Since it’s inception in 2015, the WBBL has gone beyond statistics that redefined and delivered much progress and prospects for a hidden talent to be discovered from every team involved with the game.
At its core, the WBBL might be nestled in Aussie cricketing DNA. However, WBBL is not just an Aussies cricket extravaganza alone; it’s a culmination of the best around the world and the rookies determined to repay the faith posited in them by the ICC.
In that regard, the WBBL placement program, ges the much-needed exposure and interaction with the international players. That told, let’s quickly delve into the main construct of the WBBL 2018.
Here’s how the WBBL 2018 teams stack up this season:
With the Sixers appearing as tournament favourites, Perry and co. will have a daunting task to defend their title.
The star-studded line-up boasts of batting might and a useful bowling combintion.
Those contesting the Sixers may want to take their commitment to reach the end stage of all these seasons, consecutively. Whether it is bench strength, team selection and a fine all-round show, this is a side whose fielding you do not mess with. With only McGlashan as the sole foreign recruit, Sixers have instead signed for four debutants who are the former U-19 players namely Hayley Silver-Homes, Tahila Wilson and Campbell, which is a move different rather than usual. South African Captain Van Niekerk will look to effect an onslaught whereas Sara Aley will lead the pace attack. The batting attack will be led by the captain herself, having topped the charts in the last season, while the T20WC player of the tournament, Healey, currently at the peak who is now in peak of her form will be a big hero.
After a wobble in the previous edition in the semis, Thunder will seek quick changes and will look to add an aggressive approach to their game.
Not yet a star but one that’s already burning bright, Nicola Carey with her pitch perfect line and length earned faith of those who followed her. This was clear after she picked 17 wickets in the last season.
Sam Bates will take over the pace attack as usual. The batters will need to chip in at crucial circumstances to get the team over the line.
One has seen in the past how misfired fielding placements and attempts have cost this promising unit one game too many.
But a team that needs to have its batting unit delivery consistently well, the likes of Blackwell, Haynes and Harmanpreet will come in handy.
The signing of Rachel Trenaman with her recent exceptional domestic season with figures of scoring 122 and 2/25, shows her potential.
It appears that this is a team that is fighting evidetly in contention for an evident run for the top place to put its hand on the first ever title. That has, so far, been inevitable. But it may all change this year.
The Scorchers have always been big strikers of the ball, all thanks to the duo of Vilani and Bolton. Can they make it count this time around too?
Vilani has been among the top-4 run-getters in the previous two editions. So 2018 will surely inspire her confidence. And truthfully speaking, with someone like Meg Lanning around, there shouldn;t be much pressure there. Her transfer to the Scorchers, is an evidence of their team’s might.
It’s a team, with an absence of strong bowling attack like Brunt and Sciver, so that leaves one thinking whether the unit will play a balanced attack featuring both turn and bounce pace and spin.
Heather Graham who had a magnificent domestic trail and in that Australian -A tourney in India, caught everyone’s eyes with figures of 3/14 and that fiery 101 for West Australia.
She is now all set to make her debut.
Having already made its entry twice to the semi-finals in the opening editions, Hurricanes lost some groove in the previous WBBL season, especially the batting section witnessing a downfall. They now have a much-experienced line-up featuring big international hitters like Smriti Mandhana and England Captain Heather Knight joining the squad will be an added advantage. West Indies all-rounder Hayley Matthews has always been a saviour with her ability to chip in with something vibrant, whether with the bat or the ball. But, the unit’s bowling attack needs to be well planned and ultimately executed precisely if they are to get to the top 4.
The debutant this year, Rhiann, is a talented all-rounder who can be trusted and nourished to reap benefits. Redmayne who has played a fine knock for the Australia-A team has to showcase her skills with the bat and gloves, in a bid to pave her route to the national side.
With a competent line-up, Strikers’ success depends on their effectiveness to revive their inconsistent winning rates. While Devine’s destructive batting will be a treat for fans and nightmare for any bowler, Tahila McGrath will have to go a notch higher to bring her back to the fold of national duties, especially as she played an ODI over a year ago.
Suzie Bates’ able captaincy, complemented by Schutt and Hazell leading the bowling responsibilities can add attack and a lot of zing to this powerful outfit.
A team that has all the components of batting, bowling and fielding due to its “highly rated” combination of both talent forms seems to be among the threats this year in the WBBL 2018.
Showing a complete dependence on powerful strikers like Mooney, Brisbane Heat will be immovable on their day and cannot be undermined where it comes to appreciating the overall team’s balance vis-à-vis the Sixers, Renegades, Stars and Strikers.
The foxy Jess Jonassen will be the key to move the bowling unit toward an economical way, her experience will be crucial to pave the attack on the right track.
With 4 debutants in the final 15 this year, they will have to figure out a way to check the maximum potential to get to the winning mark. Josie Dooley is a fine talent especially with her impressive captainship skills of the Australian-A team.
Erin Osborne who became a massive contributor to the Strikers’ run during the last season, will be a major player in shaping the team’s winning formula this year too.
Together with Kristin Beams, an international spinner having tons of experience to divert the team from major downfall in the previous editions to the winning ways, there are players like Lizelle Lee and Osborne, who are destructive with that bat.
Annabel Sutherland is a debutant with a bright promise. In what has been a ‘competitive albeit challenging’ domestic season, Melbourne Stars’ talents will rely big on Sutherland. But can the others rally in too?
It is a team that has future potential in store, which was already on display during the Women’s World-T20 when youngsters like Wareham, Vlaeminck and Molineux have had a successful start to their International careers.
The trio who were key to the Australian world cup campaign will have to exhibit the fine form.
Renegades who finished one among the last-3 in the previous edition have a chance for revival to demolish any batting might or fierce bowling attack when the pace attack finds as a whole finds its line and length. No single player can finish a match, but as a team its Renegades who will have to work a complete performance. Tahuhu and Strano have built a strong pace + spin attack in place, while the all-rounders and batters also have to play their roles well in crucial encounters. The youngster, Courtney Webb who can carry both the bowling and batting duties with pride and gusto, will be a player to watch out for.
All this told, who’s your bet on?