Marsh to dominate, bromance to fall apart — and come back even stronger: BBL predictions
Another Big Bash League season is upon us with the competition’s tenth edition starting on Thursday night when the Hobart Hurricanes play the Sydney Sixers.
Before the season opener, foxsports.com.au spoke to Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Isa Guha and Mark Howard at Fox Cricket’s BBL season launch for their predictions.
From Mitch Marsh topping the run charts, to Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa falling out over a “dodgy coffee” — and then making up, here’s what the experts can see happening in BBL|10.
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WHO WINS THE TITLE, AND WHY?
“Scorchers. I say it every year because I’m from Perth but this year, I legitimately think their squad depth looks to me pretty irresistible. Their batting line up is full of power and they basically, from last year, get two new recruits in the form of Jason Behrendorff and AJ Tye. They’re like two overseas players coming in really. So their squad depth will carry them through.”
“The Scorchers look to be the best side on paper, but if they play the Heat in the final they’ll lose. I just think the Heat are due to get things right and I have had a bit of time with Darren Lehmann and the way they’re going to go about it will be, let’s say, more calculating, not so bull out the gate.”
“Perth Scorchers. They’ve got good overseas (players) and a strong bowling attack with everyone fit.”
“Perth Scorchers tough to beat but, for me, this is the year for the Melbourne Stars, finally. I think with (Marcus) Stoinis, (Adam) Zampa and (Glenn) Maxwell not having to depart for white ball duties I think this is the year for Melbourne Stars. They’ve threatened so many times.”
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“Mitch Marsh. I just think he’s going to have a bumper season. He’ll bat probably at No.4 and he should be available for the whole tournament, I would think. I always think if he can get on a roll he can be as damaging as anyone. I suppose typically the top run-scorers have to be in the top three — that might be the only handbrake for him. But I’ll go with him. He’s just getting more and more comfortable about the type of cricketer he wants to be. He cops a bad wrap publicly. I just think he’s feeling really settled.”
“Jason Roy. He opens the batting so he’s got all the overs to deal with, and he’s a world class player, so if he gets going in the first couple of games his confidence will grow and he’ll be unstoppable.”
“I’m going Chris Lynn. He didn’t have a great season last year, I think he’s coming back with a bang.
“Stoinis. The way he batted last year at the MCG, I think he goes back-to-back (as top run-scorer). He was fantastic in the IPL, people saying he’s made massive strides, so Stoinis for me.”
“Rashid Khan. Just his consistency ... (I’m) still not sure that everyone knows quite how to play him.”
“I’m going to go a smokey ... I’ll go Ashton Agar. My gut is telling me that for some reason, I don’t know why.”
“Jhye Richardson. Big comeback from injury, he’s not going to be involved in any white ball Australia stuff — unless he gets called up for Test cricket — but I just really rate him as a limited overs bowler.”
“I’m loading up on the Melbourne Stars — I think Zampa. I think he’s one of the premiere white ball players in the world. If he’s good enough to beat international players, and he doesn’t miss any time, Zampa.”
TOP YOUNG GUN TO LOOK OUT FOR?
“Jake Fraser-McGurk. He just looks like the new generation; confident, brash from what I’ve seen. I think if he gets his opportunity in front of a decent big crowd and TV audience, sometimes there are players where that just really brings the best out of them, and he looks like he’s got that type of personality.”
“You’d have to say Cameron Green.”
“Fraser-McGurk. If he gets a go, we saw him last year he looked fantastic.”
“That’s the name that came into my head (Fraser-McGurk). We’ll go with him.”
“Junior doesn’t openly barrack for the Thunder on commentary. A huge surprise.”
“The biggest surprise for me is actually the rule changes. I thought it was a pretty good game and then they’ve gone and added three new rules. That surprised me.”
“Is that Zampa and Stoinis will have a tiff and there’ll be trouble in the camp for a couple days but then they’ll kiss and make up. I reckon Zamps will give Stoin a dodgy coffee and it will just upset the balance there for a day or two but they’ll get back as one of the great bromances of Australian cricket.”