2023/24 GameDay Squad AUS Cricket Team Preview: The Scorchers had a fantastic BBL12 and were crowned champions after beating the Heat in the Final. Over the history of the BBL, the Scorchers are the most successful team with five championships. They are also a frequent visitor to the finals and have only missed out twice in twelve seasons. They have played 146 games, won 91, lost 54 and had 1 no result.
This season the Scorchers go into the BBL13 with two new faces, and they are Zak Crawley and Sam Whiteman. We have seen the number of matches in the round robin decrease from fourteen to ten for each team this season. For the Scorchers to reach the finals, I believe the magic number of wins will need to be five. Going by the Scorchers track record in the BBL, I’ll be surprised if they don’t make the finals. They have a very well-balanced team that will be hard to beat in Perth. Like most teams in the BBL, the Scorchers will have some notable omissions throughout BBL13. Mitch Marsh will be the player they will miss the most as he’s likely to be in the Test team and be unavailable for most of BBL13. Even without Marsh, the Scorchers are still a very classy outfit and they will be aiming for their third championship in a row.
The Scorchers open their season against the Renegades at the GMHBA Stadium in Geelong on the 10th of December. Kelly and Agar are racing the clock and may miss the opening match due to injuries. Crawley won’t be available either due to England currently touring the West Indies. If the Scorchers are without all these players, they might find it hard going up against a good Renegades team. It should still be a great match though.
Squad (Averages and position rank for BBL12 included)
Zak Crawley – Batter, Avg 34, Rank 14
Cooper Connolly – Batter, Avg 18, Rank 32
Nick Hobson – Batter, Avg 14, Rank 35
Laurie Evans – Batter (Did not play in BBL12)
Ashton Turner – All-rounder, Avg 35, Rank 14
Mitch Marsh – All-rounder (Did not play in BBL12)
Ashton Agar – All-rounder, Avg 26, Rank 21
Aaron Hardie – All-Rounder, Avg 49, Rank 3
Josh Inglis – Wicketkeeper, Avg 45, Rank 2
Sam Whiteman – Wicketkeeper, Avg 20, Rank 9
Jhye Richardson – Bowler, Avg 67, Rank 1
Jason Behrendorff – Bowler, Avg 46, Rank 8
Matthrew Kelly – Bowler, Avg 42, Rank 14
Hamish McKenzie – Bowler (Did not play in BBL12)
Lance Morris – Bowler, Avg 49, Rank 7
Andrew Tye – Bowler, Avg 50, Rank 4
BBL12 stats from matches played at the OPTUS Stadium.
· Nine games played; Scorchers won eight of them.
· Team winning the toss won two matches.
· Chasing team won seven matches.
· Average first innings score of 158 (lowest 133 / highest 212)
· Batter GDS average 29 points per match
· All-rounder GDS average 40 points per match
· Bowler GDS average 39 points per match
· Wicketkeeper GDS average 26 points per match
· 105 wickets taken by bowlers, 83 to seam and 22 to spin
Player To Watch – Josh Inglis (Wicket-Keeper)
Inglis was the second-best keeper in BBL12 based on his GDS average of 45 points. He averaged 27 runs with the bat and managed to score four fifies. Inglis was the top wicketkeeper in twelve of his sixteen matches. With a lot of good wicket-keeper batsman in BBL13, Inglis might be flying under the radar slightly, but I don’t think he should be after his performances in BBL12. The only thing that goes against him in my opinion is that he comes in at four in the Scorchers batting line up. With Bancroft moving on from the Scorchers, there might be even more opportunities for Inglis to spend time at the crease. If he does have these opportunities, his fantasy production will receive a bump and coaches might find it difficult not to start him in most matches.
Most Valuable Player – Jhye Richardson (Bowler)
Richardson was the best bowler for BBL12 in fantasy terms. He only played seven matches but bowled all four of his overs in every match except for one. He took fifteen wickets in these matches and only had the one match where he failed to take a wicket. Richardson was among the top three bowlers in five of his seven matches. He has now played 62 matches in the BBL and taken a total of 88 wickets. This sits him in 17th place for the most wickets taken in the BBL. Richardson injured his shoulder back in October but did return in late November for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup. I don’t see any reason why he won’t be bowling his full complement of overs if he is deemed fit to play for the Scorchers first match. If you have Richardson in your squad, I would be starting him in every match.
Biggest Bust Candidate - Ashton Turner (All-Rounder)
Turner is a batting all-rounder that usually comes in at five in the Scorchers batting order. In BBL12 he averaged 36 runs with the bat and scored four fifties over the tournament. However, he only bowled 12.2 overs in the entire BBL12. The big question is, can Turner repeat his BBL form with the bat in BBL13. There is no reason why he can’t but I think it’s a big ask for some batting at five to do so. The Scorchers have a very good bowling attack and I think Turner will have limited opportunities to feature with the ball. With GDS having four all-rounder positions to fill for each match, I’ll likely be starting Turner in a few games as he might be one of the best options in the matches he plays. All I’m saying is, I wouldn’t be expecting him to provide an average of 35 points per game as he did in BBL12.
Predicted Starting XI
1. Steve Eskinazi
2. Sam Whiteman
3. Aaron Hardie
4. Josh Inglis
5. Ashton Turner
6. Laurie Evans
7. Cooper Connolly
8. Jhye Richardson
9. Andrew Tye
10. Lance Morris
11. Jason Behrendorff