We’re all set for the 11th edition of the Big Bash League (BBL). Defending champions Sydney Sixers take on the Melbourne Stars on the 5th of December at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground to kickstart the season. Eight teams will battle it out in 61 games across seven weeks and as many as 14 venues will host the BBL games this season.
From the last couple of seasons, the BBL has seen a different kind of knockouts structure. Five teams qualify to the next stage. 1 vs 2 (Qualifier) decides the direct entrant into the final. 4 vs 5 play the Eliminator and the winner plays 3 – Knockout. The winner of that Knockout game plays the loser of the Qualifier – Challenger and the winner of the Challenger goes onto the final. The same structure will be followed this time around as well.
How do the teams stack up?
- Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers are the two sides that have been the most successful in the overall history of the BBL
- Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Stars are the only two teams who’ve never won the BBL even once
Over the years, Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers have been the teams that have been dominated. Both teams have won three titles each while no other team has even won the BBL even twice.
Perth Scorchers won it in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2016-17 while Sydney Sixers won the inaugural edition (2011-12) before winning the last two (2019-20 and 2020-21). Brisbane Heat (2012-13), Sydney Thunder (2015-16), Adelaide Strikers (2017-18) and Melbourne Renegades (2018-19) are the other teams who’ve recorded title wins in the BBL.
Who are the favourites?
Last year’s finalists Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers are going to be the top contenders for the title once again. They have well rounded sides and have some big match-winners as well who can turn the game single-handedly.
Who can be a dark horse?
Hobart Hurricanes could be the big dark horse this season. They’ve never won a title in the history of the BBL despite reaching the knockouts five times which includes a couple of runners-up finishes.
TIP Hobart Hurricanes don’t really have some big superstar names, but they could really click well as a unit.
Glenn Maxwell is a blockbuster player and he is going to be the absolute key for the Melbourne Stars. He didn’t play a major role in Australia’s T20 World Cup win but he was in stellar form in the 2021 edition of the IPL. He amassed 513 runs at an average of 42.75 and a strike-rate of 144.10. Add to that, his handy off-spin bowling and electric nature in the field.
Josh Phillipe of Sydney Sixers has been on the rise in the Australian cricketing circuit in the last couple of years. The Western Australian wicket-keeper batsman has an impressive record in the BBL and has aggregated 1306 runs at an average of 32.65 and a strike-rate of 142.42. Last season, he was the third-highest run-getter in the tournament and he will be one of the big contenders to top the run charts once again.
Andrew Tye is the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the history of the BBL and is on the cusp of picking up 100 wickets in the BBL. The Perth Scorchers‘ fast bowler has taken 93 wickets at an average of 19.98 and an economy of 7.62. Last season, he took 21 wickets and played a big role alongside Jhye Richardson in helping Perth reach the final.
Sydney Sixers vs Melbourne Stars
A strong bowling line-up has always been Sixers’ USP and it gives them odds of 1.79 to win this game.
Sydney Thunder vs Brisbane Heat
A closely fought contest could see Sydney Thunder, who have some prolific domestic talent up their sleeves. Back them at 1.82!
Melbourne Renegades vs Adelaide Strikers
The Renegades finished last season with just four wins and have done little to alter their ways ahead of the season. The Strikers start as favourites with odds of 1.67