The 13th game of the BBL season takes place at the Carrara Oval, with the Strikers taking on the Stars.

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Carrara has been used for exactly five games (as far as I can find) in all editions of the BBL. Rather unhelpfully, the only T20I at the venue was rain reduced to ten overs each. I think trying to guess the nature of the pitch here would be a bit foolish. You’d be wiser to construct team line-ups just on projected totals and the result of the toss

Adelaide will be riding high after their come-from-behind victory against Perth. The Scorchers traded at $1.20 on the Betfair Exchange (implied winning chance of 83.3%) but three wickets from Rashid brought them back from the dead. In truth, I think that victory papered over a lot of cracks that were evident in the bowling when the Scorchers were swinging from the hip. Conway and Agar aren’t good enough for this level and Stanlake is painfully one-dimensional at the best of times. Hopefully someone tells him that bowling a consistent back-of-a-length line with no seam or swing just isn’t a viable t20 strategy. Even though Khan got three wickets, the Scorchers lost that game more than Adelaide won it. 

I also don’t rate the Strikers batting line-up other than Carey. Salt will be brilliant when he comes off but is hardly a rock at the top of the order. Weatherald is an ok batsman for this level who’s been made to look like an absolute genius by the Adelaide pitch. Short at three? A lower-middle order of Wells/White? Valente at seven? Yuck, yuck and yuck. 

The Stars have gone two from two but they’re also a team that relies on a couple of batsmen. I keep expecting Stoinis to fail at the top of the order but he keeps proving me wrong. He’s almost being used as a sort of lynch-pin for the others to bat around and then explode later. It’s not a bad strategy, but the others have to come to the party. Against the Hurricanes, everyone other than Stoinis hit at a collective strike rate of 111.8. Maxwell is class and will be destructive but if the Stars are to be a consistent threat, they need the likes of Dunk and Handscomb to be a bit more aggressive. The return of Nathan Coulter-Nile (NCN) should help. 

The bowling line-up is actually one of the better ones in the competition. Zampa and Lamichhane provide eight overs of tight and penetrative bowling through the middle, while Steyn and Coulter-Nile (on paper at least) bring a lot to the table. Maxwell isn’t a bad fifth bowler but it remains to be seen whether they’ll play NCN at seven and keep Worrall in the team. I would certainly advocate for that strategy. 

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Love it – Alex Carey ($17,400, Draftstars)

In a slate with a dearth of low price option, Carey is only $3k above your ‘average’ but has the third highest projected total on the slate. He’s the class batsman in the side, and once you add in your keeping points, he’s a winner. I’d imagine he’ll be popular but the question is whether you can afford to not have him given he allows you more salary cap space than a lot of the other ‘premiums’. 

Don’t Love it – Jono Wells ($13,500, Draftstars)

He’s batting at five, has a career strike rate of 123 and gets around 20 runs a game. You can’t really afford to take chances with this sort of player in this sort of slate. You’d be better off going down to Maddinson/Dunk or up to Phil Salt. He hit a good 50 in their first match and came out swinging last match on a pitch where every batsman found it easy so that’s pushed his price up. He might not even get much of a bat. Ignore. 

Who Knows? – Phil Salt ($14,800, Draftstars)

I know he’s failed in his last two starts but he’s a guy I would be keeping the faith with. He has a strike rate of 150+ in t20s, and therefore has an extreme ceiling. He could get bowled through the gate in the first over or he could could make 70 off 35. I wouldn’t want to not have him when he fires. 



Love it – Nathan Coulter-Nile ($16,600, Draftstars)

The Scorchers will be absolutely kicking themselves for letting NCN go. He can go for runs sometimes if the deck is flat but is a wicket-taking option whenever he bowls. I can see him batting at seven for the Stars, and is extremely capable of playing a quickfire cameo. There’s a lot of ways Nathan can score points – and that’s exactly what you want when selecting players. 

Don’t Love it – Rashid Khan ($21,900, Draftstars)

This purely comes down to price. Is he worth the money? I’d argue no. Maxwell projects around the same but is $2k less. Stoinis projects about 10 more but is almost exactly the same price. Yes, some of the Stars batsmen will look at sea playing him but the opportunity cost is large. His ceiling is immense though so don’t completely ignore him!

Who Knows? – Sandeep Lamichhane ($16,200, Draftstars)

The Nepalese superstar has started this season relatively slowly, with two wickets in two games. We backed him for the top Stars bowler in our BBL betting preview and I’m certainly not losing the faith. Rauf shouldn’t be playing anymore games, while Steyn/Brown will have a heavy disadvantage. Zampa will be in the ODI squad and Worrall doesn’t have the record. Coulter-Nile is potentially the only danger if he keeps injury free. Sandeep has drifted to around $3.50 if you wanted to top up (I have). 

The ‘who knows’ element is due to his price. $16k is a fair amount to fork out, but his point-scoring ability is immense when he has his days. At a minimum, I’d imagine you’d be getting some sort of economy rate bonus and one wicket.



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