BBL07 – JLT Takeaway

Updated: November 2, 2017

The players to watch in BBL 07 – All-Rounder Special

How good is it to have the cricket back! After a fantasy vacuum following the end of the footy season it’s great to get back on the horse and start uncovering the potential gems for this year’s Big Bash.

The JLT domestic one day series has just wrapped up and given us a fantastic insight into who is already in form this summer. Just like in BBL 06 the WA team got the chocolates, with the Marsh brothers and Michael Klinger dominating with the bat and Jhye Richardson leading the wicket tally with 13 at 27.38. However as those who have played BBL Fantasy & Supercoach before would know, as much as the specialist batsmen and bowlers are important, it is the very competitive all rounder position that is the key to success.

We’ve looked at the top performers from the JLT cup teams who will be available in the all rounder category this year, and who you should consider to give you the edge from round 1.

Cricket Australia XI – Beau Webster

Whilst they may have finished in last place, the Cricket Australia XI were much more competitive this year and gave a great insight into the next gen of Australian cricketers.

Their skipper this year was Beau Webster who some may remember from the Hobart Hurricanes in BBL 06. Whilst he had a modest campaign last year, the lanky right hander has come a long way and developed strongly over the off season.

He started off the campaign with a cracking 121 and looked comfortable in the middle throughout the tournament, finishing with another 50+ score against WA in the final match.

Webster also is handy with the ball with his off break bowling so it will be interesting to see how high in the order he will feature for the Canes, and how many over’s he receives. With the plethora of bowling options in the JLT squad he didn’t call upon himself too often but he was tidy enough when he did.

His price this year will be the sticking point for coaches as there are certainly more proven candidates, however he is certainly one to watch early on.

Tasmania – James Faulkner

One of the most well know all-rounders in Australian short form cricket, it’s hard to believe that James Faulkner is only 28. Running out again for the Melbourne Stars in BBL07, he will be keen to eclipse John Hastings as the leading wicket-taker for the outfit, needing only 2 more scalps.

His JLT campaign was mixed, he picked up 5 wickets in 4 games but his economy struggled throughout. With the bat he had limited opportunity, however his destructive 34 not out off 19 balls against South Australia reminded us all of what he is capable of. Faulkner’s problem is that so many short format bowlers have now tried to emulate his slower balls, and he is becoming easier to pick for batters to put over the rope. Given that he will likely start BBL07 at an awkward price, his recent bowling figures along with the fact that he will likely bat at 6 or lower, means that in my opinion there is much better value found elsewhere.

Queensland – Ben Cutting – Michael Neser

From the Queensland stocks, Ben Cutting continued to do what Ben Cutting does, smashing one of the largest 6’s I have ever seen in their match against Tasmania. He is a safe option who bowls at the death for the Brisbane Heat and is also called upon to be their pinch hitter. In the JLT he picked up 7 wickets across the 6 matches and averaged 20.25 with the bat. You could do worse than to start him in your team, however he will be fairly common due to his pedigree.

The smokey from Queensland however could be Michael Neser. Traditionally more known for his fast bowling, Neser scored one of the most impressive list A tonnes I have witnessed with an outstanding 122 against WA off of only 81 balls.

What will be crucial is where he will feature in an Adelaide Strikers outfit that last year batted very deep. Should he feature at 7 or higher, he is certainly worth a look, because unlike a number of BBL all-rounders his bowling is very economical. This was in full display in his man of the match winning spell against Tasmania in which he finished with 2/27 off 10 overs (with 3 maidens!).

NSW – Sean Abbott, Nic Maddinson

Sean Abbott continued his hot form from last summer picking up 12 wickets throughout the series. He is pretty close to a must have and was one of the leading fantasy scorers again in BBL06. Although he didn’t get much of a chance with the bat in the JLT he looks as fit as ever, and his ability to pick up wickets at the death for both NSW and the Sydney sixers is consistently impressive.

Nic Maddinson also had a JLT cup to remember with 398 runs over his 6 appearances for the Blues at an average of 66.3; including two huge centuries. Many however have already put Maddinson in the ‘never again’ pile, after an underwhelming BBL06 campaign.

The clincher for potential owners will be whether he is classed as a specialist Batsman or all-rounder. This is because he seems to be bowling his left-arm orthodox less and less these days and has the potential to be a bit of a trap if that is the case. This is because one would only get his points for batting, and would not be able to cash in on performances in both innings, which is why the all-rounder is so appealing.

Victoria  – Matt Short

This is a guy who has really piqued my interest over the JLT tournament. Prior to his international representative teammates coming back he was opening the batting and also bowling at least 8 or so overs for the Bushrangers; exactly what you want from an all-rounder!

The tall right hander averaged just over 40 across the tournament whilst also boasting 2 wickets with a very tidy economy from his off spin.

He has everything you want in a fantasy player, he should be rookie price (or close enough) and hopefully will be given plenty of opportunity when he lines up for the Melbourne Renegades this summer. Most importantly he comes with some pedigree despite only being 21 years of age. 

Prior to joining the Victorian team he was Australia’s under-19 World Cup opener and was the vice captain for the Cricket Australia XI in last year’s domestic one-day tournament.

One for the watch list for sure!

South Australia – Cameron Valente, Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper was very impressive throughout the Redbacks JLT campaign. He finished with an average a tick under 50 and picked up 4 wickets. Most importantly these runs came off an unorthodox range of shots and with a high strike rate. Cooper was equal second for the campaign in 6’s hit with 11.

Last year he became very relevant for fantasy teams especially in the latter half of the BBL when he often opened the bowling for the Renegades. The only downside to Cooper is having to listen to the commentators repeat the same story about how he represented the Netherlands in a world cup campaign, every-single-time he is out in the middle.

The other guy who really stood out for the Redbacks in the all-rounder category was Cameron Valente. The right hand medium pacer followed up an remarkable 2016 debut tournament (where he was the leading wicket taker) with 8 wickets. Valente also hit 8 maximums showing his big hitting capability. Despite featuring lower down the order the 23 year old still notched up a classy tonne against the CA XI in the opening match.

Whether Valente gets much game-time in BBL07 remains to be seen. Last year, he was only brought in to the Scorchers squad as an injury replacement for Jason Behrendorff. However, the form of the WA squad means that many are being drafted into the Australian sides, and hopefully this means more opportunity for Valente.

WA – Mitchell Marsh, D’Arcy Short

Much has been discussed already about Mitchell Marsh in the JLT tournament. He led his team to a title and finished with 338 runs at a ridiculous average of 169. His power hitting was great to watch and he will surely start the year in many a fantasy team. The only issue however is that he isn’t bowling at the moment due to a shoulder injury. For mine, this means he will be overpriced because last year he was a standout with both bat and ball for the Perth Scorchers. Combined with the fact that he is always on the cusp of international selection means he is a wait and see, at least until we see him back bowling.

The other standout all-rounder for the Warriors was D’Arcy Short. Many will remember him from BBL06 where he opened for the Hobart Hurricanes, had a top score of 61 and a strike rate well above 150.

Because of the strength of the WA top order we didn’t see too much of him with the bat in hand, however when he was called upon to open for WA against the CAXI he notched a beautiful 119 off of just 92 balls.

A handy leg spinner he also picked up 9 wickets across the tournament and could be a great left field option to start with in your Big Bash team.

Written by Kyle Robson

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