Despite boasting of star-studded players, Brisbane Heat are stuttering at the second-last position in the points table of the 2018-19 Big Bash League. Their captain Chris Lynn has been a lone warrior in the batting line-up, plundering 179 runs at a swaggering strike rate of 122. The other batters have been ordinary, so much so that the second-highest run-scorer Max Bryant has not even reached three figures.
On the other hand, Sydney Thunder have won three matches and lost as many. Riding on their in-form batter Jos Buttler, they have been smashing the opposition bowlers to pulp.
Let’s list down the players who are likely to accumulate more points in our fantasy team.
My XI: Jos Buttler (c & wk), Shane Watson, Callum Ferguson, Jason Sangha, Chris Lynn, Max Bryant, Daniel Sams, Ben Cutting (vc), Fawad Ahmed, Sam Rainbird, Josh Lalor
Note: Make your fantasy cricket team by knowing the statistics.
Jimmy Peirson has not even amassed one-third of the runs that Buttler has smacked. Buttler, in fact, is the highest run-scorer of the season, with 268 runs at a strike rate of 137. If he goes all guns blazing, we will witness Brisbane Heat staring down the barrel.
Lynn and Bryant are the obvious choices from the Brisbane Heat squad. The other option is the talismanic Brendon McCullum, but he has been struggling to put bat on ball as he has scores of 4, 4, 8, and 14.
After Buttler, the Sydney Thunder batter who has dictated terms to the bowlers is Ferguson. He has two 40-plus scores, playing an instrumental role in the middle-order.
The veteran Watson and the talented Sangha will complete our five-batter strategy. While Watson’s experience and all-round skills come to his team’s rescue, Sangha has a capability of using the long handle to a blasting effect.
In his 26-run innings against Perth Scorchers, Cutting walloped three sixes – one of which was sent into the orbit. He was as effective with the ball, scalping 2 crucial wickets.
Sams has by far been the best all-rounder, scoring 135 runs and bagging 9 wickets in 6 matches. It would be a crime to leave him out of our fantasy team.
Leg-spinner Ahmed has been the cynosure of Sydney Thunder’s bowling. Not only does he take wickets at crucial junctures but also does not let the batters score runs at will.
Given we have opted for high-profile batters and all-rounders, we are left with only 16 points. The better options at this price are pacers Rainbird and Lalor. Both have taken 3 wickets each.
The pitch at Sydney Showground Stadium equally assists batters and bowlers. The batters find it difficult to score if the ball is pitched in the corridor of uncertainty. However, it races to the boundary if over-pitched. Bowlers from both sides will have to be mindful of their line and length.
Sydney Thunder: Jos Buttler (wk), Shane Watson (c), Callum Ferguson, Joe Root, Jason Sangha, Daniel Sams, Chris Green, Gurinder Sandhu, Jonathan Cook, Sam Rainbird, Fawad Ahmed, Nathan McAndrew, Arjun Nair
Brisbane Heat: Max Bryant, Brendon McCullum, Chris Lynn (c), Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns, Jimmy Peirson (k), Ben Cutting, James Pattinson, Brendan Doggett, Josh Lalor, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Swepson