Adelaide Strikers BBL 12 Preview
In their first five games of BBL 12, the Adelaide Strikers face the Thunder (3rd last year) twice and the Scorchers (champions). They also go up against the Heat and the Sixers in this opening stretch. It’s a tough start.
However, they’ve brought a bazooka named Chris Lynn to this fight.
How will the Strikers line up?
The BBL’s all time top scorer Lynn arrives from the Heat in what is a huge coup for the Adelaide Strikers. However, their net gain might be smaller than expected – they’ve also parted ways with their top scorer last year Jon Wells (501 runs) and Matt Renshaw (306).
With Alex Carey and Travis Head likely to be busy with international commitments plus the departures, more responsibility than usual will fall to Matt Short. The Strikers’ second top scorer last season (493 runs) hammered an astounding 26 sixes in 2021-22.
Beyond Short, quick runs are a concern. Current players Thomas Kelly (129.69), Henry Hunt (110.86), Jake Weatherald (107.03), and Harry Nielsen (103.96) lagged well behind Short (155.52 S/R). They will continue to play major roles in the absence of Head and Carey.
Peter Siddle and Rashid Khan are the nucleus of their bowling but beyond them, there are a few ways the Strikers could go. Henry Thornton was the Strikers’ third top wicket taker (13) last season. He could be joined by Wes Agar (8) or Harry Conway (9).
Cameron Boyce and Ben Manenti are also in the picture should the Strikers decide to lean towards spin. With eight wickets and more than 44 overs under his belt last season, Short was no less a frontline bowler himself.
Overseas players for the Strikers
For assistance, Short will look to the overseas recruits. New Zealand’s Colin de Grandhomme and England’s Adam Hose have arrived as batting reinforcements, the latter far and away the Bears’ top scorer in the Blast this year with 557 runs and a S/R of 160.
Hose was well clear of the Bears’ next highest scorer Sam Hain (388 runs) and was third overall in the Blast. The Strikers will be hoping these two can jolt the rate of scoring.
The sublime Rashid Khan took 20 wickets in 2021-22 and remains one of the world’s best T20 players. Him, Hose, and de Grandhomme make for a formidable overseas trio.
How did the Strikers go last season?
The Adelaide Strikers finished fourth in the league last season. They got as far as the penultimate hurdle, the Challenger, where they were eliminated by the Sixers.
The highlight of this impressive performance was an astonishing six-game winning run beginning in the second week of January. Importantly, they can go toe to toe with the best. The Strikers beat all their fellow finals teams at least once in 2021-22.
Top performers for the Strikers in BBL 11
Short’s 26 sixes were the second highest in the competition last summer. At the Strikers, this mark was an incredible 16 more than the next best. They will depend greatly on Short to set a brisk pace at the top of the order.
Wells was the Strikers’ top scorer and second for runs overall in BBL 11. In fact, the Strikers are missing three of their four top scorers from last year. Hose and de Grandhomme must deliver right away.
Siddle was the BBL’s top wicket taker with 30 poles. He was clear of Hayden Kerr and Andrew Tye in second, on 25 apiece. Rashid Khan was the Strikers’ next best. His 20 scalps good enough for joint fourth on the overall list with Tom Rogers.
Brisbane Heat BBL 12 Preview
Seventh last year, the Brisbane Heat play the Renegades (8th last season) and the Thunder (3rd) twice each in their first five games. For the first time, they will be without the BBL’s all time top scorer Chris Lynn.
In fact, the Heat’s opening two games are against the Renegades. The Gades finished bottom last year, the only side to finish below the Heat. The Brisbane side will no doubt be aiming for maximum points after these two matches.
How will the Heat line up?
There’s been a lot of change at the Brisbane Heat from 2021-22. With Lynn joining up with the Strikers, Matt Renshaw has headed the other way. Max Bryant is likely to be the sole survivor from last season in a top order that has been well and truly shaken up.
The Heat have flexibility between Matthew Kuhnemann (spin) or Xavier Bartlett (seam) for one spot in the bowling attack. With Michael Neser in the picture, the Brisbane side could opt for a 4-1 seam/spin attack or 3-2 depending on conditions. However, his international commitments continue, the Heat may have to reckon without Neser for a significant part of the season.
Overseas players for the Heat
To cover for the loss of Lynn, the Heat have looked overseas. New Zealand’s Colin Munro and England’s Ross Whiteley and Sam Billings have arrived promising much excitement for the Brisbane side in BBL 12.
Later in the season, the Heat will have England’s Sam Hain available to them. Billings and Munro are only with the side until early January.
How did the Heat go last season?
In BBL 11, the Brisbane Heat avoided the wooden spoon only on run rate. They won just three times. One of these wins came against the Renegades, a side they face in their first two games. Another came against the Strikers, whom the Heat face in their third match. Oddly enough, they can look to last season to inspire a strong start.
Top performers for the Heat in BBL 11
Ben Duckett topped the run charts last season with 302. He was the only Brisbane Heat player to cross the 300-run mark. Lynn has departed, but the Heat have actually retained three of their top five scorers last season – Sam Heazlett, Bryant, and Bartlett.
The heat have also held on to their three players who reached double figures for wickets in BBL 11. Mark Steketee and James Bazley were joint first with 12. Bartlett was the third, with 11 poles. He also amassed 129 runs in six innings, striking at 124.