Whether you love it or hate it, the Big Bash League gets a lot of things right. However it’s got two prominent issues, both of which can easily be solved. The tournament is (slightly) too long, and the finals system is flawed.
Only two right last round, still my tipping is doing miles better than my fantasy team which is an utter shambles. Onward.
Strikers v Renegades (Adelaide Oval) — The Strikers lost two from two last round and were very disappointing agains the Heat at home. The Renegades fell just short in their run chase, but looked much better than the Strikers. Tipping the Renegades.
Hurricanes v Heat (Bellerive Oval) — The Hurricanes were beaten relatively easily by the Stars last night, and the Heat had a big win in Adelaide. Tipping the Heat.
Thunder v Sixers (ANZ Stadium) — The Sixers have lost once in 2014 (in a super-over no less), the Thunder have won once in the last two years. Surely the Thunder can’t win two in a two, tipping the Sixers.
Stars v Scorchers (MCG) — The Scorchers won’t have to contend with Malinga this time around, but the rest of the Stars will still be their. Tipping the Stars to make it eight straight.
Three from four — again. This time it was the Thunder who spoilt my party, chalking up a win after 19 consecutive losses at the expense of the Renegades who’ve fallen in a bit of a hole lately. On to Round 7.
Scorchers v Strikers (WACA) — Both had last ’round’ off, so they should be fresh. The time off might have helped Katich’s busted finger too. I’m tipping the Scorchers, they are in the better form of the two, sitting in second place, and even without Shaun Marsh they’re still hard to beat at home.
Strikers v Heat (Adelaide Oval) — The Heat are coming off a close loss to the Stars, but are looking the better of the two teams. Loss of Dan Christian and injuries to Hauritz and Vettori could hurt them, Strikers also likely to be without Klinger. I’m tipping the Strikers at home.
Renegades v Sixers (Etihad) — The men in red are coming off two contrasting beltings at the hands of the in-form Stars and the out-of-form Thunder so anything’s possible. The Sixers are playing well, but I’m going with the Renegades simply because I don’t think they’ll lose three times in a row at home.
Stars v Hurricanes (MCG) — Stars — The Stars extended their streak with a tight win over the Heat, while the Hurricanes had a narrow loss to the Sixers. Tipping the Stars because they haven’t lost yet, why start now.
Three from four, and very close to a perfect round thanks to the thrilling finish between the Scorchers and Sixers last night.
Two games each for the Hurricanes and Thunder this round which could make picking a fanatays side difficult given that you only get two changes per round.
Hurricanes v Thunder (Bellerive) — The Hurricanes need the win to remain any chance for the finals, the Thunder also need the win haven’t looked like getting close in their last couple. Picking the Hurricanes with the home advantage to extend the Thunder’s streak.
Heat v Stars (Gabba) — Both coming off big wins, but the Heat’s win was against the Thunder, and the Stars are slaughtering everyone. The Stars will be without Maxwell, Faulkner and McKay, the Heat should play well at home but I can’t see anyone beating the Stars.
Renegades v Thunder (Etihad) — The Renegades will be coming off a 10 day break, and they’ll be without Finch. The Thunder will be playing the 2nd away game in 4 days. Tipping Renegades at home.
Sixers v Hurricanes (SCG) — Tricky one to pick. Both suffered close losses against the Scorchers in the last round. Sixers are at home so I’ll go with them.
Despite having gone unchanged through 5 consecutive Ashes Tests, Australia will obviously need to take more than 11 guys on the trip to South Africa next month. The first 11 should pick themselves, but beyond that who should they pick?
Only got two right last round thanks to me picking the Sixers to lose both their games… which they then won. Clearly I have no idea what I’m talking about.
Scorchers v Hurricanes (WACA) — The Hurricanes, with the exception of their stunning win over the Heat, have been struggling. All of the Scorchers games have gone to the last over, and they’ve got a 50% success rate. Going with the Scorchers.
Thunder v Heat (ANZ) — Bottom of the table clash. I just can’t see the Thunder winning, they haven’t played badly, they just look like a team that doesn’t know how to win. Dilshan’s influence has been minimal, and they’ve now lost Eoin Morgan. The Heat aren’t going that well themselves, and need to bounce back, and a game against the Thunder is the perfect platform for that.
Stars v Strikers (MCG) — Just as I don’t see the Thunder winning, I can’t see the Stars losing if they keep playing the way they have thus far. It’s likely the last game before they lose Maxwell, Faulkner, and McKay to national duties, so they’ll want to make the most of it.
Sixers v Scorchers (SCG) — Sixers played well to win over the Strikers last night, the Scorchers could also be without Shaun Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile due to ODI commitments (not entirely sure when they’re being called into camp), either way I’m going the Sixers who appear to be improving with each match and have found themselves sitting second on the ladder.
Three from four again thanks to some big hitting from Klinger and Hodge to get their sides over the line in a couple of close contests. Neither of the Renegades opponents put up much fight and they cruised home in both their matches.
Heat v Sixers (Gabba) — Both coming off heavy losses to Melbourne teams, it could be anyones game. Neither bowled or batted particularly well, the Heat’s loss could have been greater if not for some late Ben Cutting crowd-killers. I’m going with the Heat, the won’t play that badly twice in a row.
Scorchers v Thunder (WACA) — Mike Hussey returns to the WACA (sorry, I’m not calling it #TheFurnace) having been the only consistent cog in the Thunder’s line up. They’re 0–3 and have had chances to win each of their matches, but haven’t been able to go in for the kill. Some odd bowling tactics hurt them against the Stars. Scorchers to win at home and extend the woe.
Renegades v Stars (Etihad) — Both sides are now firing with bat and ball. The Renegades quicks are having a particularly good run. The Stars belted their cross-town rivals in round 1, but this time they’re at Etihad. I’m looking for the Stars to stay undefeated.
Strikers v Sixers (Adelaide) — If Klinger and Hales continue then the Strikers will be hard to stop. They should also have Kane Richardson back to boost their bowling. Sixers might be looking at two losses from two games in round 4.
Following the conclusion of the Boxing Day test and another win for the Australian side — taking it to 4-nil for the series — the selectors made their first real change to the squad this summer (ignoring the mid-series “bowling cover” inclusions of Bollinger and Coulter-Nile). With Ryan Harris’ knees a potential worry and Shane Watson clearly not 100% in Melbourne, the selectors have added Tasmanian batsman Alex Doolan to the 13-man squad. So, will he play?