SuperCoach BBL: Experts rate the top cheapies
With every new BBL season comes a wave of young guns ready to catapult cricket in our nation - as well as our SuperCoach sides - to another level. And, in BBL|08, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to these fresh-faced youngsters.
With only two bench spots on offer for both batsmen and bowlers, and an overwhelming number of rookies and rookie-priced players to consider, just how do you separate Max Bryant from Jack Edwards and Lloyd Pope from Sandeep Lamichhane? Then there are the slightly more expensive newcomers to analyse - Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Usman Qadir.
We've asked the experts to rate the following popular young guns appearing in BBL|08 for the very first time to help your ease your selection queries.
Keep in mind, this is a look ahead to the opening week of the BBL season and not a season-long crystal ball.
Max Bryant | $42,000 | HEAT | BAT
Tom Sangster - His only chance of a spot in the XI appears to be if Brendon McCullum or Chris Lynn relinquish an opening spot. Don't rule it out. Both McCullum and Lynn have batted plenty of No.3 and Bryant certainly has the talent for a "hit out or get out" role as an opener, as he showed in the JLT Cup by scoring the fastest ever half century by a Queenslander, ending with 71 from 31 balls. If any captain is willing to take a punt on a youngster, it's the most attacking skipper in world cricket - McCullum.
Paige Cardona - I love him after what I saw in the U19 World Cup. But, I have concerns over whether he'll bat within the opening three - in fact, there are concerns he'll even feature regularly! The Heat have undoubted batting depth, but I don't doubt he'll get an opportunity. Might be a handy downgrade target when I'm looking to cash in for an upgrade elsewhere.
Andrew Weaver - Don't reckon I'll be going near him with a barge-pole for the first half of the season at least ... unless of course he's selected! But will he be? With those Bash Brothers at the top of the line-up, it's hard to see him getting a look-in for the Heat.
Jack Edwards | $42,000 | SIXERS | ALR
Tom Sangster - I watched on closely as Edwards notched tons in the JLT Cup and Sheffield Shield this year. A towering 18-year-old, Edwards evokes the laconic grace of Mark Waugh, but also the sheer brutality of Kevin Pietersen. It's hard to see him batting outside the top four at the Sixers, who aren't particularly stacked in the batting department. Has the double in round three and will have made plenty of cash by then.
Paige Cardona - An 18-year-old opening for the Blues in domestic cricket? This guy is the real deal! Whether you're captivated by his prowess with the bat or those mesmerizing blonde locks, Edwards is a damn good chance to open for the Sixers in his debut BBL season. Absolute must-have.
Andrew Weaver - Could Jack and Mickey Edwards be the new Brett and Shane Lee? Mickey, the elder of the two, is a tearaway quick, but Jack-Jack Attack looks a bargain buy with dual-position status and undoubted ability with the bat likely to see him debut early on for the Sixers.
Will Sutherland | $42,000 | RENEGADES | ALR
Tom Sangster - Dangerous with the new rock and could play a Ben Cutting-style role with the bat. Misses the start of the Big Bash due to injury but is a must-have in round six when the Renegades have the double.
Paige Cardona - I loved him as a footy player, and I love him even more as a cricketer. Has certainly got what it takes, but I'm holding fire until there is evidence he's over his back injury. Quicks and back injuries aren't my favourite combination.
Andrew Weaver - Memo to all coaches out there - don't pick injured players! No matter their undoubted class and potential ability, there are wiser selections rather than sitting a bloke on the bench just because he's a cheap dual-position player.
Mackenzie Harvey | $42,000 | RENEGADES | BAT
Tom Sangster - The highly-rated 18-year-old is a genuine chance to open the batting for the Renegades with Aaron Finch on Test duty. And if he does, he's very hard to leave out. Opening batsmen have a massive advantage in SuperCoach BBL, and for this reason I'm hoping all my batting cheapies are openers.
Paige Cardona - Just can't fit him in! Plus, I'm looking for flexibility with dual position players. Pass.
Andrew Weaver - Without dual position status, it's hard to justify picking someone who is primarily a middle order batsman ... even simply on the bench. He's a genuine talent - one to watch in case he suddenly explodes.
Cameron Green | $42,000 | SCORCHERS| BWL
Tom Sangster - Can't see him fitting into a stacked Scorchers line-up. But if he does, he's a must-have to start with given the Scorchers have the double in the opening round. Stands 6-foot-7-inches, bowls in excess of 140km/h and capable of batting in the top six. I like the sound of that.
Paige Cardona - Actively looking for ways to include him in my side, but currently he is without a place in ramPAIGE CC. Still has to contend with Nathan Coulter-Nile and Andrew Tye. Not to mention Usman Qadir, Jason Behrendorff and Ashton Agar. Green is a ripper, but I'm not sure where he fits in at the moment. The depth chart for bowlers is deep at the Scorchers. Any opportunity he gets will be fleeting, but I'll happily be proven wrong.
Andrew Weaver - He might only be listed as a bowler, but he can more than swing the willow, which makes him a super-cheap option. He is a classy kid, but why would you select a pure bowler when you can instead pick a dual position player for the same price? Quite simply, he'll get opportunities in the batting line-up as he's truly more of an all-rounder.
Lloyd Pope | $62,500 | SIXERS | BWL
Tom Sangster - Pope has a wrong 'un sent from the heavens and he recently became the youngest bowler ever to claim a seven-wicket haul in the Sheffield Shield, taking 7-87. That said, he's a wait and see for Sangster's Paradise. Taking wickets isn't a problem, but economy rate is. There are better, safer cheapies with early doubles. But Pope is a genuine option for round three when the Sixers play twice.
Paige Cardona - I'm so in love with Lloyd Pope that I'm considering calling myself a Sixers fan. This guy is all that and then some. He makes non-cricket fans sit up and take interest. Sure, I have fears he might be smacked all over the park, but I'm letting my heart have a win over my head for once. Shut up and take my money!
Andrew Weaver - That wrong 'un is a thing of absolute beauty but I query whether his stock leg-break is going to be absolutely tonked! So far in the Sheffield Shield his economy rate has been ... let's go with 'not pretty enough'. He also has looked like he thinks bats are those things that fly at night and are bigger than owls, so he won't earn any SuperCoach points with the willow. His potential is enormous, but it's a pass from me.
Sandeep Lamichhane | $62,500 | STARS | BWL
Tom Sangster - Reluctant pass. The rise of the Nepalese youngster will be a storyline to follow in the Big Bash, but he's impossible to start with given the Stars don't have a double until round 10.
Paige Cardona - The boy-wonder out of Nepal will feature for the entire BBL season according to the Stars, and given their performance over the last few seasons, he'll get ample opportunity. A good bench option, but can you pick him over the likes of Edwards, Pope, Green and Sangha … even comeback kid James Pattinson? You can't have them all, and I think Lamichhane, even though he was in my initial team, will get edged out.
Andrew Weaver - Given the Stars are saying 'he'll play all year', you have to take their word for it. But there are now SO MANY options of dual position players who are as cheap or cheaper than Lamichhane, so it will all come down to his pre-season and early in-season form as to whether he's worth the investment. If he plays well first up, he'll definitely be an upgrade target.
Mickey Edwards | $62,500 | SIXERS | BWL
Tom Sangster - There are better cheapies in the position with early doubles - including the next two on this list.
Paige Cardona - Technically, Mickey Edwards played one game last year for the Sixers, so we're letting him get away with one here by calling him a 'new kid on the block'. With that in mind, and even though he's a rip-snorter of a bowler, he's been overlooked in favour of his brother.
Andrew Weaver - He's not his brother, so it's a 'no' from me. He clearly has more cricketing talent in his ball-grip than I'll ever have in my entire body, but he's less rather than more likely to get a bat, and as a bowler there are other options to look at. I'd go Lamichhane over him for instance if it was a choice between the two.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman | $93,800 | HEAT | BWL
Tom Sangster - Can't say no to that early double. But he'll be traded out straight away as the Heat have byes in rounds two and three.
Paige Cardona - Highly regarded international who comes in cheap considering his performances on the international stage. Also gets the double early in the BBL season. Locked and loaded.
Andrew Weaver - Given he has the double point bonus early days, he's one to watch - if he's named ahead of some other likely candidates, he's worth a look. His price point and lack of dual position status make him a tricky pick, as there's just nothing to push him ahead of others at this stage.
Usman Qadir | $93,800 | SCORCHERS | BAT/BWL
Tom Sangster - I was sold after his 3/50 in the JLT Cup. I'm even more sold after his 3/28 against a world class South African batting line-up for the PM XI. Oh, and he has a double in the opening game.
Paige Cardona - I was buoyed by his strong JLT Cup form and his 3/28 in the Prime Minister's X1 win over a full-strength South Africa outfit has given me further confidence. Currently on field for me. Priced high, but has good figures in the T20 game.
Andrew Weaver - It's hard not to be excited by what Qadir offers; he's almost certain to suit up for the Scorchers on a regular basis, he takes wickets, he makes runs, and when compared to Mujeed Ur Rahman, for instance, he offers better value for the same price. Set/forget status assured!
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