The Big Bash League is back and it opens with the Sydney derby as the Thunder host last year’s runners up in the Sixers.
There is a tonne of Moneyball value in this match up because both teams come in with a lot of question marks around how they’re going to line up and this could open the door for you to dominate with a unique team.
Position by position, let’s go through the best options in the BBL|07 opener and remember, you don’t want too many players from one side as there’s only so many runs/wickets available in a T20 match.
Daniel Hughes ($8,000)
Hughes comes into this game as the most expensive batsman, but don’t let that worry you! The 28-year-old will open the batting for the Sixers and is capable of batting through an innings and producing some massive scores. Hughes top scored for the Sixers in both of their matches against the Thunder in BBL|06 giving him a hard to resist form line.
Nic Maddinson ($7,000)
Maddinson had a very poor BBL|06 tournament and will be looking to bounce back. He should bat at three for the Sixers again this season and while he comes at a bit of price, he’ll have every opportunity to get his tournament off to a good start. His one game against the Thunder last season was lacklustre, but he has dominated them in the past, including a 70 in BBL|05.
Kurtis Patterson ($3,900)
Patterson will bat in the top four for the Thunder and should provide plenty of value for money at $3,900. Shane Watson and Jos Buttler provide the star-power for this side, but Patterson is the quality batsman who should bat with these guys and build a big total. He made an unbeaten 38 the last time these two teams played.
Avoid: Jordan Silk ($3,000) – won’t be in the Sixers’ starting XI.
Smokey: Ryan Gibson ($3,000) – wait to see where he bats and if he plays.
Shane Watson ($9,000)
You don’t have many other options in this category and while most people will likely select Watson, you might as well break even with them in this area. Watson has been playing quite a bit of T20 cricket and should be in decent form, but there’s a strong chance he only bowls one or two overs as the Thunder will likely go with a team of five bowlers.
Moises Henriques ($7,900)
Henriques might struggle for DFS value this season as he’ll likely bat at five again for the Sixers and given their many bowling options, he probably won’t get many overs either. However, he is still a quality player when he gets the opportunity and is a reasonable alternative to Watson if you want one.
Avoid: Ben Dwarshuis ($8,700) – he’ll bat at 9 or 10 and is not worth the price tag.
Smokey: Stephen O’Keeffe ($7,400) – less likely to post a big score, but could still be solid.
Jos Buttler ($8,000)
Whether he actually does the keeping for the Thunder or not, Buttler is a star batsman who will likely be the team’s leading run scorer this season. He should bat in the top four and is certainly worth the price tag.
Sam Billings ($5,600)
Billings is listed as a keeper despite the fact he won’t do any keeping work for the Sixers, but he batted at four for them last season which is a good sign. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a chance to bat against the Thunder in BBL|06 so there’s no form line to look at. The Sixers’ top order has always been a weak point and Billings should get plenty of batting time if he can capitalise on it.
Avoid: Peter Nevill ($5,800) – will bat way too low in the order to be effective
Smokey: Jay Lenton ($3,000) – possibility he could open the batting for the Thunder if named. Wait and see though.
Sean Abbott ($9,400)
Sean Abbott was the leading wicket taker in BBL|06, taking five more than the next best player. He comes at a hefty price, but you don’t really have any better options as far as Sixers bowlers go and obviously you can’t load up entirely on Thunder bowlers. He took two wickets from seven overs at a decent economy rate last season against the Thunder.
Mitchell McClenaghan ($5,700)
McClenaghan is a steal at $5,700. He will be the Thunder’s number one bowler this season and will provide excellent value here. The Kiwi quick is a T20 specialist who was the leading wicket taker in New Zealand’s domestic one-day competition and has been a big part of several IPL tournaments.
Gurinder Sandhu ($3,000)
Sandhu had a shocking BBL|06 tournament. It was so bad he was dropped multiple times by the Thunder and that explains his current price tag. However, Sandhu has shown in the past he’s a quality bowler who should get an opportunity to bounce back this season and at that price, he can save you some money elsewhere.
Avoid: Mitchell Starc ($9,400) and Nathan Lyon ($5,700) – anyone in the test team won’t be playing.
Smokey: Jackson Bird ($4,500) – less likely to dominate in the T20 format, but he’s your next best Sixer option.