Hobart Hurricanes could be dark horses to win maiden title
The 2022-23 edition of the Big Bash League is all set to kick off from December 13 with Melbourne Stars taking on Sydney Thunder. The tournament will last for 44 days, with the final taking place on February 4th.
Eight teams – Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Stars, Melbourne Renegades, Sydney Sixers, Sydney Thunder and Perth Scorchers – will compete each other twice in round robin format across 17 venues in the country. The top five teams then advance through to the playoffs.
The BBL has seen quite an overhaul for this season, with the league introducing a draft system for overseas players. Some of the superstars of the tournament are set to miss the season while some new faces will be in action.
Looking at the squads, which each team has assembled, we can say there are a few favourites and a couple of teams who look completely hopeless…
Favourites and dark Horses
Let’s take a look at betting odds for the top favourites to clinch the title, as well as the dark horse, which, however could spring up a surprise.
Defending champions Perth Scorchers have to battle through injury blows
Perth Scorchers are the most successful team in the Big Bash League, winning the title four times. They hammered Sydney Sixers in the final last season to clinch the fourth title. Scorchers signed Tymal Mills and Phil Salt in the draft while retaining Laurie Evans. But Evans will miss the tournament after a positive dope Test. Scorchers will also miss Mitchell Marsh and Phil Salt due to injuries. South Africa’s Faf du Plessis has been roped in for a seven-match stint.
Noteworthy, the betting odds do not have Perth Scorchers as outright favourites – their chances to win the title stand at 6.30. Looking at the players’ unavailability, we would say they’re on levels with the Sixers and will have to battle hard if they are to win the fifth title.
Sydney Sixers with a great chance of an equalling fourth title
The three-time champions Sydney Sixers finished second on the table last season but had no answers to Scorchers, who obliterated them in both Qualifier and final. They have odds of 4.20 to win the BBL 2022-23.
The Sixers were quite predictable in the draft, retaining James Vince and Chris Jordan while adding Izharulhaq Naveed. They also have the likes of Josh Philippe, Moises Henriques, Hayden Kerr and Dan Christian.
Hobart Hurricanes in with their best chance to end their trophy drought
Hobart Hurricanes are one of the only two teams to have never won a title in the BBL. Looking at how they shape up this time around and other teams affected by players’ unavailability, this could be their best chance of ending the trophy drought. They have odds of 4.20 to win the BBL 2022-23.
The Hurricanes signed three Pakistani players: Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, and Faheem Ashraf in the draft. Ashraf was then replaced by James Neesham. They have a strong batting core of Matthew Wade, Ben McDermott, D’arcy Short and Tim David. In the bowling unit, they have Riley Meredith and Nathan Ellis.
Players to keep an eye on…
Ben McDermott is one of the most consistent batters in the T20 arena. He had an outstanding campaign for the Hurricanes last season, where he finished as the top run-getter with 577 runs in 13 matches at an average of 48 while striking at 154. McDermott had smashed two hundreds and three fifties last season, and will be one to watch out for this time around as well.
Andrew Tye had added some extra pace and tweaked his approach a bit, and had reaped rewards in the previous edition. The Perth Scorchers pacers bagged 25 wickets in 16 matches at an economy of just over 8. Tye is the second leading wicket-taker of all time in the BBL, having picked 118 wickets at 7.71 rpo.
Alex Hales is one of the best batters in the last few editions of the BBL. He has scored 1857 runs in 60 games at an average of 33 while striking at 151, including one hundred and 12 fifties. Hales had a terrific T20 World Cup in Australia recently and Sydney Thunder will hope he delivers again.
Big Bash 2022-23 game predictions
Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Stars prediction
Sydney Thunder are strong on paper with Alex Hales’ form a major boost for them. They are favourites to win with odds of 1.67
Adelaide Strikers v Sydney Sixers
Sydney Sixers have three titles to their name and boast of one of the strongest teams in the competition. Back Sydney Sixers at 1.62 to win this one!
Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Renegades
Two equally competent teams, this could be one of the early thrillers in this edition of the Big Bash League. While Heat are favourites to win with odds of 1.80, we recommend backing Renegades. Back Melbourne Renegades at 1.98 to win this game!