Adelaide Strikers – Rashid Khan
Only cricket aficionados had heard the name Rashid Khan when the Afghanistan leg spinner first arrived on the scene in BBL ’07. It did not take long for Rashid to endear himself to the Strikers’ faithful and earn plaudits across the nation for his mastery of the art of spin bowling and how he left even the finest batsmen completely dumbfounded.
Rashid Khan has been incredibly difficult to decipher for opposition batters. Since making his debut in the 2017-18 BBL no bowler can better his economy rate of 6.4 (min. 20 innings). His value to the Strikers is further enhanced by his ability to curtail batsmen in their attempts to find the boundary rope. Rashid has conceded a boundary in the BBL every 10.4 deliveries. Only two other bowlers (min. 50 overs bowled) can beat that in the time the Strikers’ spin sensation has been involved in the competition (Cameron Boyce – 10.9 and Johan Botha – 10.7).
To boot, Rashid Khan has taken the most wickets (56) and bowled the most dot balls (376) of any player in the BBL across this period.
Brisbane Heat – Chris Lynn
The leading run-scorer (2,332) in Big Bash League history and the only player to smash 100+ sixes (146), Brisbane Heat captain Chris Lynn is a true giant of the competition – his tally of sixes is a staggering 63 more than any other player has managed.
Given this mountain of runs, it is no surprise Lynn has contributed the highest percentage (17.2%) of any player to his team’s total runs scored in the Big Bash League. The Melbourne Renegades’ Aaron Finch (16.8%) is only player to have contributed more than 15% of his team’s total runs. Such is Lynn’s importance to the Heat, the next biggest contributor at the Brisbane outfit is Ben Cutting at 8.8%.
Hobart Hurricanes – D’Arcy Short
D’Arcy Short became the first player to score 500+ runs in back-to-back BBL seasons with his efforts in 2017-18 (572) and 2018-19 (637). The Hobart Hurricanes’ fan-favourite has made quite an impact in the powerplay overs, scoring 848 runs during this key period – 122 more than any other player since Short made his debut in the competition in the 2016-17 summer.
This alertness can also be seen in the fact Short has scored 276 runs when facing the first ball of an over, 50 more than any other player since he made his BBL debut.
Short boasts the highest batting average (46.4) of any player to have spent at least 10 innings at the crease in the Big Bash League. Such is the competitiveness of the league itself, only two other players in this category have an average of 40+ (Shaun Marsh – 46 and Brad Hodge – 42.8).
Melbourne Renegades – Aaron Finch
The player with the most scores of 50+ (20) in Big Bash League history, the Melbourne Renegades and Australia’s men’s limited-overs captain Aaron Finch handles his leadership responsibilities with aplomb – his tally of 1,991 runs as captain in the BBL is 710 more than any other skipper in the competition’s history, including more than double the number of boundary fours (183) than any other player bestowed with the responsibility.
Finch has shown once he gets on a roll, he can ride the wave of momentum like no other player in the competition. The Victorian has had five separate occasions in his BBL career of consecutive 50+ scores, more than any other BBL player. In fact, Finch is the only player in BBL history to have amassed three consecutive 50+ scores more than once (x2).
Melbourne Stars – Marcus Stoinis
With BBL career tallies of 1,741 runs with the bat (37.8 average) and 34 wickets with the ball in hand, at a credible strike rate of 14.6 (third-best of any player – min. 80 overs bowled), Marcus Stoinis is a genuine all-rounder and the only individual in BBL history to have scored 1,500+ runs and taken 30+ wickets.
The Melbourne Stars’ superstar also owns the highest individual score in BBL history, a stunning 147* off 79 balls against the Sydney Sixers earlier this year (12 January 2020). The innings included 100 runs from boundaries (13 4s, 8 6s), the first and only time any player has accumulated triple figures from boundary shots in a BBL innings. That record-breaking knock contributed to a tally of 709 runs for the season for Stoinis – the most by any player in a single campaign. Indeed, it was the second time Stoinis had scored 500+ in a single BBL season (533 in BBL 2018-19), becoming the second player to do so multiple times (D’Arcy Short also twice).
Perth Scorchers – Joel Paris
Injuries have curtailed the highly-promising career of Joel Paris at the Perth Scorchers, but the pace bowler is set to be available for the beginning of BBL 10 and when he has taken to the field for the Western Australian franchise, he has most certainly made an impact.
5.9% of Paris’ deliveries have seen him lure the batsman into playing a false shot, the highest rate of any Australian player to have bowled at least 50 overs in the Big Bash League and the second-highest of any player overall in this category behind West Indies’ international Andre Russell (8.1%).
Sydney Sixers – Sean Abbott
The second-leading wicket-taker in Big Bash League history behind Ben Laughlin (110), the Sydney Sixers’ Sean Abbott (99) is just one wicket away from joining him in the 100 club. He was a key component in the Sixers’ title-winning season last summer – Abbott’s strike rate of 11.1 was the best of any player in the campaign (min. 6 overs bowled).
Batsmen would be wise not to lose their composure facing Sean Abbott on the last ball of his over. The Sixer’s paceman has a bowling strike rate of 13.3 on such deliveries, the highest of any player in the Big Bash League (min. 130 balls bowled). His 18 wickets in this manner is indeed the most of any player and one of only two to have taken more than 15 (Cameron Boyce – 17).
Sydney Thunder – Daniel Sams
The Sydney Thunder’s Daniel Sams is the bowler to go to in the BBL when the game is on the line and a wicket is much sought after by the fielding team. Sams has a bowling strike rate of 7.6 in the ‘death’ overs (overs 17 to 20) of BBL matches, the most frequent of any player to have bowled at least 15 overs at this stage of games.
In the space of just three BBL seasons the Sydney Thunder hero has certainly made an impact in the competition; his 30 wickets in the most recent BBL season is six more than any other player has recorded in a single campaign, while his career bowling average of 18.4 is the best of any pace bowler in BBL history (min. 65 overs bowled).
International Player – Dawid Malan
The No.1 men’s T20I batter in the world on the ICC rankings, England’s Dawid Malan is set to touch down in the Big Bash League for the first time as he pulls on the purple of the Hobart Hurricanes. The Englishman will enter the competition in red-hot form in this format, having just scored 173 runs in England’s men’s T20I bilateral series against South Africa, the most by any player in such a series against the Proteas.
Malan has done particularly well facing spin. Since he made his T20I debut (25 June 2017) he’s hit a boundary every 4.4 balls facing spin bowling, the most frequent of any player in the men’s international format to have faced at least 200 balls of such deliveries. In fact, the only other player in that category with an average under five is another new Big Bash League recruit this season in New Zealand’s Colin Munro (4.9 balls per boundary).
International Player – Colin Munro
New Zealand international Colin Munro is set to suit up for the Perth Scorchers in BBL 10; he has ventured into the competition previously, in a three-match stint for the Sydney Sixers in the 2016-17 campaign. He is one (107) of only five players to have hit 100+ sixes in men’s T20Is so far, while only India’s Rohit Sharma (4) has more than Munro’s three centuries in the format.
Of players to have spent at least 60 innings at the crease in the men’s T20I arena, no one has a higher batting strike rate than Colin Munro (156.4). Such power will serve him well at the Perth Scorchers’ home ground of Optus Stadium, one of the more cavernous sporting venues in Australia.
It will be exciting to watch all of these players in action as the Big Bash League celebrates its 10-season milestone.
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