Hobart Hurricanes BBL 12 Preview
Fifth last season and in the finals, the Hobart Hurricanes will aim for at least an encore in BBL 12. They face five different opponents in their first five games – and have the firepower to take them all down. The Canes’ early opponents include last season’s champions Scorchers as well as bottom side Renegades.
They also face the two Sydney sides, who finished second and third last year. It’s not only a varied start but a tough one.
How will the Hurricanes line up?
The Hobart Hurricanes’ top order in BBL 12 is likely to be consistent with that of last season. There is, however, some flexibility in precisely how the players will be deployed from game to game. D’Arcy Short, for instance, is capable of opening or batting at number four. Ben McDermott and Matthew Wade are likely to retain their spots in the top four.
However, Caleb Jewell might be the one to find himself on the sidelines with the addition of new overseas players. Tim David scored 218 runs last season striking at 163 and will be one to watch this summer as well. The Canes’ only notable batting loss is Peter Handscomb, who made over 200 runs in 2021-22 as well.
The Hurricanes are not short of pace options with the ball. Much like the Stars, though, they will need to have a think about their spin options. Shadab Khan is the leading spinner, but it’s a very seam-heavy attack beyond him.
Given the variety of opponents they face in the early rounds of BBL 12, Tasmania’s team will have to figure out their combinations fast.
Also read: Adelaide Strikers & Brisbane Heat BBL 12 Season Preview
Overseas players for the Hurricanes
All eyes will be on the names following the top order. In addition to David, Asif Ali and Shadab Khan, the latter of whom enjoyed an outstanding T20 World Cup, ensure that the Hurricanes have ammunition for days. Plus, they can be sent out at any time based on game state.
The Hurricanes have recently added Jimmy Neesham to their ranks, rounding out an incendiary middle and lower middle order. He would likely take the place of Jewell and slot in the middle. Short would open in that scenario alongside McDermott. A middle order of David, Neesham, Asif, and Shadab is arguably the most exciting in the competition.
Given the domestic options, though, it’s also possible that the Hurricanes don’t maximise their overseas quota in the playing XI. Neesham might find himself competing with, rather than complementing, Asif Ali. The Kiwi all-rounder’s explosive recent form and bowling might just give him the edge.
How did the Hurricanes go last season?
In 2021-22, the Hobart Hurricanes finished fifth in the league phase with seven wins. Their tally of 27 points put them between the Strikers (28) and the Stars (26). They were knocked out in the Eliminator by the former.
Their best run of form was three consecutive wins in late December. The Hurricanes will be looking for more consistency this time.
Top performers for the Hurricanes in BBL 11
McDermott was the BBL’s top scorer last season with an awesome 577 runs. He also had the most sixes (29) and two hundreds. Short struggled with strike rate (113.26) but piled on an impressive 444 runs. A total of six players scored more than 200 runs and the Hobart Hurricanes have retained five of them for BBL 12.
Tom Rogers had the most wickets for the Hurricanes last year with 20. Of the players still with the club, only Riley Meredith (16) and Nathan Ellis (11) also reached double figures. Two of their top four wicket takers from last season are not with the club this year. BBL 12 will be a severe examination of the Hurricanes’ bowling.
Also read: Sydney Thunder & Sydney Sixers BBL 12 Previews
Perth Scorchers BBL 12 Preview
The Perth Scorchers begin their title defence playing the Stars twice, the Strikers, the Hurricanes, and the Sixers in the first five. Tough run, but they have South Africa’s Faf du Plessis to call upon in BBL 12.
Furthermore, three of these five games are at Perth Stadium. A good start will be crucial for the Scorchers to make a successful title defence.
How will the Scorchers line up?
A lot depends on the former Proteas captain as injuries will deprive the Perth Scorchers of key players in BBL 12. The most notable absentee is Mitch Marsh, sidelined after ankle surgery. Overseas player Phil Salt has also been ruled out of the tournament due to injury.
Furthermore, top scorer Kurtis Patterson has left for the Sixers. In fact, the Scorchers will be without four of their top five scorers from last season – Patterson, Marsh, Laurie Evans, and Colin Munro. They need du Plessis to hit the ground running.
The Scorchers’ bowling, however, is largely intact. The depth in particular is impressive. Peter Hatzoglou, Lance Morris, and Matthew Kelly all stand at the ready and will push for starting berths.
Hatzoglou, however, might get the nod over the others if the conditions suit spin. The only other frontline spinner is Ashton Agar.
The squad also contains Cam Green, who has enjoyed an encouraging start to his T20I career. He walks into the Scorchers’ top six when available.
Also read: Melbourne Renegades & Melbourne Stars BBL 12 Previews
Overseas players for the Scorchers
Du Plessis will hold the top order together. England’s Tymal Mills continues from last season and is one of two left arm seamers alongside Jason Behrendorff.
The Scorchers have also drafted in England’s Adam Lyth and Steve Eskinazi. The former is an injury replacement for Salt. Lyth will be available for the first part of the competition of the competition and will slot in at the top of the order.
How did the Scorchers go last season?
In BBL 11, the Perth Scorchers swatted aside all challengers on the way to the title. They were top of the pile at the end of the league phase and were the only side to reach double figures for wins. An imperious performance in the final followed, with the Scorchers bowling out the Sixers for 92 and winning by 79 runs.
They also won their first six games and eight of their first nine – a thoroughly dominant run. Interestingly, the Scorchers lost to the Thunder twice last season – that rematch will be one to watch.
Top performers for the Scorchers in BBL 11
Patterson and Munro were neck and neck at the top of the run charts for the Perth Scorchers last season – 391 and 390 respectively. The only survivor of those prolific top five scorers, Ashton Turner, made an impressive 357 runs striking at 153 in 2021-22.
Andrew Tye bagged 25 wickets last season – the best for the Scorchers and joint second best in the BBL overall. Agar (18), Behrendorff (16), Hatzoglou (15), Kelly (14), and Mills (12) remarkably all hit double figures last season as well.
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