BBL Fantasy preview: Brisbane Heat
From the Bash Brothers to the bargain buys, we review a squad that looks to have only improved from a strong campaign last summer
3 December 2017, 06:25 PM AEST
Squad: Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Brendan Doggett, Jason Floros, Cameron Gannon, Sam Heazlett, Shadab Khan (International), Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Lalor, Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum (international, captain), Jimmy Peirson, Matt Renshaw, Alex Ross, Mitchell Swepson, Mark Steketee, Cameron Valente, Yasir Shah (international replacement).
Ins: Max Bryant, Brendan Doggett, Shadab Khan, Matt Renshaw, Cameron Valente, Yasir Shah
Outs: Sam Badree, Alex Doolan, Andrew Fekete, Nathan Reardon, Jack Wildermuth, Tymal Mills
Master blaster: The jury is still out as to the extent of Chris Lynn's ($123,700) availability but if he's playing, you pick him – it's as simple as that. Fortunately for the Heat, they have a handy alternative in this category – Black Caps legend and the other half of the 'Bash Brothers', Brendon McCullum ($92,600). The dashing Kiwi is back in action after surgery on a broken arm suffered during the Caribbean Premier League, and history suggests he's a bankable star when it comes to big-hitting top-order Fantasy options.
Strike weapon: Mitchell Swepson ($66,900) has been a revelation for the Heat and coach Daniel Vettori's policy of 'spin to win' will again see the young leggie take centre stage at the Gabba. He'll have the support of Pakistan pair Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah at different stages throughout the Heat's season, and possibly the part-time tweakers of Marnus Labuschagne as well, but you can be sure he'll get four overs in and, better still, you can expect plenty of wickets at a decent economy rate.
Young gun: Brendan Doggett ($20,000) has impressed in his maiden Sheffield Shield campaign so why not in the Big Bash as well? The young quick is a bargain price and will push for a game in a squad not stacked with fast-bowling talent. Perhaps wait until the Heat name their first team of the season to get a better idea of his likely involvement, but if he's included, expect him to surprise plenty of batsmen with sharp pace and good bounce.
Overseas impact: The Heat have picked up not one but two Pakistani spin sensations, but the T20 format – and the Australian conditions – might better suit Shadab Khan ($65,000). The young leggie has been a revelation for his country and can call upon more than just his tweakers. "Shadab has proven himself in a lot of conditions so far, and the thing we're most looking forward to is his all-round game as well," Vettori told bigbash.com.au earlier this year. "I think people probably underappreciate him as a batsman and as a fielder." Sounds like a Fantasy player's dream.
Surprise packet: James Peirson ($41,000) has shown in patches what he's capable of in the BBL and he was even being mentioned in the same conversation as the Bash Brothers at times last summer. But he remains somewhat below the radar of most casual observers. The top-order 'keeper-batsman looks likely to play every match and he opened the batting in BBL|06, so if he hits form, he could pick up plenty of points at a good price.
Fantasy bargain: After leaving the Strikers for the Heat last season, Alex Ross ($44,200) had a below-par time of things by his impressive standards. However, after a blistering hundred in the JLT One-Day Cup in October, the dynamic right-hander looks to be in-form and an absolute steal at that price. Pick up 'The Sweepologist' – who is much more than a one-trick pony – before his price skyrockets.