TWO of the fastest scoring T20 batsmen in the world will spearhead the Brisbane Heat’s 2016-17 T20 Big Bash League hopes.
Even thought the Heat are third last on the line of betting to win BBL06 at $8 with CrownBet.com.au, it would be foolish to write off a side featuring master blasters Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum.
The New Zealand captain – who actually signed with the Heat at the beginning of BBL05, but did not play a game due to international commitments – returns for his second stint in the tournament, after playing three matches – and having his nose broken by Brett Lee – back in 2011/12 – the Big Bash League’s inaugural season.
“Apart from Brett Lee breaking my nose in the first ever game, I enjoyed the experience of being part of the inaugural year when it was all a bit unknown and there was a lot of excitement and buzz about the BBL,” McCullum said.
“The competition has really developed quickly since then and, from what I have seen, the standard is right up there with the best in the world.
“When (coach) Dan (Vettori) broached the idea of a longer-term deal, I was pretty open to things – my wife comes from Lismore and our family have spent a fair bit of time over there during the past few years.”
He was the fastest scoring batsmen at the 2015 World Cup and his retirement means he will play in the whole BBL tournament this time around.
And he will take the captaincy reigns from Lynn, with his former Kiwi teammate Daniel Vettori coaching.
“We’ve captained each other, we’ve played in the same team for a long time and now we get to go into a coach-player, coach-captain role,” Vettori said.
“I think the fact that Brendon has exited on his own terms means he’ll be really excited about the future and the upcoming tournaments that he has.
“He knows the lay of the land in Brisbane, having played here, and he’s really excited about joining the side.”
The Heat finished third bottom last season, but that doesn’t tell the complete tail of the tape.
They scored more runs than any other team in the Big Bash, but were let down by sub standard bowling.
The problem is, they haven’t added any bowlers. Plenty falls on Ben Cutting with the rock and, with the addition of Alex Ross from the Adelaide Strikers, coupled with the full time availability of Joe Burns, McCullum and Lynn, this side should still score plenty of runs, but struggle to contain teams.
Brisbane Heat BBL06 futures betting
All markets provided by CrownBet.com.au
To win the Big Bash League – $8
To reach the final – $4
To have the most losses – $5.50
Top Brisbane Heat Run Scorer
Chris Lynn – $2.50
Brendon McCullum – $3.75
Joe Burns – $6
Jimmy Peirson – $9
Alex Ross – $11
Nathan Reardon – $12
Marnus Labuschagne – $13
Alex Doolan – $15
Ben Cutting – $23
Sam Heazlett – $23
Jason Floros – $41
Jack Wildermuth – $251
Samuel Badree – $501
Josh Lalor – $501
Mitch Swepson – $501
Andrew Fekete – $1001
Luke Feldman – $1001
Mark Steketee – $1001
Top Brisbane Heat Tournament Wicket Taker:
Samuel Badree – $2.65
Ben Cutting – $4.75
Mitch Swepson – $7
Josh Lalor – $7.50
Andrew Fekete – $8
Mark Steketee – $9
Luke Feldman – $11
Jack Wildermuth – $13
Jason Floros – $21
Brisbane Heat players to watch
We’ve already said plenty about him in the intro, but this is a man who is the epitome of a T20 cricketer. Only just removed from a glittering international career, McCullum is going to win games off his own bat this season. He loves the pace of Aussie pitches, hits it as hard and as far as anyone in the game and is one of the BBL’s biggest drawcards.
The star of BBL05, with Chris Gayle gone, Chris Lynn is perhaps the most explosive batsman in the entire tournament. He scored more runs than any other player in last year’s Big Bash and it came at a lightning quick pace – It was only in January that he whacked five consecutive sixes off Ben Hilfenhaus against the Melbourne Stars and, while he has struggled with injury recently, if he can get close to reproducing that form, he will again be compelling viewing.
They say he’s a fast bowler, but Cutting’s batting has improved so much he should be considered an allrounder. Cutting is coming off a monster season in the Indian Premier League that culminated with him being named man of the match in the final when he hammered an unbeaten 39 off 15 balls and claimed two wickets to lead Sunrisers Hyderabad to its first title. He is primed for a massive BBL season.
The South African kid with the best name in the Big Bash might just be its best fielder. If you haven’t seen his classic corn kernel catch, go and google it now. He was the last player signed by the Heat after his Matador Cup efforts for Queensland made him an irresistible option – he was named player of the tournament after blasting 271 runs at 45.16 – and we expect him to carve out a spot in Brisbane’s middle order.
BBL06 Brisbane Heat squad
* denotes international player on Visa contract
Brendon McCullum* (captain)
Brisbane Heat Big Bash fixture list
Adelaide Strikers v Brisbane Heat Wednesday, 21 December 2016, Adelaide Oval
Sydney Thunder v Brisbane Heat Wednesday, 28 December 2016, Spotless Stadium
Brisbane Heat v Hobart Hurricanes Friday, 30 December 2016, Gabba
Brisbane Heat v Sydney Sixers Tuesday, 3 January 2017, Gabba
Perth Scorchers v Brisbane Heat Thursday, 5 January 2017, WACA
Brisbane Heat v Perth Scorchers Wednesday, 11 January 2017, Gabba
Melbourne Stars v Brisbane Heat Tuesday, 17 January 2017, MCG
Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Renegades Friday, 20 January 2017, Gabba
Similar Sports Betting News
Aussies secure Chappell-Hadlee trophy after bowling masterclass
Cricket: Tim David blasts Australia to unlikely T20 win over NZ
Cricket: England stunned in Rajkot as India take 2-1 series lead
India v England free cricket betting tips & odds | Feb 15-19
Australia’s new blood too good for West Indies in ODI demolition
Australia v West Indies 2nd ODI preview & betting tips | 4/2
New Zealand v South Africa 1st Test betting tips | Feb 4-8
Australia v West Indies ODI preview & cricket betting tips | 2/2