The seventh edition of Australia’s Big Bash League is underway and is bigger than ever with each of the eight teams this year playing ten matches up from eight in previous editions. A total of 43 matches will be played throughout the rest of December, January and early February. Expect it to be another tournament underlined by hard hitting and high scores dominated by the batsmen and less fun for the bowlers.

Overall winner

Last year’s winners Perth Scorchers are favourite at to lift the BBL for the fourth time. They are a very well balanced side with all the bases covered. There’s better value to be had in backing one of the Melbourne teams – the Stars and the Renegades both of whom are also very well balanced with powerful hitters through their top and middle orders. They are and respectively to reach the final and both to lift the trophy.

Top scorers

Veteran top order batsman Michael Klinger (Perth Scorcher) is the tournament’s leading run scorer and shows no signs of losing his powerful hitting abilities. He is to be this season’s top scorer. England opener Jason Roy had a tremendous 2017 with Surrey and is certainly worth a look at to be leading run scorer at . Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum comes into the tournament off the back of successful run in the Bangladesh Premier League and is second favourite to be leading run scorer.

Big Bash League

Team Guide

 

Adelaide Strikers

Led by Travis Head, the Strikers have power hitting well covered through South African Colin Ingram and Jake Lehmann. They finished 6th last season but have made some big changes to their squad bringing in Ingram, experienced seamer Peter Siddle and Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan

Brisbane Heat

Chris Lynn holds the key to Heat’s success, he is favourite to be the tournament’s leading run scorer having had an incredible run of form starting with last season’s BBL. He’ll be backed up by skipper McCullum, Joe Burns and a strong middle order. The Heat look strong in the spin department and may base their tactics on taking the pace off the ball.

Hobart Hurricanes

Finished a disappointing 7th in 16/17 but have recruited well bringing in fast bowler Tymal Mills and all rounder Jofra Archer as well as wicket-keeper Matthew Wade who was left out of Australia’s Ashes squad after a disappointing start to the Australian domestic season but who will have a point to prove.

Melbourne Renegades

Captained by Aaron Finch who, when in form, can win games single handedly, the Renegades have a well balanced side. They’ve brought in veteran spinner Brad Hogg who even at the ripe old age of 47 can still turn it on.  Overseas players Dwayne Bravo and Mohammed Nabi bring a lot of experience with them.

Perth Scorchers

Captained by veteran batsman Adam Voges, the Scorchers are looking to retain their title and will be well served by Michael Klinger although have been hit by three of their key men – Bancroft, Mitchell and Shaun Marsh – all being on Test duty. Yorkshire’s David Willey is their overseas all-rounder and should enjoy the Australian pitches.

Sydney Sixers

Captained by Moises Henriques, the Sixers were last year’s runners up and have all bases covered through the mix of youth and experience. Their overseas stars are both English – Sam Billings and Jason Roy – both of whom will enjoy the pace of the ball coming onto the bat. With the ball Sean Abbott was last year’s highest wicket taker in the competition.

Sydney Thunder

Finished last in the 16/17 season and although have brought in Jos Buttler – he is only available for the first six matches before going off on England duty. There will be a lot riding on the form of the captain Shane Watson. Kiwi Mitchell McClenaghan is a strong addition to their seam bowling stocks.

Melbourne Stars

Kevin Pietersen is the Stars’ big star. His wealth of T20 experience will be key to the Stars campaign. There are rumours this may be his last BBL and Kevin being Kevin, he’ll want to go out making a statement

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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