Big Bash 2016/17 - Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers Season Preview and Prediction

Big Bash 2016/17 - Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers Season Preview and Prediction


2015/16 - 1st Regular Season (Knocked out Semi Finals) 

Overall Win/Loss - 17 wins, 17 losses, 50% Win Ratio 

Titles - 0 

History - The Strikers have finished first in the group stages in each of the last two seasons, however have failed to break through for a maiden title. The Strikers were dominant during the regular season, however have been belted in consecutive seasons in home semi finals against the Sydney Sixes and Sydney Thunder. The Strikers have been one of the most supported sides in the Big Bash, with a fanatical fan base at the cauldron which is the redeveloped Adelaide Oval. Despite the bitter disappointment of not being able to lift for the big matches in the past two seasons, the Strikers have come a long way. During their first three seasons, they missed the finals on all occasions finishing 6th, 5th and 7th between 2011/12 to 2013/14. 

Squad - Brad Hodge (c), Wes Agar, Alex Carey, Jonathon Dean, Ben Dunk, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Chris Jordan, Ben Laughlin, Jake Lehmann, Tim Ludeman, Michael Neser, Kieron Pollard, Kane Richardson, Craig Simmons, Kelvin Smith, Billy Stanlake, Jake Weatherald

Imports - Keiron Pollard and Chris Jordan. The Strikers are the only side to replace both their imports over the off-season. Veteran Sri Lankan batsman, Mahela Jayawardene, was not retained, while star English spinning all rounder Adil Rashid is unavailable through International duty. The Strikers welcome back one of their previous imports in explosive West Indian all rounder Keiron Pollard. Pollard is a brutal T20 player with over 6000 runs in the format at the giddy strike rate of 152. He also is a canny medium pacer with over 200 wickets. With their other import slot the Strikers decided to sign big Englishman Chris Jordan in a bowling all rounder's spot. Jordan is an explosive athlete capable of bowling at high pace and hitting the ball over the fence. The signing looks a gamble on face value, with Jordan not exactly having great T20 numbers to back up his potential.

Verdict - I don't know about Adelaide this year.  I think in Craig Simmonds and Brad Hodge they have a couple of players who might have gone on a season too long. The loss of Rashid is a big one as he was a spinner who could really take game changing wickets and bowl with good economy. A lot relies on Pollard as I can't see Chris Jordan cutting the mustard. Adelaide always play tough and disciplined T20 cricket and will be hard to beat in front of their Coliseum at home, however, for me, this is the year they  fall off the perch. 

THE LURKER - 6th - "People in Adelaide are dead set kidding themselves following this team around. Mind you they go to an opening of an envelope over there. You can't even put notes in an engine, I'm never going there again. These blokes don't offer much at all besides a bit of K Pollard bant in the field. Bowling looks ok but batting looks like pensioners and has beens. Will jag a few wins in front of their home fans, but these blokes are paddlers. Couldn't run of sight on a dark night" 


2015/16 - 3rd (5 Wins, 4 Losses) 

Overall Win/Loss - 27 Wins, 14 Losses, 65 % 

Titles - 2 

History - The Scorchers are by far and away the most successful Big Bash franchise with two titles and four Grand Final's appearances from their five seasons. The Scorchers have been a remarkably consistent and winning franchise, making the finals in all five seasons, and their run of four straight Grand Final appearances was only ended last season when they lost to the Melbourne Stars in the semi finals. The Scorchers have never finished below third in each of the Group stages, winning five games every season. Ironically, they lost their first two Grand Finals, both at home, to the Sixes and Heat in 2011/12 and 2012/13. Finally, they broke through in front of their home fans in 2013/14, beating the Hurricanes in the final. The Scorchers then made it back-to-back titles in 2013/14, with a dramatic last ball victory over the Sixes in the final at Manuka Oval. 

Squad - Adam Voges (c), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Ian Bell, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Klinger, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, James Muirhead, Joel Paris, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman, David Willey

Imports - Ian Bell and David Willey. The Scorchers have made a change this summer replacing Michael Carberry with fellow Englishman Ian Bell. Bell has a moderate T20 record, averaging 28 with a strike rate of 121. However he is undoubtedly a world class player, and brings a wealth of experience to the Scorcher's line up. At his best, Bell is a delightful player to watch, and is more a classic stroke player than a brutal hitter. The Scorchers retain the services of English fast bowler David Willey for a second year running. David Willey is a hard hitting all rounder who provided value for last year's team that qualified for the semi finals. Tilley averages 22 with the bat at a strike rate of 140, however it's his bowling which will hold the key for the Scorchers. 

Verdict - This is probably a silly move, but I am saying the Scorchers miss the finals for the first time in their history. Brad Hogg might be 45, however he remains one of the premier T20 bowlers in the world, and I think Perth will miss his presence. I don't like their batting, especially considering Shaun Marsh in under an injury cloud, and Mitchell Marsh is likely to miss games because of Australian duty. This side has built a real fortress at the WACA over the years, and at 65% win ratio they are the most successful side in BBL history. I just don't think they have the quality this year, but I could be very wrong on this one. 

THE LURKER - 2nd - "Perth, now thats a proper city unlike Adelaide. Some good circuit venues over in the West. No wonder they have a decent side. Every year these blokes rock up and make the finals without raising a sweat. Blokes like Mitch Marsh do it half cut. Great fire power with the bat and ball, near unstoppable at home when on a roll. Get around them."