Five Fearless Predictions – Melbourne Renegades BBL08

The Renegades were the smallest margin possible away from hosting the 2017-18 BBL Final, losing their semi final with eventual champions Adelaide by one run. Their hopes for advancing further this season will rely heavily upon veteran Cameron White matching, or even improving, on his stellar season in Renegade Red.


Adelaide Grading

Squad:

Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Tom Cooper, Zac Evans, Aaron Finch, Harry Gurney, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Mohammad Nabi, Kane Richardson, Usman Khan Shinwari, Will Sutherland, Chris Tremain, Beau Webster, Cameron White, Jack Wildermuth.

Ins & Outs:

In: Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Zac Evans, Harry Gurney, Harvey McKenzie, Usman Khan Shinwari. Out: Dwayne Bravo, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, James Pattinson, Kieron Pollard, Matt Short.


Adelaide Grading


1. A successful summer for Finch and Harris will hurt.

For much of the BBL’s history the fortunes of the Renegades have ebbed and flowed on the form of Aaron Finch. With him and his opening partner Marcus Harris in the Test side, a successful summer for both, or either man, will leave a hole that may leave the Renegades among the alsorans at the end of the BBL season.


2. Tom Cooper will lead Renegades run scorers.

With the likely absence of a few better known names, BBL08 could be a big year for Tom Cooper. With the 2018/19 season already a productive one for the South Australian at Sheffield Shield level, the incentive of possible Australian selection in limited over cricket could see the 32-year-old produce a season to remember for the Renegades.


3. Usman Khan Shinwari looms as the Import of the Year.

Back injuries have prevented Shinwari from an extended stay in the Pakistan side, but the 24-year-old’s brief stints in the national team have shown him to be a tremendous talent. At T20 level he has been particularly destructive with 57 wickets from his 47 games with an average of 20 and a strike rate of 16! If he can get the new ball to talk in the Big Bash like he has elsewhere he could well be the import of the year.


4. New Years Day will be an unhappy reunion with Bravo.

The leading wicket taker in T20 history, Dwayne Bravo has been a fixture for the Renegades since BBL03. This will all change this season when he replaces Renegades’ Red for the green of cross-town rival Melbourne Stars. The Renegades will cross paths with their former import for the first time on New Years Day and it has the potential of being a very unhappy reunion.


5. Chris Tremain will cause headaches for opposition bats.

Chris Tremain has taken wickets at will so far this year in the Sheffield Shield, with his performances recognised with selection in Australia’s Squad for the First Test against India. While red ball and white ball cricket are different beasts, look for Tremain to use the national stage offered by the Big Bash to further stake his claims for national selection.


Renegades 2018-19 Fixture.

4

The season starts with a pair of difficult encounters with last seasons ladder leaders Perth, and eventual champions Adelaide. They will be well acquainted with their Semi Final nemesis with their return fixture just 11 days later. Surprisingly this isn’t their shortest turn around, they play the Thunder twice in eight days and the Heat twice in three. The highlight of their campaign looms as the traditional New Years Day clash against the Stars, with a big crowd expected to watch the cross-town rivals fight for bragging rights.


Predicted Finish.

At their best they can challenge the best but, with the loss or expected absence of some quality players, their fortunes will rest on an elite few. With the competition extended to a full home and away round robin, this lack of depth is likely to prove costly.

Expect to see them in the 4th – 6th bracket at seasons end.


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