How teams stack up for this BBL season

The 11th BBL season, which gets underway on Sunday at the SCG, was launched in Sydney last Monday.
The 11th BBL season, which gets underway on Sunday at the SCG, was launched in Sydney last Monday.

HOW THE BBL CONTENDERS STACK UP:

ADELAIDE STRIKERS

2020-21 Result: Fifth

Key player: Jake Weatherald. The Strikers have plenty of wicket-takers with the likes of Rashid Khan and Peter Siddle, but their batting is thin after being torn apart by Australia and Australia A selection. Weatherald will head an inexperienced top-order, with Alex Carey and Travis Head among those missing.

Key recruit: George Garton. Young Englishman who strikes at close to 130 and averages 21.26 with the ball.

BRISBANE HEAT

2020-21 Result: Third

Key player: Ben Duckett. Expected to open alongside Max Bryant after a dominant English summer where he was second-leading run-scorer in The Hundred. Will give them plenty of firepower once adapting to Australian wickets.

Key recruit: Michael Neser. How much the Heat see of him will depend on Australia's selectors, but once he returns he is one of the most valuable allrounders in the game.

HOBART HURRICANES

2020-21 Result: Sixth

Key player: Matt Wade. The opener is almost like a new player for the Hurricanes after going without him for most of the past few seasons. Will form part of the most dangerous opening pairing in the competition alongside D'Arcy Short.

Key recruit: Harry Brook. The only real in for Hobart, but should provide some punch given the Englishman's strike-rate of 148.31 and average of almost 40.

MELBOURNE RENEGADES

2020-21 Result: Eighth

Key player: James Pattinson. Freed up to focus entirely on domestic cricket after his international retirement. Leads a Renegades attack that has potential to do damage with Kane Richardson beside him.

Key recruit: Unmukt Chand. Will become the first Indian to play in the men's Big Bash. Captained India in an under-19s World Cup a decade ago, scoring a century in the final against Australia. Has since played 77 IPL matches and will be a top-order batsman for the Renegades.

MELBOURNE STARS

2020-21 Result: Seventh

Key player: Glenn Maxwell. Showed in the IPL he can help teams to titles when he fires. And the Stars desperately need a drought-breaker after years of disappointment.

Key recruit: Qais Ahmad. The Afghan star will work in tandem with Adam Zampa for one of the best spinning combinations in the BBL. Has taken 19 wickets in 18 games previously for Hobart.

PERTH SCORCHERS

2020-21 Result: Runners-up

Key player: Josh Inglis. Won't start the tournament as part of a plethora of big names missing through Australia and Australia A squads, but will be a big in when he returns. Made Australia's T20 World Cup squad off the back of his hard-hitting in The Hundred.

Key recruit: Laurie Evans. Another Englishman playing in his first Big Bash with countrymen Liam Livingstone and Jason Roy big outs. Experienced and at age 34, he has two T20 hundreds to his name and strikes at beyond 130.

SYDNEY SIXERS

2020-21 Result: Champions

Key player: Josh Phillippe. An out-and-out star for the Sixers last summer, earning player-of-the-tournament honours with 508 runs at a strike-rate of close to 150. If he fires, the Sixers will be hard to beat.

Key recruit: Tom Curran. The only addition to the Sixers squad after coming in late for Carlos Brathwaite. Has played Big Bash previously, with 42 wickets in 28 games while also acting as a pinch-hitter late.

SYDNEY THUNDER

2020-21 Result: Fourth

Key player: Alex Hales. Was the competition's leading run-scorer last year with 543, including an incredible hot streak at season's end. Will be crucial in a top-order that will likely be missing Usman Khawaja, while Oliver Davies is also injured early.

Key recruit: Trevor Bayliss. There hasn't been a stack of movement on the Thunder's roster, but in Bayliss they have a coach known for winning. Claimed early titles at NSW and the Sydney Sixers and has since won the 2019 World Cup with England.

Australian Associated Press