Tonight the nation's favourite summer sport begins - the A-league! No, I’m just kidding the A-League still blows, it’s the Big Bash! Where NRL and AFL fans unite, to become somewhat friendly for two months! The guys at GameDay Squad are no exception to the cricket excitement currently sweeping the country so we decided to come together and make some predictions ahead of what promises to be another enthralling instalment of the BBL. Who will lead the competition in scoring, who will be the leagues most prolific all-rounder and who will win it all this season? Continue reading to find out.
Q1. Fellas, last season we saw Sydney Thunders own Alex Hales lead the competition in most runs scored with 543, who is going to make this most in BBL11?
Dos: T20 world cup hero Matty Wade has a point to prove after his recent ashes squad snubbing. Wade is in some serious form and confidence and will have plenty of fans cheering him on in the stands. Don't leave this man out of your fantasy squad.
Kerm: Smokey alert off rip here. He's another Hobart Hurricane and his name is Ben McDermott. With a high score of 114 off just 52 way back in BBL06 we know how devastating he can be at the crease but the general cricket public has been waiting and waiting for McDermott to kick on and take his game to another level. I think we see it this season. He'll be a key piece for - dare I say - the best opening trio in the league, McDermott will be a class above.
Q2. Sean Abbot is set to become the BBL's all team-leading wicket-taker, does he lead the league in wickets this season or will someone else outdo him?
Dos: T20 world cup hero #2, Zampa was freakishly consistent in the Aussies' recent campaign. This man not only takes wickets but does it without going for many runs. Zamps has stepped his game up to another level and I can't wait to see what he brings to the BBL this season.
Kerm: Internation cricket pressure is off James Pattinson and I can see him absolutely ripping through the BBL this season. He'll have a great paring with Kane Richardson when he's available and also throw in T20 international veteran Mohammad Nabi. He's only had 25 innings in his BBL career but in that time he's got 32 wickets and a very respectable T20 economy of 8.42. He's set up for a big one.
Q3. The BBL attracts some of the best all-rounders in the world, who will be the best performing all-rounder in BBL11?
Dos: T20 world cup hero #3, maybe recency bias is playing a role in my selections? Regardless - I can't look past Mitch marsh as a great pick for an all-rounder position. His batting is obviously his biggest strength, but I think the confidence he will take from his world cup performance will only improve his bowling. Australia has fallen back in love with Mitch Marsh, and he will want to get the hashtag '#givemarshago' trending for the boxing day test. Kerm: I feel like it's almost a prerequisite to be an all-rounder for the majority in the BBL. In saying that though, I'm going to back Marcus Stoinis to have a big, big year. Hopes are high in the Melbourne Stars camp... again. And if they're to reach the pinnacle, Stonis will have to play a major part. He averaged 33 runs with the bat last year and should receive a lot more of the ball this coming season.
Q4. And finally, the Sydney Sixers are on a hot streak right now, winning two seasons in a row now. Can they make it a three-peat or will we crown a new winner?
Dos: Melbourne stars - This year is their year. Maxwell, Stoinis, Zampa. This trio are T20 legends and are full of confidence. Maxwell had a quiet world cup but I think that makes him even more dangerous coming into this BBL season. New inclusion burns could have plenty to offer with a fresh start at the stars. Years of crushing disappointment will come to an end this season because the Stars are aligning for 2022. Kerm: As mentioned above the Hobart Hurricanes have the most destructive opening trio in the league with Darcy Short, Matthew Wade and Ben McDermott and that is precisely why I'm picking them to win it all this season. They also have veteran swing machine Scott Boland and one of the best up and coming bowling talents in the country Riley Meredith to go with it. A pretty good recipe for the big trophy when it's all said and done if you ask me.
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