentially leaving for the ILT20 for that run this year isn't great news.

    Betting nugget: Michael Neser is often man of the match value

    Adelaide Strikers 8/19.00

    To reach final: 7/24.50
    To qualify:
    To finish bottom: 4/15.00

    2023 finish: 7th
    2023 Batting strike rate rank: 5
    2023 Bowling economy rank:

    Squad: Wes Agar, James Bazley, Cameron Boyce, Alex Carey, Brendan Doggett, Travis Head (Aus v Pak), Henry Hunt, Thomas Kelly, Chris Lynn, Ben Manenti, D'Arcy Short, Matt Short, Henry Thornton, Jamie Overton (ILT20), Adam Hose (ILT20), Jake Weatherald, Harry Nielsen, David Payne

    In: D'Arcy Short (Hobart Hurricanes), Brendan Doggett (Sydney Thunder), James Bazley (Brisbane Heat), Jamie Overton (Eng), David Payne (Perth Scorchers)

    Out: Peter Siddle (Melboune Renegades), Harry Conway, Ryan Gibson, Colin de Grandhomme

    Possible XI: Lynn, M Short, Weatherald, D Short, Hose, Nielsen, Bazley, J Overton, Boyce, W Agar, Thornton

    Analysis: Strikers must cope with the loss of Rashid Khan. They've not bothered to replace him with like-for-like going for David Payne who did well for Perth last term. D'Arcy Short needs to be revitalised following his move from Hobart. Surely Matt Short stays on for a play-off charge if Strikers are in the mix instead of leaving for the ILT20? One does fear for their bowling unit minus Rashid on a good Aelaide surface. And they have faded badly in the past and there's no guarantee an exhausted Travis Head gives them some pep

    Betting nugget: Expect them to concede big at home

    Sydney Thunder to win Big Bash 8/19.00

    To reach final: 7/24.50
    To qualify:
    To finish bottom:

    2023 finish: 4th
    2023 Batting strike rate rank: 8
    2023 Bowling economy rank:

    Squad: Cameron Bancroft, Ollie Davies, Matt Gilkes, Chris Green, Liam Hatcher, Nathan McAndrew, Blake Nikitaras, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams (Abu Dhabi T10, ILT20), Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, David Warner (Aus v Pak), Alex Hales (Abu Dhabi T10, ILT20), Zaman Khan (Pak v NZ, BPL)

    In: Cameron Bancroft (Perth Scorchers), Zaman Khan (Pak), Liam Hatcher (Melbourne Stars)

    Out: Brendan Doggett (Adelaide Strikers), Joel Davies (Sydney Sixers), Sam Whiteman (Perth Scorchers), Rilee Rossouw, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Usman Qadir

    Possible XI: Gilkes, Hales, J Sangha, Davies, Ross, Sams, Green, McAndrew, Sandhu, Hatcher, T Sangha

    Analysis: Batting power let down Thunder last term and in terms of additions they haven't adressed that. They should have Jason Sangha fit, though, after injuries restricted him to five games. They were unfortunate last term with availability issues. Overseas picks Alex Hales (Abu Dhabi T10 and ILT20) and Zaman Khan (BPL) may leave them with big holes to fill. They need a big season from Daniel Sams with bat and ball when he's around.

    Betting nugget: In the absence of Hales don't be surprised to see Sams opening

    Melbourne Stars to win Big Bash 9/110.00

    To reach final: 4/15.00
    To qualify: 6/42.50
    To finish bottom: 3/14.00

    2023 finish: 8th
    2023 Batting strike rate rank: 7
    2023 Bowling economy rank:

    Squad: Scott Boland, Joe Burns, Hilton Cartwright, Brody Couch, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sam Harper, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell, Joel Paris, Tom Rogers, Mark Steketee, Marcus Stoinis, Beau Webster, Haris Rauf (Pak v NZ, ILT20), Usama Mir (Pak v NZ, ILT20), Liam Dawson (first three matches only), Imad Wasim (from December 26, ILT20).

    In: Sam Harper (Melbourne Renegades), Joel Paris (Hobart Hurricanes), Scott Boland (Hobart Hurricanes), Mark Steketee (Brisbane Heat), Haris Rauf (Pak), Usama Mir (Pak), Liam Dawson (Hampshire)

    Out: Liam Hatcher (Sydney Thunder), Adam Zampa (Melbourne Renegades), Joe Clarke (Melbourne Renegades), Trent Boult, Luke Wood

    Possible XI: Rogers, Harper, Kellaway, Maxwell, Stoinis, Larkin, Cartwright, Coulter-Nile, Usama, Rauf, Boland

    Analysis: Stars finished bottom last term and will rely on Glenn Maxwell (who miised the season with a broken leg) and Marcus Stoinis to get them into the picture. Wicketkeeper-batter Sam Harper is a strong pick-up from Renegades. Adam Zampa appears to have been swapped for Corey Rocchoccioli cross-town. Haris Rauf and Zaman Khan and Imad are solid overseas picks but all three are likely to miss a chunk at the end of term on international duty and ILT20 respectively. Usama Mir might be available for the whoel shebang if Pakistan have lost patience. Mark Steketee and Joel Paris may have to come in at the back end to keep a run going.

    Betting nugget: Sam Harper at 5/16.00 for top Stars tournament bat

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Ed Hawkins P-L

2023: +48.03
2021: +29.41pts
2020: +5.91pts
2019: +37.25pts
2018: +23.53pts
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pt

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