GameDay Squad AUS Cricket Knockout Round Preview: The Perth Scorchers take on the Adelaide Strikers in the Knockout match of BBL13 in Perth at OPTUS Stadium on Saturday the 20th of January.
Here's everything you need to know ....
Perth Scorchers: 1. Steve Eskinazi / Marcus Harris, 2. Sam Whiteman, 3. Aaron Hardie, 4. Josh Inglis, 5. Nick Hobson, 6. Cooper Connolly, 7. Sam Fanning, 8. Ashton Agar, 9. Andrew Tye, 10. Lance Morris, 11. Jason Behrendorff
Adelaide Strikers: 1. Matt Short, 2. D'Arcy Short, 3. Jake Weatherald, 4. Thomas Kelly, 5. Henry Hunt, 6. Harry Nielsen, 7. James Bazley, 8. Henry Thornton, 9. David Payne, 10. Cameron Boyce, 11. Lloyd Pope
Start Vs Sit
Batters - Steve Eskinazi vs Nick Hobson / Thomas Kelly
With a number of players heading to other T20 tournaments, we don't have some of the in form batsmen in AUS Cricket available. Eskinazi is questionable for this match as he picked up a finger injury against the Sixers. As many of the batsmen that are predicted to start have had limited opportunities with the bat in BBL13, I'm leaning towards starting Eskenazi as he has more experience at this level and offers a higher ceiling being an opener. If he doesn't play it's a coin flip of who to start between Hobson and Kelly. I'm expecting them both to spend time at the crease and when they have had the opportunity this season, Hobson has averaged 32 points and Kelly has averaged 29 points. I'm leaning towards Kelly out of these two as I think he will be batting higher up the order for the Strikers than what Hobson will do for the Scorchers. However, it really depends on the make-up of both teams at the toss. If it looks like Hobson might bat at five or six and the Scorchers bat first, I might pivot and start him.
Start: Steve Eskinazi
All-rounder - Ashton Agar vs James Bazley
I have Agar ranked 4th and Bazley 5th in my all-rounder rankings for this match. With Overton no longer available for the Strikers, Bazley is the logical player to take his place. Bazley has an average of 17 points over his five matches and is ranked 31st in the AUS Cricket all-rounder rankings. I have Agar projected to score ten more points than Bazley in this match and I'll be starting him. Spinners haven't had a lot of success in Perth but as Agar has played a lot of cricket here, I think he has a better chance of taking wickets than Bazley does.
Start: Ashton Agar
Bowler - Jason Behrendorff vs Henry Thornton
Both players have had their moments in BBL13 and Behrendorff has shown that he has a very high ceiling. However, in two matches against the Strikers he has only averaged 19 points. In the two matches against the Scorchers, Thornton has performed well and averaged 44 points across these matches. In the bowler ranks for AUS Cricket, Behrendorff is ranked 3rd with an average of 53 points and Thornton is ranked 23rd with an average of 30 points. Behrendorff has ranked as one of the top three bowlers in a match in four of his eight matches. Thornton has ranked as one of the top three bowlers in a match in two of his five matches. Looking at these averages the decision on who to start should be an easy one but Thornton showed that he can really trouble batsmen on the OPTUS Stadium pitch. I'm leaning towards Behrendorff but there isn't much in it. However, I think Thornton could be a really good POD option if the Strikers bowl first.
Start: Jason Behrendorff
Spin bowlers have struggled to score against both teams
Middle and lower order batsmen have had success against the Strikers
Opening batsmen have had success against the Scorchers
Avoid starting spin bowlers
Lower order batsmen have been able to score well here
Pace bowlers have scored well here in the first innings
Lance Morris will be the top scoring player and take 3+ wickets.
Who to play in your GDS starting XI
BAT - Jake Weatherald
BAT - Cooper Connolly
BAT - Stephen Eskinazi*
ALL - Matthew Short
ALL - Aaron Hardie
ALL - D'Arcy Short
ALL - Ashton Agar
WK - Josh Inglis
BWL - Lance Morris
BWL - Andrew Tye
BWL - Jason Behrendorff
* Keep and eye on Stephen Eskinazi's availability status after he retired hurt in Perth's most recent game.