Decisions loom on out of contract Renegades
Coach David Saker says decisions will be made over the next week on 'a lot' of out of contract Melbourne Renegades players as he flagged changes for next BBL season
14 January 2022, 10:47 AM AEST
Melbourne Renegades coach David Saker has flagged significant personnel changes for next season after another dismal batting display left them seemingly destined for a third straight wooden spoon.
While technically not out of the KFC BBL|11 finals race, a net run rate of -1.72 means they face a near impossible task to claim fifth spot even if they win their remaining two games.
Only two batters reached double figures on Thursday night in the second Melbourne derby as they posted a dismal 7-122 from their 20 overs, which the Stars chased down with more than five overs to spare.
The Renegades average 128 runs with the bat this season, have only scored over 155 once, and have been bowled out for 105, 80, 121 and 100.
"It hasn't been good enough, there's no doubt, we can't shy away from that," Saker said after the six-wicket loss to the Stars.
"There's quite a lot of players on our list that aren't contracted next year so we've got some meetings to be had in the next week or so about that and we'll make some decisions on players if we keep them in and if we don't.
"We also need to go out and recruit some players and obviously after the three years we've had, the performances aren't really good enough, so we're going to have to get some players in."
Saker, who joined the Renegades before the start of the season following Michael Klinger's departure to take up the Head of Male Cricket role at Cricket NSW, said he didn't want a huge overhaul.
"I just think we need to get two or three spots locked in, just change our side a little bit," the former Australian, England and Sri Lankan fast-bowling coach said.
"Overseas players will play a big role (but) we don't know what's happening there next year, that could be a draft system or get your own again.
"There's some players in other sides out of contract, there's some players in our side that are out of contract … but we'll be definitely looking to recruit some players in."
While both Melbourne clubs are owned by Cricket Victoria, cross-town rivals the Stars were able to recruit international superstars Andre Russell and Haris Rauf, emerging English talent Joe Clarke and 21-year-old Afghan leg-spinner Qais Ahmad.
Meanwhile, the Renegades overseas imports in BBL|11 were fringe England bowler Reece Topley, ageing Afghanistan allrounder Mohammad Nabi, young left-arm wrist spinner Zahir Khan and Unmukt Chand, who has moved to the United States to play cricket after a domestic career in India.
"One of the things we really wanted to do as an organisation – it didn't work out – but we wanted to get players in that could play the whole tournament," Saker said.
"We didn't want to ferry one or two in for two or three games – I found that looking at other franchises that have done that it hasn't always work as well even though they've had big names."
Saker said they were happy with the three overseas players they recruited for BBL|11 but he said they would look at getting some more "star power".
"If you get a guy like Andre Russell for 14 games, (he's) going to have a pretty big impact," the former Victorian quick said.
"But majority of the time you can only get him in for three or four.
"Our recruiting, both overseas and local players, is going to be pretty important for us."
The Renegades have now lost 29 of their past 40 Big Bash matches since beating the Stars to win the title in BBL|08 and have finished bottom in the two seasons since.
The highest average among their batters this season is Aaron Finch with 28.62 and they are the only club not to have multiple batters averaging higher than 30.
Saker said they'd assessed the games, had batting meetings, individual meetings and bowling meetings, but it hadn't led to any results on the field.
"We've had 12 goes with the bat and only two of them have been of any significance," he said.
"One chasing 208 (against the Perth Scorchers) and one chasing a Brisbane Heat team that had grade players in it, so we know where we are at, we're nowhere near where we need to be.
"We've got some young players but there's also some very good experienced players in our group … so particularly with the bat, we should be performing a lot better.
"I think the talent's there, the ability is there – Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch, Nic Maddinson – they're all very good players and the others are the young crop that we're trying to educate as quick as we can.
"Going into this year, I honestly thought we'd be giving the finals a really good crack.
"The one thing that's probably frustrating everyone is the effort is there, the group are really trying their hardest to get better and contribute but the performances haven't been (there).
"But the reality is we're still a chance, which is amazing and that's probably going to keep everyone up and about for the next few days.
"You never know, we're going to have to play some good cricket and probably rely on a few other sides not playing as well, but we could sneak in."