With the Indian Premier League now drawing to a satisfying close, all eyes now turn to the Big Bash League. It is scheduled to be held in Australia from December 11. Given the ongoing global pandemic, hosting sporting tournaments has been quite a difficult ordeal.
However, in line with getting used to the new normal. The tournament has decided to incorporate a slew of changes to ensure a smooth transition. For starters, this is going to be the first time that the conventional home and away format. Apart from following all COVID19 protocols, the teams will be kept in biosecurity bubbles.
The tournament shall kick off from Canberra and Hobart, and the action shall soon move to other cities like Sydney, Oval, Perth, and Melbourne, among other locations.
Keeping in mind the steady nature of the game. The organisers have decided to add a few more changes to the format to make it more exciting. These three changes are:
- X factor Player – After the 10th over of the innings, the batting team will be allowed to replace a batsman, or the fielding team shall be allowed to replace a bowler provided that he has not bowled more than an over.
- Power Surge – This is supposed to function more like a conventional power play. The batting team would be allowed to choose a two-over power play during the second part of their innings. During this power play, the fielding team would be restricted to using only two players outside the inner ring. To facilitate such a change, the power plays initially given to the teams would be reduced by a couple of overs so that it does not affect the overall dynamics of the game.
- Bash Boost – This feature involves awarding a bonus competition point to the team with the best 10 over score. The point would be attributed halfway during the second innings.
Given the unpredictability of the game and the complete lack of historical instances with these features in play, it would be interesting to see how the teams come up with strategies and plan to ensure optimum use of these features to their advantage.
Big Bash League Teams With A Leading Edge
Going into the tournament as hot favourites after winning three editions, Perth Scorchers have a sizeable lineup. Led by the experienced Mitchell Marsh, the team boasts the likes of Cameron Bancroft and Ashton Bancroft.
The other two teams tipped as favourites would be the Moises Henriques led Sydney Sixers, and Aaron Finch led Melbourne Renegades. The Sydney Sixers have won the tournament two times and are the defending champions.
The Renegades, on the other hand, had a dismal season last year, where they were the defending champions and would be roaring to go for a win this time. Easily two teams to watch out for.
Big Bash League Teams To Watch Out For
The Travis Head led Adelaide Strikers, Chris Lynn led Brisbane Heat, and the Callum Ferguson led Sydney Thunder have had lackluster performances in their previous few outings.
However, each of these teams has, over the years, grown into formidable units. Given their consistency in the past, it would be no surprise if this year they finally come into their own and decide to give the favourites a run for their money.
The Dark Horses Of The Big Bash League Tournament
Out of the eight editions that the tournament has been held for, there have only been two teams that have not won an edition. However, this could all change this time. While Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Stars may live in infamy now, there are quite a few interesting developments on their part.
With Matthew Wade at the helm. Hobart Hurricanes boast an incredible lineup, including the likes of Tim Paine and James Faulkner. In the case of Melbourne Stars, the ever-dependable Glen Maxwell captains a team boasting the likes of Jackson Coleman and Nathan Coulter-Nile. Given the team strength on paper. These two teams could upset all equations and be the game changers required to upset the table.
Players To Watch Out For
What’s Big Bash League without its crowd-pleasing superstars, rescuing their teams from tough situations and saving matches? Here’s a list of the players to watch out for:
Batsmen: Chris Lynn, Aaron Finch, Glen Maxwell
Bowlers: Ben Laughlin, Kane Richardson, Andrew Tye
The Way Forward
In keeping with the schedules of the ICC, there are quite a few International tournaments in the upcoming years. Given that the T20 World Cup is to be held sometime soon.
The BBL would be a very interesting arena for the young brood of Australian players to showcase their talent. All eyes would therefore be on the BBL, if not for the entertainment, then surely on the watch for Australian cricket’s next superstar.