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Best Big Bash Players for Every Team This Season (2020/21)
Every year, the Big Bash League attracts many of the world’s best T20 stars. Thankfully for Australian cricket fans, the 2020/21 season is no exception.
BBL 10 gets underway on Thursday, December 10. Alongside the countless homegrown stars, there will also be a host of overseas imports hoping to guide their team in glory this year.
Join me as I take a look at the best Big Bash players for every team this season.
Captained by Travis Head, the Strikers will be confident of challenging for the title this season. Matt Renshaw and Daniel Worral have recently joined the club, along with English duo Phil Salt and Danny Briggs.
Adelaide supporters will be extremely pleased to see Rashid Khan back in South Australia for another season. The Afghan leg-spinner took 19 wickets last term, with only five players claiming more.
Not only is the 22-year-old the number one-ranked T20 bowler in the world, he is also pretty handy with the bat. With a top scorer of 40 last season, Khan looks set to enjoy another successful campaign in Australia.
Jonathan Wells and Jake Weatherald may have scored more runs for the Strikers last season, but Alex Carey’s average of 35.54 made him one of Adelaide’s most consistent performers in the previous campaign.
The experienced wicket-keeper batsman brings bags of versatility to the Strikers’ team. He has also become a regular in Australia’s T20 side in recent times.
You can’t talk about Adelaide’s top players without mentioning Peter Siddle. The seasoned bowler recently turned 36, but he still has so much to offer.
Of course, with the matches coming thick and fast, coach Jason Gillespie will need to manage the veteran right-armer. But I’m backing Siddle to be a star for the Strikers in the upcoming campaign.
We all know that Chris Lynn the top run scorer in BBL history, while South African bowler Morne Morkel brings invaluable experience to the Heat. But I have chosen to focus on three of Brisbane’s younger stars.
Now an important part of the Australian national team, Marnus Labuschagne will be hoping to carry his international form onto the T20 stage.
The 26-year-old was his country’s leading Test run scorer last year and has recently picked up a host of accolades. Having been named as the Emerging Cricketer of the Year by the ICC, Labuschagne could fire the Heat to glory this season.
Tom Banton returns to Queensland for a second season, hoping to build on the foundations he set last term. The young Englishman has continued to enhance his glowing reputation throughout 2020.
After smashing an eye-catching 71 against Pakistan back in August, the plucky batsman teamed up with Kolkata Knight Riders. With a season of IPL experience under his belt, Banton will be keen to show the Brisbane fans what he is capable of.
Mujeeb ur Rahman
Afghanistan seems to be churning out countless cricketing prodigies at the moment, and it looks like Mujeeb ur Rahman is the next youngster off the seemingly never-ending conveyor belt.
When he was just 16, he became the youngest player to claim a five-wicket haul in an ODI. The teenager doesn’t turn 20 until March, but I can see him lighting up the BBL in the coming months.
Aussie trio Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, and Peter Handscomb provide the Hobart squad with a solid base, but there are a number of new arrivals that look set to shine in Tasmania this season.
It is no secret that Dawid Malan has enjoyed a phenomenal year. Indeed, the veteran’s stellar performances for England have seen him climb to the summit of the world T20 batting rankings.
The Hurricanes have never won the Big Bash, but with Malan joining the team, they stand an excellent chance of going all the way this time around.
West Indies T20 Player of the Year for 2019, Keemo Paul is an exciting new addition to Hobart’s squad. He could be the class all-rounder that the Hurricanes have been missing in recent seasons.
The Guyana-born star is best known for his batting, although he also offers the Hurricanes’ blowing line-up a different dimension.
Nepalese cricket is on the up, with Sandeep Lamichhane at the forefront of his nation’s rise. The spinner helped the Stars to reach the BBL final in the previous two years, and he will now be hoping to make a similar impact with Hobart.
With D’Arcy Short and Mac Wright only part-time options, Lamichhane looks set to be the Hurricanes’ frontline spinner this season. Keep an eye out for this promising youngster.
Shaun Marsh will captain the Renegades in BBL 10, with Afghan duo Noor Ahmad and Mohammad Nabi likely to play starring roles. There have also been plenty of offseason changes at the club.
Will Imran Tahir ever retire!?
The Pakistani-born South African spinner has been tormenting opposition batsmen for the best part of two decades now, yet it doesn’t look like he will be stopping anytime soon.
The 41-year-old may have called it a day on the international scene, but he is still a deadly T20 bowler. The Renegades endured a dismal 2019/20 campaign, finishing bottom of the table. Tahir may be able to change their fortunes.
Due to international commitments, Aaron Finch only played nine matches last season. But when he was available for selection, the hard-hitting batsman didn’t disappoint.
The Australia ODI and T20 captain averaged 45.37 in the previous campaign, smashing a breathtaking 109 against the Sixers. If he can replicate that innings on a regular basis, the Renegades will surely go deep into the tournament.
Much like Finch, James Pattinson missed a number of matches last term. In fact, the paceman only featured on six occasions for the Heat, yet he still managed to post memorable figures of 5/33 against the Strikers.
I’m expecting the Renegades to use Pattinson far more frequently than Brisbane, so I can see the former Aussie international enjoying a campaign to remember.
The Stars are looking seriously strong heading in BBL 10. Glenn Maxwell, Nic Maddinson, Adam Zampa, and Nathan Coulter-Nile are just a few names to look out for. I take a closer look at three key players below.
Unsurprisingly, Marcus Stoinis was named Player of the Series last season. Not only did the powerful batsman smash the highest score of the competition (147*), he also finished the campaign with the most runs (705).
There is no denying that Stoinis was the standout player in BBL 9, and after ending up with an average of 54.23 last year, it’s difficult to imagine him not taking the tournament by storm again.
If you thought the Stars’ batting line-up couldn’t possibly get any stronger, think again.
England opener Jonny Bairstow is widely regarded as one of the best T20 batsmen on the planet. The 31-year-old has shone in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad over the past couple of years, and he will now bless the Big Bash with talents.
Bairstow is well known for his friendly rivalry with Australian cricket fans, but I’m sure there will be no animosity when he pulls on the green jersey.
I feel that Nicholas Pooran could be a very important player for the Stars this season. After all, the big-hitting West Indian has gained a reputation as one of the most explosive T20 batsmen in the game.
The left-hander gives coach David Hussey another interesting option. With Stoinis, Bairstow, Maxwell, and Maddinson also at the club, the Stars arguably boast the strongest batting line-up in the competition.
Three-time winners and five-time finalists Perth Scorchers head into the new campaign on the back of a couple of poor seasons. However, the Western Australia outfit has made a number of high-profile acquisitions for BBL 10.
Jason Roy has to be one of the signings of the offseason. I don’t think anyone can argue with that. The lethal batsman has followed fellow England opener Bairstow to Australia, hoping to guide Perth back to the glory days.
The 30-year-old played a pivotal role in England’s 2019 World Cup triumph and was rewarded for his efforts with a place in the Team of the Tournament. I can’t wait to see Roy smash BBL bowlers around in the coming months.
Colin Munro also starred at last year’s World Cup, guiding New Zealand all the way to the final. The batsman further strengthens Perth’s top order, with Cameron Bancroft also at Perth this season.
The South African-born Kiwi represented the Sixers during the 2016/17 campaign, and after a couple of years in the IPL, Munro will be eager to reestablish himself on Australian shores.
All-rounders are vital in T20 cricket. Thankfully for the Scorchers, they possess one of the best in the business. Mitchell Marsh has been with Perth right from the start back in 2011/12, and he now captains the side.
Marsh generally caught the eye with a bat in his hands last term. He smashed 382 runs in 14 matches, finishing the previous campaign with an average of 34.72 and a top score of 93*. I’m backing March to have another standout season.
It feels like the Sixers are a bit spoiled for choice, doesn’t it? With club legend Moises Henriques as captain and the likes of Nathan Lyon and James Vince to pick from, the reigning champions will be expected to defend their crown.
Sydney was strong enough last term, but the addition of Carlos Brathwaite has made the team even stronger this time around. The West Indian powerhouse is among the hottest all-rounders in world cricket right now. If he hits the ground running, the Sixers will be difficult to stop.
Brathwaite previously played for cross-city rivals the Thunder, but he will be donning the famous magenta this season.
Alongside Brathwaite, Tom Curran will feature in a tasty lower-middle order for the Sixers in BBL 10. The England international was the joint-second highest wicket taker in the competition last term, claiming 22 wickets in 14 matches.
Curran is renowned for taking wickets at the death, making him one of the most feared bowlers in the T20 game. Don’t be surprised if he emulates his best figures (4/22) from last season in the upcoming campaign.
Mitchell Starc has shone for Australia in every format over the past decade, and although he probably plays his best cricket at Test level, he is undoubtedly one of the top bowlers in this year’s tournament.
The Sixers will be hoping that Starc’s international commitments don’t interfere with BBL 10 too much. If the left-arm quick can rack up a decent number of appearances this term, he will almost certainly find himself among the leading wicket takers.
With big-hitter Ben Cutting arriving from Brisbane and Sam Billings bolstering the squad, Sydney Thunder could easily surpass last season’s third-place finish. Captain Callum Ferguson leads the team this year.
Daniel Sams bowled more overs than any other player last season, but that wasn’t the only reason why he claimed the most wickets in BBL 9. The left-arm all-rounder finished the campaign with an impressive average of 15.36 and an economy rate of 7.83, underlining his efficiency with the ball.
Sams took 30 wickets last term, eight more than teammate Chris Morris and the Sixers’ Curran. I’m confident that he will be one of the standout players again this season.
Unfortunately, off-field issues have impacted Alex Hales’ international career in recent years. The England man was dropped by his country in 2019, but he still has the potential to light up the Big Bash.
Hales has represented the Renegades, the Strikers, and the Hurricanes over the years, yet he is back for his second campaign with the Thunder. Having also starred in the IPL, the powerful batsman has proved on numerous occasions that he can singlehandedly win matches.
Usman Khawaja has also found himself out of favor with his international side. The enigmatic batsman hasn’t received an Australia call-up for a while now, meaning he will be able to focus solely on the Thunder over the next few months.
Khawaja was the second-highest run scorer in BBL5. If he can rediscover his best form, he could easily achieve something similar this season.
With teams now allowed to field three overseas players in their starting XI, it feels like the Big Bash has been able to attract more stars than ever before this season.
There will be countless world-class T20 players on displays when BBL 10 gets underway on Thursday, December 10. If you can think of any stars I haven’t mentioned, feel free to share your suggestions in the comments section below.
If you’re planning to wager on the Big Bash this season, make sure you check out our picks section. We will be sharing free betting tips and predictions for every match when the campaign kicks off.