Andrew Weaver’s SuperCoach BBL side
AFTER saying all along I would step away from dependency on dual position deployments, I've done a complete about-face - I'm ALL about the DPP and the ability to switch things up between bowler and batsman positions.
But not only that, I'm also backing in some wicketkeepers to strike it large in the BBL|08 season for my SuperCoach BBL side, with cheapies like Perth Scorchers' Sam Whiteman and former Australian 'keeper Peter Nevill, from Sydney Sixers, set to go big with the bat. When they're only priced at $62,500 a pop, what've you got to lose?
But those boys are only sitting on my bench in the batting and 'keeper columns, as I've plucked Peter Handscomb from the Melbourne Stars as my preferred starter - when he's so generously priced at $77,100 it's hard to justify the outlay on Adelaide Strikers' Alex Carey, who is over $120,000 more expensive at $199,600 and the highest-priced gloveman in the game.
DUAL POSITION SWITCH HITTERS
I'm loading up in this department, with seven players who are listed as both batsman and bowlers in my side - and that doesn't even include three 'keeper-batsmen I'm relying upon to hit out or claim catches to boost their points for later trade-in value.
I simply couldn't look past D'Arcy Short, despite him being the highest-priced player in the game at $258,900. His ability with the bat is undoubted, but all-round showings from last year mean he can also be selected as a bowler, which makes him worth the outlay.
Shane Watson (Sydney Thunder, $166,700) and Usman Qadir (Perth Scorchers, $93,800) are mandatories as it can be reasonably expected that, injury permitting, they'll play nearly all regular season games throughout BBL|08. The sole international selection in my side, at this early stage of selection, is the Perth Scorchers' English DPP David Willey ($194,000), who will be around for much of the front half of the tournament before any international commitments get in the way.
The same should go for Marcus Stoinis (Melbourne Stars, $227,900) and Moises Henriques (Sydney Sixers, $88,000), with the latter dirt cheap given his undoubted ability. Whilst there's a chance that either player may be called up for Test duty, the likelihood is they'll play the majority of the first half of the BBL|08 season before ODI and T20I commitments interrupt the Big Bash season and those 36 trades really come to the fore.
Glenn Maxwell is a must too, as he needs a massive season with the Melbourne Stars to justify his place in both short-form set-ups of the national side. He'll play often and early in the first part of BBL|08, as it's hard to see him forcing his way back into the Test side.
I've gone with one high-priced commitment, one mid-priced player looking to reignite his career, and one cheaper option - Brisbane Heat Bash Brother Chris Lynn ($202,000), Nic Maddinson ($136,700) in his first season with the Melbourne Stars and the experience of Callum Ferguson (Sydney Thunder, at a vastly underpriced $62,500).
Like most, I think it's impossible to look past the $62,500 for James Pattinson, who is now with the Brisbane Heat as he looks to reignite his international career. Young Nepalese wunderkind Sandeep Lamichhane will play for the Stars in at least the first half of the competition and at $62,500 is a reasonably safe bet. Cameron Green (Perth Scorchers, $42,000) is a value pick as he is as talented as any other dual position player with both bat and ball, and is the sort of cheapie whose value could soar in quick time.
(FAR FROM) FINAL THOUGHTS
Given there's over a month and a half until the season gets underway, and still over a month until final squads are finalised on December 7, it's fair to say this is a first impressions side only ... and with $45,000 or so sitting in the kitty, there's no doubt there are plenty of changes to come as the weeks roll on, more squad announcements are made, and form waxes and wanes.
So, fellow SC BBL fans, who have I got wrong, who have I got right, and who is completely unexpected?
Sam Whiteman (bench)
Callum Ferguson (bench)
Peter Nevill (bench)
Sandeep Lamichhane (bench)
Cameron Green (bench)