Big Bash Team-by-Team Guide: Sixers still side to beat

James Vince
Vince is back for the Sixers

Ed Hawkins rates each team by boundary power and bowling economy and picks out some whopping best bets for the Big Bash, ahead of its start on December 5...

"Despite the Ashes call worry the 18/1 Josh Inglis is series top bat is way too big. Likewise the 3/1 he tops just for Perth."

Adelaide Strikers - Stinkers more like


To win title: 7/1
To reach final: 3/1
To finish bottom: 9/2
Last 2 years: 5-3
2020 Batting run rate: 7.7
2020 Bowling economy: 7.6
Boundary % rating: 8


Squad: Wes Agar, Alex Carey, Harry Conway, Travis Head (c), Spencer Johnson, Harry Nielsen, Liam O'Connor, Matthew Renshaw, Liam Scott, Peter Siddle, Jon Wells, Daniel Worrall, George Garton, Ryan Gibson, Fawad Ahmad, Rashid Khan, Matt Short, Jake Weatherald
Possible XI (boundary % last 2 years): Weatherald (19.4), M Short (13.2), Wells (11.9), Renshaw (10.3), Nielsen (16), Rashid Khan (19.8), Garton (16), Worral (19.2), W Agar (4), Siddle (3.5), Fawad (7.2)

Verdict: Strikers are likely to be severely hamstrung by Ashes call-ups. Skip Travis Head is in the squad and Alex Carey could join him. It wrecks an already weak batting line-up. They are experts at defending low totals, which is just as well. Wes Agar looks massive at 30/1 for top tournament wicket-taker and improve on fourth last year. Likewside the 4/1 for Strikers bowler.

Best Bet: (1pt) Back W Agar top Strikers bowler 5.04/1

Brisbane Heat - Heat can hit


To win title 7/1
To reach final: 3/1
To finish bottom: 11/2
Last 2 years: 4-7
2020 Batting run rate: 7.9
2020 Bowling economy: 8.2
Boundary % rating: 3

Squad: Xavier Bartlett, Tom Cooper, Sam Heazlett, Chris Lynn, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Jimmy Peirson (c), Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Willans, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Ben Duckett, Tom Abell, Jack Wildermuth, James Bazley, Matt Kuhnemann, Max Bryant, Connor Sully
Possible XI (boundary % last 2 years): Lynn (22.3), Bryant (19.5), Abell (16.9), Heazlett (17.3), Cooper (19.6), Peirson (10.3), Bazley (18.4), Mujeeb (18.7), M Morkel (0), Steketee, Wildermuth (13.7)

Verdict: Heat can certainly give it a whack and we are enamoured with their pick of Tom Abell. But bowling is a concern annually. They could do with Michael Neser and Mitch Swepson being released from the Ashes squad to give them more depth. Unlikely to have the quality to cause upsets in the knockouts.

Hobart Hurricanes - David one to watch


To win title: 6/1
To reach final: 5/2
To finish bottom: 6/1
Last 2 years: 6-4
2020 Batting run rate: 8
2020 Bowling economy: 8.2
Boundary % rating: 5

Squad: Scott Boland, Tim David. Nathan Ellis, Peter Handscomb, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Mitch Owen, Wil Parker, D'Arcy Short, Matthew Wade (c), Mac Wright, Sandeep Lamichhane, Caleb Jewell, Joel Paris, Harry Brook, Josh Kann, Tom Rogers, Jordan Thompson
Possible XI (boundary % last 2 years): Short (15.5), Wade (23.3), McDermott (14), Handscomb (14.4), Brook (18.9), David (18.3), Thompson (22.7), Meredith (7.6), Ellis (11.6), Boland (6.6), Lamichhane (3.3)

Verdict: Hobart reckon they've pulled off a masterstroke with the double signing from Yorkshire of Harry Brook and Jordan Thompson. And those two, if they settle, should ensure HH make a bid for glory. They are still an all-rounder short, however. Tim David, the Singapore slinger, is their game changer.

Melbourne Renegades - More misery


To win: 12/1
To finish bottom: 5/2
Last 2 years: 8-8
2020 Batting run rate: 6.9
2020 Bowling economy: 8.6
Boundary % rating: 6

Squad: Cameron Boyce, Zak Evans, Aaron Finch, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Josh Lalor, Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson, Mitch Perry, Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Nic Maddinson (c), Reece Topley, Unmukt Chand, Mohammad Nabi, Zahir Khan
Possible XI (boundary % last 2 years): Finch (14.8), S Marsh (14.3), Maddinson (12.6), Harper (15.5), Harvey (15.7), Nabi (16.9), Prestwidge (14.4), Richardson (16), Pattinson (16.2), Zahir (12.9), Topley (0)

Verdict:Renegades are in grave danger of a third-successive wooden spoon. Look at the paucity of their hitting ability. They are desperate for Aaron Finch to bring his best game but he could miss the early exhanges with injury. The signing of Nic Maddinson, who has been awful for Stars for some time, makes little sense. Shaun Marsh is also missing until Christmas. A disaster

Best Bet: (1pt) Back Renegades to finish bottom 3.505/2

Melbourne Stars - Looking strong


To win 5/1
To reach final 9/4
Last 2 years: 7-W
2020 Batting run rate: 8.3
2020 Bowling economy{ 8.2
Boundary % rating: 2

Squad: Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Seb Gotch, Liam Hatcher, Clint Hinchliffe, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell (c), Tom O'Connell, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Joe Burns, Sam Rainbird, Joe Clarke, Qais Ahmad (joining after conclusion of Abu Dhabi T10 League), Sam Elliot, Beau Webster
Possible XI (boundary % last 2 years): Stoinis (18.5), Clarke (26.3), Larkin (17), Maxwell (18.2), Burns (12.5), Cartwright (16.9), Rainbird (14.2), Coulter-Nile (21), Qais (16.5), Stanlake (0), Zampa (8.6)

Verdict: Stars suffered player churn in the overseas department last term. And it cost the, Can they be more settled this time? It looks that way. The signing of wicketkeeper-hitter Joe Clarke is the pick of the season and with Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell available for the entire campaign they must surely go close. Adam Zampa and Qais Ahmed in tandem is a terrific prospect.

Best Bet: (0.5pts) Back J Clarke top Stars batsman 5.509/2

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Perth Scorchers - Losing their sizzle


To win: 4/1
To reach final: 17/10
To finish bottom: 10/1
Last 2 years: 2-6
2020 Batting run rate: 8.2
2020 Bowling economy: 7.3
Boundary % rating: 7

Squad Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Aaron Hardie, Peter Hatzoglou, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Kurtis Patterson, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Colin Munro, Laurie Evans
Possible XI (boundary % last 2 years) Inglis (18.8), Evans (17.3), M Marsh (16.6), Munro (14.3), Patterson (11.4), Turner (15.9), Agar (3.3), Tye (17.2), Kelly (16), Behrendorff (11.1), Hatzoglou (0)

Verdict Scorchers roared back into contention last season. But chances of a repeat are hampered by losing personnel. There's no Jason Roy, Colin Ingram or Liam Livingstone. Plus Jhye Richardson is with the Ashes squad. It could be one step forward, two back. Colin Munro is a decent pick-up (above).And it will be a disaster if Josh Inglis gets picked by Australia, too. Despite that worry the 18/1 he is series top bat is way too big. Likewise the 3/1 he tops just for Perth.

Best Bet: (2pts) Back J Inglis top Perth bat 4.03/1

Sydney Sixers - Hard to stop


To win: 3/1
To reach final@ 11/8
Last 2 years: W-W
2020 Batting run rate: 8.6
2020 Bowling economy: 8.3
Boundary % rating: 4

Squad: Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Dan Christian, Tom Curran, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Moises Henriques (c), Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Ben Manenti, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Jordan Silk, James Vince, Steve O'Keefe, Chris Jordan (five-match contract, starting December 5)
Possible XI (boundary % last 2 years): Philippe (17.6), Vince (16.2), Hughes (14.5), Christian (26.1), Silk (12.7), Henriques (16), T Curran (19.1), Abbott (10.3), Dwarshius (15.4), O'Keefe (7.6), Bird (6.9).

Verdict No side has won three titles in a row. But Sixers are looking strong again. They have retained key players (notably James Vince) and are unaffected by Ashes calls (Nathan Lyon has not been a miss). The only question is whether they have rested on their laurels.

Sydney Thunder - Bowlers beware


To win 6/1
To reach final: 3/1
Last 2 years: 3-5
2020 Batting run rate: 9.1
2020 Bowling economy: 8.1
Boundary % rating: 1

Squad: Jonathan Cook, Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matt Gilkes, Chris Green, Usman Khawaja, Nathan McAndrew, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain, Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Baxter Holt, Saqib Mahmood, Jason Sangha
Possible XI (boundary % last 2 years): Hales (22.8), Ross (13.2), Billings (16.4), Cutting (23.4), Davis (16.9), McAndrew (27.9), Green (12.1), Sams (17.4), Doggett (25), Sangha (0), Saqib (2.3)

Verdict: Thunder are aptly named. They are the most dangerous hitting team in the tournament. That recklessness paid off last year when they surged to an unexpected third-placed finish. Bad news, though. There's no Callum Ferguson and Usman Khawaja is with Australia. That's a huge chunk of runs.

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