Welcome to Wicky’s second BBL Supercoach Watch, our round-by-round preview article of the 2023/24 season of BBL Supercoach!
In this article, we’ll run through each game in Round 2 of BBL Supercoach, breaking down picks, talking strategy, and diving into venue, opposition, matchup, and other stats to help build your team for the round.
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Sixers v Strikers
Fri 22/12, 7.15pm
Game Day Update Fri 22/12 – There are some major changes to the Sixers squad for this one. Gun quick Sean Abbott missed the last Sixers game due to personal reasons and makes his return here.
As mentioned below, this could be a great game for him based on his recent record against the Strikers. If you can manage it, we reckon he’s worth a hold at least until the end of Round 3. That’s two SCG home games on the trot from here. Of course, with his price and fixtures, he’s not essential if you can trade in doublers instead.
Abbott could replace Tom Curran who has received a 4-game ban and isn’t part of this squad. He’s a popular pick – 30% at time of writing – and with the length of that ban, he’s a sell. Watch out for ownership changes over the next day to see where people go from Curran.
Other notable inclusions are all-rounder Hayden Kerr and spinner Izharulhaq Naveed. With the Sixers’ fixtures, neither is a priority for your trades. But there’s a lot of churn in that Sixers team and it’s worth watching this game to see if either of these two get an unexpectedly large role.
There’s less to report from the Strikers camp. Henry Thornton’s exclusion is the only major squad change from earlier in this round. Adelaide chased down 201 in the first game so there’s little reason for major alterations. But hang tight for team news at the bat flip. You might not get two games from some of your bowling picks.
As mentioned last time, D’Arcy Short ($67k) looks like he’ll have great role. At his price and 40% ownership at time of writing, he’s the Strikers cheapie to have.
He’s not done great v Thunder recently but made a couple of 70s against the Sixers back in 2021.
If you, like everyone else, is hoping for a grand return to form, be patient. It’s more likely to pay off in game 2 of the double.
Couple of notes on strategy. As far as possible, try replacing your Heat picks with your Strikers picks.
This way, you’ll avoid increasing the overall number of players in your team on a bye in Round 3. Heat and Strikers both have a bye in that round.
Secondly, because this is the last game of the round and because some major Strikers picks haven’t played enough at the SCG recently to really tell if they’re good on this ground, give more weight to the Thunder game when deciding which Strikers you want.
You’ll know the starting XI. You know who does well at Adelaide Oval. The number of known quantities overall is generally much greater. You can make judgements more confidently.
Bank the points from your picks in game 1 and anything they get here is a bonus.
As noted in the last article, spin has been a much less effective wicket taking weapon at the SCG in recent years.
Coupled with the stuff listed above, it’s why we’re leaning towards Strikers quicks instead of Ben Manenti ($75k) and Cameron Boyce ($120k).
If Sean Abbott ($194k) returns to action, expect a haul based on his recent record against the Strikers.
Given their schedule, your Sixers guys should be low maintenance, keep-ticking-over picks. If they’re struggling with that, consider moving sideways to a Sixer who is. That dead spot can really weigh you down otherwise.
If you have Josh Philippe ($113k), and many do, he has two home games in the next two rounds. We reckon he’s worth holding at least until the end of Round 3 before you make a decision either way.
The departure of Steve Smith opened up a spot for Daniel Hughes ($78k) at #3. His response was a player of the match performance against the Hurricanes, his 60* piloting a run chase.
He’s dirt cheap, has a great role, and is set for a price rise. There are worse places to go for your third trade.
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Renegades v Heat
Thu 21/12, 7.15pm
Game Day Update Thu 21/12 – Renegades’ Adam Zampa is fighting fit once more and named in the squad. He’s a very popular pick – 40% at time of writing. This news is a big boost for this game (we explain why below) as well as for the Gades double in Round 3.
Jordan Cox has been left out, tightening Quinton de Kock’s grip on the third overseas spot alongside Joe Clarke and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. His BBL debut ended in a no result at GMHBA Stadium. We’ll get our first proper look at him with bat and with the gloves today.
Already at 21% ownership, the no result caused QdK’s price to fall, strengthening the case to have him in your team for the Round 3 double. Gun player, has the gloves and the top order spot – and now the popularity and price to go along with.
Peter Siddle is quite highly owned as well – 19% – but is left out of the squad here. Fears about the insecurity of his place have been confirmed in the opening rounds of BBL Supercoach. If you were looking at him as a cheap death bowler with great fixtures/already have him, we reckon it’s time to abandon those plans.
Not much to note from the Brisbane Heat’s squad, however. Only thing to watch out for is rotation from here. As we cover below, you should ditch most of your Heat picks latest by next round (Saturday afternoon lockout).
First game of the BBL season at Marvel Stadium and from a BBL Supercoach POV, there couldn’t have been two better teams to play here.
Since 2020, spin has proved an excellent tool of control at Marvel (Docklands Stadium on Sundays), with a better economy rate than pace and healthier dot ball % ratio of spin v seam than many other BBL grounds in this time.
Most significantly, the closeness of strike rates for these two types of bowling suggests, much like at GMHBA Stadium, a comparable wicket taking potency for spin and pace.
Injury permitting, there could be as many as four slow bowlers in action across both teams on Thursday.
Given the Heat tripled in Round 1 and the Renegades doubled, you probably still have some of their spinners in your team.
We reckon you should hold as many as possible for Round 2.
Both Matthew Kuhnemann ($119k) and Mitchell Swepson ($103k) did very well in Round 1, the former bagging 119 points and the latter absolutely hauling with an excellent 162.
Since 2020, both have 4 wickets against the Renegades at similar averages (Kuhnemann at 27, Swepson at 29) and Kuhnemann has the better economy (6.75 v 7.44).
Also in that same time, however, Kuhnemann has mostly fired blanks at Marvel Stadium – 1 wicket in 54 balls.
It couldn’t be more different for Swepson.
All told, if you can manage it, we reckon whoever you have is a hold for Round 2 and worth a place in your XI.
The general assistance for spin at Marvel plus their individual merits make the Heat spinners good picks.
Throw in the fact that they both have low BEs and you will get a price rise out of them. That’s two in two rounds.
Taken all together, we reckon you should trade out your Heat spinners now ONLY if you’re replacing with a doubling Striker. The fixtures are the only convincing argument against the Heat slow bowlers for Round 2.
If you’re considering any other move, there’s a very strong case to not make that trade now. Instead, trade out next week when Heat have a bye and the spinners will have risen in value, giving you a little extra cash from that sale.
Plus, at time of writing, Kuhnemann’s ownership is 20% while Swepson is at 35%. That could really hurt if they haul.
Generally speaking, both are a hold for Round 2. But given everything, Swepson is more of a slam dunk. If you have the leggie, try harder to keep him this round.
If you have Kuhnemann, recent history suggests you should be more willing to ditch him than you would Swepson.
Most of this can be said about Xavier Bartlett ($154k) too. But from here, most of your Heat picks aren’t essential. They have a bye next round and only double again in Round 7.
All of Michael Neser ($192k), Sam Billings ($114k), Spencer Johnson ($114k), and Paul Walter ($116k) are worth trading out if you can get doubling Strikers instead.
Whether you trade out now or next round, either way we reckon you should dead-end your Heat into Round 3.
The only one near-essential to hold through to the other side of the bye is Colin Munro ($183k).
The Heat’s captain against the Thunder has the form, the role, and is set to cross $200k soon with his breakeven.
Plus, in the last three years, he’s done well against the Renegades (averaging 34, striking at 145) and at Marvel (40/133). All other Heat are varying degrees of expendable.
The same goes for the Renegades spinners. It’s likely you were going to hold Adam Zampa ($139k) and/or Mujeeb Ur Rahman ($109k) anyway because they double in Round 3.
But they’re also decent shouts to start in your XI in Round 2.
If you have to leave out your Gades spinner, though, you should be more willing to ditch Mujeeb. His record against Heat (1 wicket in 8 overs since 2020) and at Marvel (1 in 12) doesn’t inspire much confidence, although that’s admittedly not much cricket to judge on.
Plus, his current breakeven is 89 so he could lose value two rounds in a row.
By contrast, Zampa has 7 wickets against the Heat at 22 in the same time. His record at Marvel is solid rather than electrifying.
If he makes the Gades’ final XI on Thursday, he’ll probably go alright. Don’t pin all your hopes on a Zampa haul in this one though.
It’s a similar story for Kane Richardson ($128k). In the last three years, he’s been OK against the Heat (5 wickets at a strike rate of 22.4), good at Marvel (18/12.66), and matches up well to Heat gun Munro.
He’s forecast for a price drop and gets a thumbs down for historical record on BBL Supercoach, but Richardson’s not a bad pick for this round.
Add the fact he has a double next round and we think he’s worth a bit more patience if you have him.
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Do expect a haul from Tom Rogers ($169k) though. He was expectedly quiet in Round 1 – he usually is against the Sixers – but Round 2 is great for him.
His recent record against the Heat is excellent, he’s generally decent at Marvel, he matches up well to Matt Renshaw.
If you have Rogers, don’t rage sell him. If you don’t have him, he’s a good candidate for your third/non-Strikers trade, actually – for all the reasons listed here plus he’s now much cheaper and has a double next round.
He’s not the only Renegade either. If you started with a Striker on the bench, you can use one trade on a non-Striker while still ensuring sufficient cover for their double.
Given the fixtures, Renegades could be worth targeting. We reckon it’s now go time on Will Sutherland ($181k). Don’t feel too bad if you missed out in Round 1. It was worth waiting to suss out his role – it’s clear now and it’s good.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a look at Quinton de Kock ($171k), but he’s not a bad trade in either. He’s much cheaper now and helps you pre-game for the double in Round 3.
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Scorchers v Hurricanes
Wed 20/12, 4.15pm
Game Day Update Wed 20/12 – As noted below, the Scorchers squad has changed quite a bit since Round 1. Spinner Ashton Agar, English opener Zak Crawley, and quick Lance Morris are the notable additions.
We’ve explained what to do with which Scorchers picks in the next section but a quick word on Morris. At $157k, he’s a good bit cheaper than the other Perth quicks. Scorchers have another home game in Round 3. He’s also one hell of a POD – currently 4% – in a team where all other bowlers are in the double digits.
Before Scorchers’ consecutive byes in Rounds 4 and 5, there’s an opportunity here for a short-term play if you’re looking for one. If he’s playing, there are worse candidates than Morris for your third trade (4th, if you’re boosting). Paired with your existing Perth bowling picks, Morris could really help you make unique gains in a good bowling fixture for Perth.
If not, this is still a chance to scout him, as well as Agar and Crawley, for Scorchers’ later doubles.
For Hurricanes, quick Riley Meredith is named in the squad for this one. He picked up an injury in Hobart’s first game so this is good news.
We explained in our Round 1 article why Meredith could be a good pick for Rounds 3-5. As mentioned lower down in this article,
Keep an eye out for Meredith and if he’s playing, suss out how he looks.
If anything’s off, start looking at other Canes bowlers beginning with Nathan Ellis ($154k).
Perth’s excellent bowling attack starred in a dominant win over the Stars at the MCG on 13 December. Now, at home, they face a Hurricanes lineup that, save Caleb Jewell, never got going in their first game against the Sixers.
Plus, that Hurricanes tail proved expectedly long and #7 Chris Jordan was exposed in just the ninth over. There’s a clear play here: hold your Scorchers bowling picks with both hands.
It’s tempting to trade out your (likely expensive) Scorchers picks to get the cash, especially considering they don’t double again until Round 6. But this already looks like it’ll be one of the strongest singles of the season.
Maybe you started with Jhye Richardson ($229k) hoping to turn him into Matt Short for Round 2. That’s still a valid trade, especially if you can’t get to Short any other way.
But if you can keep Richardson/another Scorchers bowler, you could get a very decent haul this round.
In the last three seasons with the ball, Richardson averages 9 with a strike rate of 8.5 against the Hurricanes.
In that same time, Jason Behrendorff ($179k), who had a splendid day out at the MCG, has an excellent economy of 6.36 – his best v any opponent – against Hobart.
Andrew Tye ($169k) has 10 wickets at 18 against them and has the long tail to feast on.
All three are also superb at Optus Stadium. We reckon any of them is a slam dunk pick for this one.
Aaron Hardie ($174k) probably won’t bowl as much but as the Scorchers #3, he’s well placed to gobble up most of the batting points on offer in the event of a small chase.
If he’s batting first, that’s just as well. Since 2020, Hardie averages 57 striking at 135 against the Hurricanes. We reckon he’s 100% worth holding as well, if you can manage it.
The only Scorchers pick worth trading out at the moment is Josh Inglis ($165k). He’s done well versus Hobart too – averaging 36 striking at 150 since 2020-21 – but unless you’re willing to gamble on Perth batting first, his returns as a middle order stick aren’t as secure.
His strangely tepid record at Optus – averaging 26 striking at 130 in the past three years – isn’t much help either.
Given his price, the cash you get from trading him out is probably worth more, especially if you can trade in a doubler.
The rest of the Scorchers camp has seen some churn since the end of Round 1. Cooper Connolly ($82k) and Hamish McKenzie ($56k) both rose in value but with Ashton Agar ($106k) on his way back from injury, their roles might change drastically in the near future.
Both are set for price rises, however, so on balance it’s probably OK to hold them for Round 2. But if you can go sideways to a more reliable pick at a similar price point, it might be worth cashing in now.
Even more so for Stephen Eskinazi ($129k), who doesn’t have the cushion of a price rise to convince you to keep him (current breakeven is 80).
It gets worse for these three. Lance Morris ($157k) has been cut from the Australian Test squad for Boxing Day and could feature for Scorchers while England’s top order bat Zak Crawley ($120k) is now available as well.
Scorchers could look very different on Wednesday and you probably can’t wait too long past this round to pull the trigger on some of your picks.
This game’s also a good chance to scout Crawley. He’s an attractive price and could be a good pick later in the season.
Scorchers have singles in the next two rounds, then consecutive byes. We reckon your Scorchers bowlers and Hardie are medium-term holds but look in to whether you can shift any other picks right now.
In the last article, we flagged Riley Meredith ($138k) as our bowling pick from the Hurricanes. Unfortunately he went off injured in their season opener against the Sixers.
Round 2 isn’t the time trade in Hurricanes, but with a run of three straight home games from Rounds 3-5, that time’s coming soon.
With that in mind, we reckon this game at Perth is a scouting exercise if you want Hobart picks. Keep an eye out for Meredith and if he’s playing, suss out how he looks.
If anything’s off, start looking at other Canes bowlers beginning with Nathan Ellis ($154k).
The most popular Hobart picks are Ben McDermott ($88k; 50% ownership at time of writing), Nikhil Chaudhary ($42k; 23%), and Matthew Wade ($130k; 17%). As much as possible, avoid starting either McDermott or Wade this round – they have awful recent records against Perth.
The only Hurricanes stick worth a start is Tim David ($148k). For the almost-10% of Supercoach who have him, don’t panic at his low score in Round 1.
In recent years, he’s gone alright v Scorchers and alright at Optus. Unlike McDermott and Wade, David shouldn’t worry you – and then he has three straight home games.
Strikers v Thunder
Tue 19/12, 6.45pm
As the only doublers in Round 2, the Strikers are in the BBL Supercoach spotlight as they kick off the round at home to Thunder on Tuesday.
We’ve not seen the Strikers at all this season so the scheduling is fortunate in case of unexpected team news.
Look no further than Matt Short ($244k) for your first Strikers pick. The gun all-rounder racked up 1103 Supercoach points last season, will open the batting, and will be mass captained.
Even if you don’t have the price point in your team and it takes two trades to get in Short, make it happen.
He’s also worth at least the vice-captaincy this round.
The only thing to monitor are his overs. The Strikers squad has changed a bit since last season and that could affect Short’s workload.
However, this is only really a concern if you plan to pick Short the other side of the bye.
What about Chris Lynn ($167k)? He’s a top order Strikers pick who we think could quietly be a good pick for the double, even a captaincy alternative if you’re looking to branch out.
Last season, Lynn was incredibly consistent and with a high floor. He hit his 20+ run threshold in a staggering 81% of his innings, struck at 141, and batted long – almost 27 balls an innings on average.
Admittedly, his most recent T20 form looks quite different. He was less consistent in this year’s Vitality Blast in the UK but did make a hundred against Leicestershire.
In the last article, we made strong cases for Wes Agar ($149k) and David Payne ($139k) as your Strikers bowling picks.
There’s merit in picking either or both, depending on how hard you want to attack this double. If it helps, Payne is quite a POD: 1% at time of writing.
The other quicks are Henry Thornton ($161k) and new recruit James Bazley ($165k). At roughly similar prices, Thornton is by almost every measure superior value.
Rotation is definitely a risk with him. But if you know Thornton’s starting the first game – and you will – it could well be worth it.
His record against both Sydney clubs is excellent, he’s a much better wicket taker than Bazley (strike rate 11.55 versus 19 since 2020) and is much more reliable in bowling 3 overs.
With Bazley now at Adelaide, both bowlers’ roles could admittedly change. But with that uncertainty, we reckon the wicket taking numbers should tip the scales for you.
The other option is England’s Jamie Overton ($125k). Making his BBL debut, the clearest value in him right now is as a cheaper alternative to the Strikers bowlers/bowling all-rounders.
It’s risky – we don’t yet know if he’ll get a decent role. But if you’re struggling with cash, he’s someone to look at.
With Ollie Davies ($124k) fit again, he should be on your radar straight away. As mentioned last time, he’s a good pick for the double and you can look to move for him even in Round 3.
We flagged him in the last article and Tanveer Sangha ($103k) duly delivered in Thunder’s first game with 3-21. If you have him, he’s worth a start in this round. If you don’t, he’s a decent candidate for your third trade.
Sangha’s value will continue to rise, so there’s an argument for him from a cash POV too.
Other popular Thunder picks at the moment include Alex Hales ($117k) and Daniel Sams ($158k). They’re not a priority to trade in but after a poor first game, there’s still hope if you already own them.
Hales averages 83 at Adelaide Oval in the last three years while Sams has 8 wickets at 20 against Strikers in the same time.
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