Here is a look at BBL 11 so far.
The 21st century brought along a whole new dimension to cricket I.e., League Cricket. Leagues have managed to spice up the game of cricket by adding the much-needed glamour to the gentleman’s game. The Big Bash League has been a tremendous contributor to the same. New playing conditions like ‘Power Surge’ wherein the batsman get to dictate the maximum number of fielders outside the 30-yard circle for a period of 2 overs in the middle of the innings is a byproduct of the term “ Cricketainment ” .
The 11th season of the BBL is up and running with defending champions Sydney Sixers maintaining their position at the top and look potent enough to repeat their heroics for a second successive time. Meanwhile the Melbourne Renegades who have had to go through a change in the leadership group with Finch stepping down at the start of the season citing “busy international schedule” haven’t started off the season as they would have liked to.
The star-studded Melbourne Stars is looking to make a comeback after a horrendous last season, maintaining a decent 50% W/L ratio as of now. The last year’s runners up Scorchers haven’t dropped a game till now. It might be a little too early to predict but it could well be a repeat of BBL 10 finale.
Josh Phillipe, who is a familiar name when it comes to Franchisee cricket has started the season on a high, currently topping the run scoring charts with 259 runs in 4 innings. His compatriot and skipper Moises Henriques joins him at the top. The ‘Big Show’ after being retained by his IPL Franchisee seems to be going through a purple patch all through this Australian summer.
Meanwhile, the conditions Down-Under seem to be fitting well for the Afghani chinaman spinner Zahir Khan. In an otherwise underperforming outfit that the Renegades is, Zahir Khan has been the lone bright spot. Andrew Tye, who has been a force to reckon with in the T20 Format leads the way along with Zahir. His clever bowling at the death has kept the batsmen guessing throughout.
Steve OKeefe has managed to stem the flow of runs in the powerplay overs and given some early breakthroughs as well. When it comes to T20 cricket, winning the powerplay is an essential factor. OKeefe and Phillipe have just done so for the Sixers while bowling and batting respectively.
One of Australia’s leading bowlers in the T20 format, Kane Richardson is amongst the wickets too. A potent bowling lineup usually guarantees the fact that the team must be performing well. However, it has not been the case for Renegades so far.
They have 2 out of the top 3 leading wicket takers of the tournament and still find themselves at the bottom of the table. Their batsmen need to elevate their performances if they want to be in the running for a knockout spot.
To choose from watching a fast paced T20 league or a 139 year old cricketing rivalry is some task for any cricket fan at the moment.
Whatever the fans decide,the gentleman’s game is the real winner.