2016/17 Big Bash Preview: Brisbane Heat

Squad: Brendon McCullum (c), Samuel Badree, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Alex Doolan, Andrew Fekete, Luke Feldman, Jason Floros, Sam Heazlett, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Lalor, Chris Lynn, James Peirson, Nathan Reardon, Alex Ross, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Jack Wildermuth

After a couple of poor Big Bash seasons, Brisbane Heat will be determined not to make three seasons in a row without finals. They were staring down the barrel of a bottom place finish last season until they won their last 3 games which was led by Chris Lynn to eventually finish in sixth place.

This season has to be their time to make a move up the ladder and a with a couple of star players in their squad, they should be thinking of a higher finish.

Key Players – Australians

Chris Lynn – Has been the main run scorer for the Heat for the past couple of seasons and would want to continue that heading into this Big Bash. Lynn was the leading runs scorer in the Big Bash last season with 378 runs with an average of 54 and a strike rate of 173. He is well known for his aggressive hitting and can hit the ball a long way. He made a century last Big Bash against the Hobart Hurricanes off just 51 balls that included 7 sixes. He averages 31.95 runs a game with a high striker rate of 140.74 and we should expect more fireworks from Lynn this season.

Ben Cutting – The bowling all-rounder provides an x-factor to the team with the ball and bat. He is a solid bowler throughout the middle overs that can slow down the run rate of the opposition and can take vital wickets. He so far has 48 wickets in 57 games with his big figures being 3/24. He has proven to be handy with the bat with his slogging that can lead to massive sixes. He has a batting strike rate of 155.84 which is impressive for bowling all-rounder.

Imports

Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) – Brisbane Heat will be happy that they have Brendon McCullum for this season. He was supposed to play last season but due to international duty, he was unavailable. Now that he has retired from international cricket, he can enjoy more Twenty20 cricket where he has become one of the most dangerous batsmen in the world. He can score at a quick rate and can play aggressive from the word go. Expect him to bat either as an opener or in the middle order and expect him to go for sixers when he enters the crease.

Samuel Badree (West Indies) – The West Indian spinner was one of the shinning lights in last season’s Big bash for the Heat as he claimed 9 wickets. Currently ranked the third best T20 bowler in the world, Badree is an economical bowler that can take wickets including his last Big Bash game against the Melbourne Stars where he took 5/22 to guide his team a victory. The Heat will be hoping he can match the 9 wickets he took last season or claim more wickets.

Youngster

Mitchell Swepson – The young leg-spinner had some experience playing in the last couple of games in last season’s Big Bash tournament and will want to play more matches this season.He is starting to make his mark in all forms of cricket for Queensland as he looks to build consistency. The 23 year old will be keen to show the public that he could well be the next Australian spinner in the future with a good showing in this season’s Big Bash.

Prediction

The Heat will not want another failed season like the last couple. The inclusions of McCullum and Alex Ross will add some power hitting to the lineup which should help ease the pressure off Lynn instead of making him do most of the work. Other than that, their team is similar to last season but they showed in the later part of last season that their best is good enough to beat any opposition. Expect the Heat to either gain that last finals spot or miss out.

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