Renegades & Stars’ BBL 12 Season Previews

Renegades & Stars’ BBL 12 Season Previews

Melbourne Renegades BBL 12 Preview

The Melbourne Renegades begin BBL 12 on 15 December looking to avoid yet another last place finish. Their star overseas asset, West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell, will be vital in the opening rounds in which they twice go up against the Brisbane Heat.

The Melbourne Renegades will view these two fixtures against the Heat as a ready source of points. The Brisbane side only finished ahead of the Gades on run rate last season. Moreover, one of only three wins for the Gades in 2021-22 was their defeat of the Heat in Geelong.

How will the Gades line up?

Renegades Possible Playing XI
Renegades Possible Playing XI

With the bat, Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh bring much experience for the Melbourne Renegades. Marcus Harris and Nic Maddinson round out the top order. Meanwhile, Kane Richardson leads the seam attack.

Domestic recruit Tom Rogers arrives from the Hurricanes, strengthening the bowling for the Renegades. The fourth highest run scorer in BBL history Jon Wells joins from the Strikers, a significant addition to the Renegades’ batting. The pair should slot in straight away.

Overseas players for the Renegades

Russell will be key with bat and ball for the Gades in the opening rounds. The two other overseas players are likely to be the West Indies’ Akeal Hosein and Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman, both excellent spin assets.

How did the Gades go last season?

Renegades in BBL 11
Renegades in BBL 11

The Melbourne Renegades finished bottom of the pile for the third season in a row in 2021-22. They were tied on points and wins with the Heat; the pair were well behind the Stars in sixth. With a much improved squad, the Renegades will be looking to avoid a fourth straight wooden spoon.

The Renegades’ best run of form last season was two consecutive wins in early January. They ended the season with five straight defeats.

Top performers for the Renegades in BBL 11

Finch was far and away the best Gades batter last season. His 386 runs were 155 more than the next best Mackenzie Harvey (231). Marsh cleared the 200-run mark as well, finishing with 202 runs from seven innings.

Richardson was in a league of his own at the Gades with the ball. His 19 wickets were comfortably the best at the club. The three highest after him – Zahir Khan, Cameron Boyce, Reece Topley – are not with the Renegades this season. It’ll be a hugely refreshed attack that takes the field in BBL 12.

All eyes will be on Boult – the biggest star at the Melbourne Stars in Maxwell’s absence. In T20s in 2022, The Kiwi quick took 32 wickets at 27 and an economy of 7.70.

Who to watch out for at the Gades?

Liam Livingstone’s absence will be a huge blow, but the Melbourne Renegades have moved for New Zealand’s Martin Guptill. The Kiwi is a seasoned campaigner who will provide ammunition at the top of the order. Guptill will be available starting 28 December until the end of the season.

Martin Guptill | T20Is in 2022
Martin Guptill | T20Is in 2022 📸 David Molloy/CC BY 2.0/via Wikimedia Commons/background removed/License

Almost 60% of Guptill’s runs for New Zealand this year came in boundaries, finding the fence slightly less regularly than once every over. He got starts – 20 runs or greater – more than half the time, striking at 138 in these innings.

Martin Guptill | Strike Rate by Phase of Game | T20Is in 2022
Martin Guptill | Strike Rate by Phase of Game | T20Is in 2022

Guptill’s most explosive phase of the game was actually the middle overs. Striking at a modest 120 in the first six, his rate of scoring increased the longer he was out in the middle. This pace peaked at over 130 in overs 7-16.

Guptill’s early sluggishness is clear from the fact that he strikes at under 100 in his first five deliveries in T20Is this year. On the evidence of his form in 2022, the Renegades will be hoping Guptill stays out in the middle as long and as much as possible.


Melbourne Stars BBL 12 Preview

Two of the Melbourne Stars’ first five games of BBL 12 are against the holders the Perth Scorchers. The Stars’ campaign, however, begins on the opening night of the season. They play the Sydney Thunder in the curtain raiser.

The Stars will be sans the BBL’s third top scorer ever, Glenn Maxwell. The all-rounder is recovering from an injury sustained in a freak accident.

How will the Stars line up?

Stars Possible Playing XI
Stars Possible Playing XI

For the Melbourne Stars’ batting, much responsibility will fall on the broad shoulders of Marcus Stoinis. The all-rounder could also move up to the opening slot to fill the Maxwell-shaped hole at the top of the order. 

Joe Burns, Nick Larkin, and Beau Webster all clocked under 100 runs last season. They are likely to round out the top six alongside the considerably more prolific Hilton Cartwright (360 runs in 2021-22).

The Stars’ batting stocks look depleted not only due to the lukewarm performance last season of many in the top six but also due to the abrupt end of specialist bats after number six in the order.

The Stars need to have a think about their spin options, though. With Maxwell missing, Adam Zampa virtually stands alone. Deputy Clint Hinchcliffe must beat out some quality quicks to find a spot in the XI.

Overseas players for the Stars

The Stars’ bowling attack has been significantly bolstered by overseas recruits. New Zealand’s Trent Boult has 578 international wickets and begins a new chapter of his career with the Stars. He is joined by England’s Luke Wood, recently debuted on the international stage. Also from England is Joe Clarke, who will likely keep wicket.

How did the Stars go last season?

Stars in BBL 11
Stars in BBL 11

The Melbourne Stars finished sixth last year, just a point behind the Hobart Hurricanes. The Stars had the same number of wins and losses as the Canes, in fact – seven.

Although they won seven times, the Stars struggled for consistency. At no stage did they win more than twice in a row. Putting together a good run will be crucial if they are to make the finals.

Top performers for the Stars in BBL 11

Maxwell was the Stars’s best batter last season, one of only two to cross 400 runs for the club. Clarke, Cartwright, and Stoinis were the only others to break three digits with the bat in 2021-22.

Their top wicket taker last season was young Brody Couch. The next best Qais Ahmad (13 wickets) and Haris Rauf (9) are not in the picture this season. This means new skipper Adam Zampa (10) has a lot on his plate. In addition to captaining the side, Zampa must lead by example with the ball.

Who to watch out for at the Stars?

All eyes will be on Boult – the biggest star at the Melbourne Stars in Maxwell’s absence. In T20s in 2022, The Kiwi quick took 32 wickets at 27 and an economy of 7.70.

Trent Boult | T20s in 2022 | 📸 David Molloy/CC BY 2.0/via Wikimedia Commons/background removed
Trent Boult | T20s in 2022 | 📸 David Molloy/CC BY 2.0/via Wikimedia Commons/background removed/License

His average this year is slightly higher than his career mark of 25. However, Boult’s economy is better than his career figure for T20s (8.06). He’s about as incisive as always, but is bowling much more economically.

Melbourne Stars bowler Trent Boult's economy rates in T20s in 2022
Trent Boult | Economy Rate by Phase of Game | T20s in 2022

Boult has sent down exactly three times as many balls in the first six as in the final four, revealing him to be much more of a powerplay bowler. A not-insignificant chunk of his deliveries have come through the middle phase, where his economy is 7.85.

The Stars will have taken note. Perhaps their strategy concerning Boult in this new phase of his career might become more flexible, regularly splitting his overs 3-1 or 2-1-1 instead of 2-2.


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