2016/17 Big Bash Preview: Adelaide Strikers

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

It was a great home and away season for the Adelaide Strikers last season as they finished  on top of the ladder until they got eliminated in the Semi-Finals at home to eventual winners, Sydney Thunder.

This season they will be looking to go one better and at least make the final and with a couple new signings, it should help them reach their goal.

Key Players – Australians

Brad Hodge – The captain is an experience campaigner in the Big Bash and is one of the more prolific T20 players in Australia. With an average of 36.5 with a strike rate of 130.3, Hodge is a big hitter and is always proven to be difficult to get out throughout his career. If the Strikers want to win this time around, the skipper has to play his part and make plenty of runs to help make that happen.

Travis Head – The left handed batsman had a consistent 2015/16 Big Bash season but will be remembered for his memorable century against the Sydney Sixers on New Years Eve to guide them to an unlikely win. He is a powerful hitter that can hit all areas of the ground but loves the leg side as seen in his century. He also provides handy off-spin bowling that can trouble batsman which will be good for the upcoming Big Bash. Now with exposure to International cricket in the past year, Head will be looking to provide more experience to the team and most importantly, more runs.

Imports

Kieran Pollard (West Indies) – The superstar West Indian at his best is one of the best T20 players in the world and has been a part of the Strikers team for a few seasons now. He did not play the last Big Bash due to injury so he will be looking to make up for lost time and give the Striker’s fans some entertainment with the bat. He can smash the ball a long way and does bowl well with his pace bowling. What some people may not notice too is his fielding and has provided us with some great catches and run-outs. Lets hope for the Strikers sake that Pollard can bring his best game to the Big Bash.

Chris Jordan (England) – The England bowler is a nice inclusion for the Strikers as they stock up their bowling attack. He was great in the Indian Premier League this year with Royal Challengers Bangalore where he picked up 11 wickets at an average of 23.45 in 9 matches. Jordan has been well renowned for his early wickets at the start and the end of the innings.He can also play a handy part with the bat at and is an exceptional fielder.

Youngster

Jake Weatherald – The young opener made the South Australian team last season where he played a role in getting them to the Final of the Sheffield Shield. This season, he was great in the Matador Cup where he averaged 47.33 with a strike rate of 108 which included a century. The 22 year old is a strong stroke player but can play aggressive when he needs to. He may not start in the first match due to more experienced batsmen in front of him but when he gets the opportunity, he will have enough ability to cope in the Big Bash.

Prediction

With the lineup being relatively similar to last season, the Strikers should be in contention for finals. The return of Pollard and the inclusion of Jordan will be a major boost for the team. No Rashid will hurt as he was the best spinner in the tournament last season so big shoes to fill for Jon Holland. Nevertheless, the batting lineup looks strong with the likes of Hodge, Pollard, Dunk, Head and Lehmann and their pace bowlers in Richardson, Jordan, Laughlin and Stanlake are good at Twenty20 level. Expect them to be around the finals mark for this season and be fighting for the title.

 

 

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