The Australian T20 tournament, KFC Big Bash League is into its 8th season following its inception in 2011. The 2 month event has always attracted interest from all over the world and has seen the rise of some young talents.
Out of the 8 teams that take part in the tournament, Perth Scorchers have been the most successful side, winning the title thrice. The other four teams which have won the title are the Adelaide Strikers, Sydney Sixers, Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder. The current champions are the Adelaide Strikers.
But one knows that with the start of a fresh season, previous victories count for little and every team starts once again from square one. The kind of performances they portray in each game will eventually determine how they will fare in the tournament.
With the 2018/19 season of the Big Bash League approaching the halfway mark, we analyze how each team has fared so far in the tournament and predict how far they will go on in the remainder of the season.
(Photo Credits: Sportskeeda)
As said earlier, the side from Western Australia has been the most successful side in the history of the competition winning the title thrice. So much so that at the beginning of the tournament, they were +450 to emerge as the eventual winners. Their squad for the season consists of star players like Michael Klinger, who also happens to be the highest run scorer in the history of the tournament.
The bowling department consists of some of the current Australian national team pacers such as Andrew Tye and Nathan Coulter-Nile, along with foreign recruit David Willey.
But as we’ve seen time and again in cricket, having star names at their disposal doesn’t always ensure success on the field.
The team has failed big time this season and sit in the last place, having won just one of their 6 matches played so far. Their batting hasn’t lived up to expectations with Ashton Turner often playing a lone hand.
Also, failing to field a spinner in the starting eleven and an over dependence on pacers has come back to haunt them.
The team’s hopes of qualifying for the knockouts are almost extinguished with the side needing consecutive wins from here to stay in contention.
Expected Finish: 8th.
Having played 7 games, the Sixers currently sit in the 2nd place with 4 wins. But most of their wins have come via contribution from the bowlers. Except a very few, none of the other batters have got going and it has been their bowlers who have come to bail them out each time.
Daniel Hughes and Jordan Silk have done the bulk of the scoring for the Sixers with the latter often stabilizing the innings after the fall of quick wickets at the top. But Sixers wouldn’t be where they are if not for their bowlers.
Steve O’Keefe stands alone as this season’s highest wicket taker with 13. Pacers Tom Curran and Sean Abbott also keenly follow him with 11 and 10 wickets respectively. In fact if you’re into today’s cricket predictions, you’d be interested to know that Curran was even placed by oddsmaker at +2000 to be league’s leading wicket taker at the beginning of the season.
The team’s chances of qualifying for the semi finals will solely depend on how their batters fair in the second half of the tournament, however.
From their current position they’ll look to squeeze through to the knockouts hoping that some results go their way.
Expected Finish: Semi Finals.
Even while the table sees the Thunders one win short of their neighbors, they have been the far better side to watch in the tournament. With an explosive opening pair of Watson and Buttler, with the latter also being the tournament current leading run scorer, they have been the collective bowlers’ nightmare.
Thunders made a bold move in recruiting Joe Root. But his recruitment hasn’t paid off so far. The credit for their wins will solely belong to Daniel Sams, whose all round performance has earned thousands of fans across the country. His 11 wickets along with Fawad Ahmed’s 9 has been one of the key factors for the side’s success.
While they look promising, their chances of qualifying looks a bit bleak with their counterparts above them showing a bit more of consistency.
But if their overseas recruits along with Watson really get going, we might be in for a treat.
Expected Finish: 5th.
The Stars once again are the firm favorites to make it to the knockout stages. Having played just 5 games, they’ve managed to win three out of those.
Their performances can be credited to their Nepalese spinner Sandeep Lamichhane who has picked up 8 wickets so far. Promotion of Stoinis to open the innings has also paid off really well and with Maxwell starting to get into his groove, the team is expected to comfortably make it to the knockouts.
Expected Finish: Semi finalists.
Melbourne Renegades currently find themselves in 5th place having won 3 of their matches. But it looks very difficult for them to book a semi final berth after having to depend heavily on their bowlers, especially Kane Richardson.
Their batsmen have failed to live up to the expectations and they have been severely affected by Finch’s absence early on. But even though Finch has returned to the squad, they’ll have their task cut out if they are to make it to the last four.
Expected Finish: 6th.
Chris Lynn might be in the top 3 scorers for this season with a blazing strike rate and most sixes. But just like the RCB of IPL, the team’s performance has always lacked consistency and they have eventually fallen short.
Apart from Brendon McCullum and Lynn, none have stepped up to the occasion, contributing to the team’s downfall. A par for course display is expected from them this time too with only a few expecting them to qualify.
At the beginning of the tournament, Heat were +500 to win the league, but right now they are at +2800.
Expected Finish: 7th.
The Strikers are one of the firm favorites to replicate their last season’s success and retain the title. Starting from their opening combination of Alex Carey and Jake Weatherald to their bowling led by Rashid Khan, who bamboozles opponents, they have an all round squad at their disposal.
With Rashid Khan doing what he is always expected to do, reflected by the pre-tournament odds of +900 to be league’s leading wicket and with a steady middle order of Jonathan Wells and Colin Ingram to follow the openers, the Strikers are the team to beat.
Also the latter stages of the tournament sees the return of Travis Head to bolster their chances of retaining the title.
Expected Finish: Winners.
Hobart will look to go one step further from last season’s final loss after they top the table at this stage. After playing 6 games, they have lost only 1 with their openers Short and Wade doing the bulk of the scoring.
They have also been well complemented by Ben McDermott and captain Bailey who follow them in the batting order. Their only weak link looks to be the bowling, having often leaked runs at will.
But with the batting power at their disposal, Hobart looks like the team that would be ready to chase any target put before them.
Expected finish: Finalists.