Brisbane Heat have finally kick-started their season with two wins a row to lift themselves from the last spot. On the other hand, Melbourne Renegades are having a decent season so far, primarily because of the power striking from their all-rounders, Mohammad Nabi and Daniel Christian. In the middle of the points table currently, at the 5th spot, the Renegades would be hoping for their all-rounders to continue the good work and rise above in the table.
Both the sides would be looking to continue their winning run. Surprisingly, the Renegades have a better record at the Gabba than the home side, Brisbane Heat. Playing there since 2015, Renegades have a 100% win percentage at Gabba. In the same time period, Heat have failed to build their homeground into a fortress winning only 33% of their home games.
Creating a Fantasy XI for this game a task that involves a lot of head-scratching because of a bunch of performing players available for the same spot. Here is a detailed statistical analysis of which players are the best suited given the ground conditions and past records in the league.
Venue: The Gabba, Brisbane
History suggests that Gabba is the most productive ground in the Big Bash League. Across the 15 grounds that have hosted Big Bash games till now, only Gabba has an average run rate in excess of 8 runs per over. Manuka Oval (with only 3 games) and the Bellerive Oval comes the closest with an average run rate of 7.99 and 7.97 respectively.
Brisbane Heat: Max Bryant, Brendon McCullum, Chris Lynn, Joe Burns, Alex Ross, Ben Cutting, Jimmy Peirson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, James Pattinson, Mitchell Swepson, Brendon Doggett
Melbourne Renegades: Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Sam Harper, Tom Cooper, Mohammad Nabi, Daniel Christian, Beau Webster, Jack Wildermuth, Cameron Boyce, Kane Richardson, Usman Shinwari
Recommended XI: Max Bryant, Brendon McCullum, Chris Lynn (c), Sam Harper, Mohammad Nabi, Ben Cutting, Dan Christian, Cameron Boyce, James Pattinson, Kane Richardson (vc), Usman Shinwari
The contest offers to choose from three wicket-keepers – Tim Ludeman, Sam Harper and Jimmy Peirson. Ludeman has been warming the bench for Renegades after a run of low scores. Jimmy Peirson has been in decent form but is batting too low down in the batting order to make a big impact in Fantasy contests.
On the other hand, Sam Harper has been the highest run-scorer for Renegades this season while batting in the top order.
As discussed above, Brisbane has the most batting friendly track in the Big Bash history. Like any other ground that works in favour of the batsmen in T20 cricket, Gabba has also seen a majority of the runs coming from the top 3 batsmen in the order.
Notably, the number 3 strikes at a rate of 150 runs per 100 balls. Chris Lynn has a major part to play in that figure as he has a strike rate of 184 while batting at 3 in Gabba. Overall, he can be touted as the undisputed king of the Gabba with 907 runs to his name in 24 innings at the stadium, a strike rate of approximately 175 to complement a batting average of 45.35.
Brendon McCullum, who struck form in the previous game scoring a blistering fifty and Max Bryant are other two batting options from Heat. When you can get Bryant at just 8 credits, McCullum will exhaust 9.5 out of your quota.
Burns and Alex Ross have been named in the 13-man squad for the game. One of them would definitely replace Marnus Labuschange but one of them may or may not have to stay on the bench, depending on what is Heat’s mindset after Renshaw’s duck in the previous game.
From Renegades, Finch has gone back for the national duty but Marcus Harris is expected to walk into the side as to accompany Mackenzie Harvey. Both of them can be great picks keeping Tom Cooper’s indifferent form in mind. Also, it won’t be a bad idea not to pick any of Renegades’ pure batsmen considering that three of their top scoring batsmen are available in the wicket-keeper and the all-rounder department.
Picking all-rounders from this game is a no-brainer. You have to exhaust your quota of all-rounders for this game as you cannot miss out on any of Nabi, Christian or Cutting. All three of them have played a pivotal role in the games won by their respective side. Also, all of them bat at the positions which have proved to be fruitful for stroke-making on this ground.
Both Nabi and Christian have accumulated almost one-third of Renegades’s total runs this season as yet.
While picking all-rounders is an easy decision, making a decision on the bowlers can be one tough nut to crack for this game, especially given the fact that Gabba has hosted just one game so far in this BBL season.
The stats reveal that pacers are bound to take more wickets than the spinners at the Gabba. The fast bowlers, with their pace, travel more distance but also possess a better chance to take wickets, with a strike rate of 19.0 in comparison to 24.8 to that of the slower bowlers.
Kane Richardson is a must pick being miles ahead of any other bowler in the game when it comes to effecting wickets. It is tough to separate Usman Shinwari, James Pattinson and Jack Wildermuth except for their strike rate this season. All three of them have bowled impressively but Pattinson’s superior strike rate along with a reasonably good average and economy rate statistically makes him a better pick over the other two.
Among the spinners, the Chinaman are the clear winners. None of the two sides has that luxury but going to the next best thing, the leg spinners, both teams are expected to field one tomorrow in Cameron Boyce and Mitchell Swepson. Swepson has been largely ineffective this season leaking runs at 9.16 for only 2 wickets in four games.
|Mujeeb Ur Rahman||5||4||5.89||27.7|
Mujeeb has also failed to force himself into the wicket’s column as much as he would have liked, though he has been far more economical than Swepson. Renegades have struggled to dominate spin this season but have fared well against the off-spinners which don’t make the case for picking Mujeeb despite his quality as a spinner. Also, letting him go can open the doors for Brendon Mccullum in your XI.
|Bowling Technique||Economy||Average||Balls per Dismissal|
Captain and Vice-Captain: Chris Lynn and Kane Richardson
Chris Lynn’s dominance at the ground doesn’t give you much choice other than making him the captain of your side. Richardson, Cutting, Nabi and Christian, all of them make a very decent option for the vice-captaincy role.