BBL09 mega preview: Every team, every player, key stats

Melbourne Stars

Captain: Glenn Maxwell

Coach: David Hussey

Overseas players: Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal), Dale Steyn (South Africa - first six matches), Pat Brown (England - expected from January 8)

Full squad: Pat Brown (overseas replacement), Hilton Cartwright, Jackson Coleman, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Peter Handscomb, Clint Hinchliffe, Sandeep Lamichhane, Nick Larkin, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jonathan Merlo, Lance Morris, Tom O'Connell, Dale Steyn, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa

Last season: 2nd

They suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the final, collapsing from an unlosable position against the Renegades. But they rode the wave of momentum to make the final after finishing fourth. There were a lot of positives to take out of their best season to date despite the bitter disappointment at the end.

What's changed for the season?

They have a new coach after Stephen Fleming stepped down. Former captain David Hussey takes the reigns of a squad that has shaped nicely. They have added Dale Steyn and Pat Brown as their overseas fast bowlers who will play roughly half the tournament each as well as Nathan Coulter-Nile, who is primed to play a big part in what could be his first full BBL for many years. Hilton Cartwright also comes into the squad as an all-round option. He has a modest T20 record with the bat, but he and Coulter-Nile add exceptional athleticism in the field which the Stars view as vital on the wide expanses of the MCG.

Australia impact

Maxwell's availability will be a big question. He has been away from cricket since October to manage his mental health, but is back playing club cricket in Melbourne and looks set for the BBL. Normally, he would be an automatic pick for the India ODI tour but the Stars will benefit if he doesn't go. Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb, and Coulter-Nile could be in the national frame but seem more unlikely than likely, which again helps the Stars. The only man they may miss is Adam Zampa, who will almost certainly travel to India.

Player to watch

Nic Maddinson had also taken a mental health break this season but he is in the form of his life with the bat and seems most comfortable in the Melbourne environment. He could be primed for a big tournament with a settled role.

Key stat (Gaurav Sundararaman)

Among 32 bowlers who have bowled over 200 deliveries in the last four overs of a T20 match, Pat Brown has the best average - 12.42 - for any pace bowler. His death bowling and variations in the T20 Blast is the reason why the Stars have punted on Brown. It will be interesting to see how he bowls at the bigger grounds in Australia.

Perth Scorchers

Captain: Mitchell Marsh

Coach: Adam Voges

Overseas players: Liam Livingstone (England), Chris Jordan (England)

Full squad: Ashton Agar, Fawad Ahmed, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, Chris Jordan, Matthew Kelly, Liam Livingstone, Mitchell Marsh, Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman

Last season: 8th

The Scorchers had been - and still are - the most successful team in BBL history, having not missed the finals in seven seasons, which included three titles. But after finishing top of the table in BBL07 and losing the semi-final, they finished last in BBL08 winning just four games.

What's changed for the season?

They have completely overhauled their list. Simon Katich has been working as a consultant with new high-performance manager Kade Harvey. Shaun Marsh (Renegades), Michael Klinger (retired), Nathan Coulter-Nile (Stars), Hilton Cartwright (Stars), Clint Hinchcliffe (Stars), Usman Qadir (not contracted) and David Willey (not contracted) have all departed. They have signed Liam Livingstone and Chris Jordan as new overseas players. Fawad Ahmed comes in from the Sydney Thunder to change the dynamic of the attack with AJ Tye and Jason Behrendorff out injured. Kurtis Patterson has been signed as part of a new-look top order alongside Livingstone.

Australia impact

They won't be as affected as other teams. Australia's one-day tour of India could see Ashton Turner and Jhye Richardson leave for five games if selected, but it is highly unlikely they will lose any others. Injuries are a bigger issue.

Player to watch

Matthew Kelly only played seven games last season but he made an impression with his death bowling, taking 11 wickets at a strike rate of 14.7. Given the injuries to key bowling personnel, he will be a pivotal player this season.

Key stat (Gaurav Sundararaman)

In this day and age, where spin plays a big role in T20s, the Scorchers have predominantly been dependent on their pace bowling to win titles. It has worked for them until last season. In the last edition, the Scorchers took only 13 wickets with spin at an average of 33. No team took fewer wickets with spin. This edition they are looking to better that record with more variety in the attack.

Hobart Hurricanes

Captain: Matthew Wade

Coach: Adam Griffith

Overseas players: Qais Ahmed (Afghanistan), David Miller (South Africa)

Full squad Qais Ahmad, George Bailey, Scott Boland, Jake Doran, Nathan Ellis, James Faulkner, Jarrod Freeman, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Simon Milenko, David Miller, David Moody, Tom Rogers, Clive Rose, D'Arcy Short, Aaron Summers, Matthew Wade

Last season: 3rd

The Hurricanes dominated the regular season and looked unbeatable at times, but then stumbled at the semi-final stage. They won ten games in the regular season. Their opening combination of Wade and D'Arcy Short set all sorts of records with their monotonous consistency. They had a great bowling combination to back their openers up.

What's changed for the season?

The loss of Jofra Archer and Tymal Mills changes the dynamic of the attack significantly. They no longer have a pace battery and will need a little more variety. David Miller's inclusion adds some real quality to the middle order and gives the batting some depth.

Australia impact

They will be impacted heavily as any team with Wade's rise back to Test ranks must. He is unlikely to be available for the first six games and may miss a seventh. But then, when he returns, Ben McDermott could head to India with the ODI squad. Short is less likely to be in the frame but it's not out of the question. Riley Meredith is also on the Australian selectors' radar after playing for Australia A and if he has a big start to the BBL and the Test quicks get rested from the ODI tour, then the Hurricanes could be shorn of their strike weapon.

Player to watch

Riley Meredith has bowled well in Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup cricket this season. Provided his body holds up, and in the absence of Archer, he will be the main man for the Hurricanes attack with the new ball and at the death.

Key stat (Gaurav Sundararaman)

Wade and Short lit the tournament up last year with their opening stands. They averaged 58.07 and contributed to 50% of the team's runs.

Melbourne Renegades

Captain: Aaron Finch

Coach: Michael Klinger

Overseas players: Harry Gurney (England), Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan), Richard Gleeson (England - first eight games)

Full squad: Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Tom Cooper, Zak Evans, Aaron Finch, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Richard Gleeson Harry Gurney, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Shaun Marsh, Joe Mennie, Mohammad Nabi, Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Beau Webster, Jack Wildermuth

Last season: 1st

The Renegades stole the title last season from cross-town rivals the Melbourne Stars in the most extraordinary final in BBL history. The Stars collapse wasn't all self-inflicted with the Renegades attack and tactics being well planned over the course of the season to produce the result.

What's changed for the season?

The biggest change is off-field, with the loss of experienced title-winning coach Andrew McDonald. Untried coach Michael Klinger steps in but, if anything, he inherits a stronger squad than what McDonald had. Aaron Finch will be available for more games than last season and they have acquired Australia's most in-form domestic player in Shaun Marsh to add further top-order experience. The attack is the same with the exception of losing Chris Tremain. After some last-minute switches, with Faheem Ashraf and Usman Shinwari withdrawing, Harry Gurney will be available for the full tournament.

Australia impact

They will lose Finch for a chunk of games in mid-January due to Australia's ODI tour of India and more-than-likely they will also lose Kane Richardson for that tour.

Player to watch

Shaun Marsh has rarely had the chance to play a full BBL tournament. He has been player of the tournament in an IPL. He was man of the match in the Marsh Cup final with an unbeaten century for WA. He also has two Shield centuries, including a double, this season. He could have a huge tournament.

Key stat (Gaurav Sundararaman)

The Renegades won the league last season thanks to their bowling unit. They had a tournament economy rate of 6.81 and averaged 23 runs per wicket, which was the best in the league. Harry Gurney was their best death bowler conceding 7.28 runs per over in the last four overs - the league's second-best behind Jofra Archer.

Adelaide Strikers

Captain: Travis Head

Coach: Jason Gillespie

Overseas players: Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Phil Salt (England)

Full squad: Wes Agar, Alex Carey, Travis Head, Rashid Khan, Jake Lehmann, Michael Neser, Harry Nielsen, Liam O'Connor, Phil Salt, Matt Short, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald, Jonathan Wells, Cameron White, Nick Winter, Harry Conway

Last season: 7th

The Strikers went from champions to second from bottom in a campaign that never really got off the ground with a four-game losing streak mid-season ending their hopes of a successful title defence.

What's changed for the season?

Gillespie has used his Sussex knowledge to bring in top-order batsman Salt, who briefly featured in the England T20I squad earlier this year. Ben Laughlin, a long-time part of the Strikers attack, has moved to the Brisbane Heat for family reasons, with Harry Conway coming into the squad. Cameron White, in what is likely to be the final fling of his career, brings winning experience from the Melbourne Renegades.

Australia impact

Head and possibly Michael Neser will be featuring in the Test side until early January, and Alex Carey will be lost to the ODI tour India mid-tournament. There is a chance that if Neser remains in the Test squad he could be released for BBL duty if not needed against New Zealand.

Player to watch

Wes Agar has been bowling very well in Marsh Cup and Sheffield Shield cricket this season and, after just two matches for the Strikers last summer, could get greater opportunity in this campaign particularly with the departure of Laughlin and if Neser is on Australia duty.

Key stat (Gaurav Sundararaman)

Rashid Khan's form might have dipped in other T20s and ODIs in 2019 but his performance in the Big Bash is extraordinary. In the last two seasons, Rashid has taken 37 wickets at an economy rate of 5.93 and 45% of his deliveries are dots.

Brisbane Heat

Captain: Chris Lynn

Coach: Darren Lehmann

Overseas players: Tom Banton (England - first eight games), AB de Villiers (South Africa - expected from January 9), Zahir Khan (Afghanistan), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan)

Full squad: Tom Banton, Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, AB De Villiers (overseas replacement), Cameron Gannon, Sam Heazlett, Zahir Khan, Matthew Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Ben Laughlin, Josh Lalor, Chris Lynn, James Pattinson, James Peirson, Jack Prestwidge, Matt Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman (overseas replacement)

Last season: 5th

They had a lot of hype about them but failed to fire, missing the finals by a game. Their much-vaunted top order made a lot of bright starts but fizzled out quickly and the order was chopped and changed throughout the tournament. They saved their best work for the last two games with two magnificent chases but it was too little too late.

What's changed for the season?

A new coach and a few new bash brothers. Darren Lehmann, who led the Heat to the title in BBL02, takes charge again after Daniel Vettori stepped down. The signing of AB de Villiers and Tom Banton made a huge stir. They will play half the tournament each with de Villiers available for the finals. The Heat have the best batting line-up in the BBL but historically the best bowling teams have won the tournament and they will need to bowl well. Laughlin's return to Queensland from the Strikers having won a title in Adelaide is a nice addition.

Australia impact

James Pattinson's availability early in the tournament is subject to his Test duties but he could play more games than the Heat had planned for, given the form of Australia's incumbent Test quicks. Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne will be unavailable in the early part of the tournament but both may even struggle to get a game for the Heat given the batting depth. It is unlikely many Heat players will head to India with the ODI team, although Labuschagne was named joint player of the Marsh Cup and Australia may want to look at him in a second format if they experiment with the side.

Player to watch

Max Bryant is the obvious choice. He has so much potential but capitalising on starts and finding consistency as a young player is his biggest challenge. He has had a lean season in 50-over cricket for Queensland but a couple of early scores in the BBL and he could go have a huge tournament.

Key stat (Gaurav Sundararaman)

Tom Banton comes into this competition with very high expectations. Out of the 41 players to have faced 200 balls in powerplays in 2019, Banton has the best strike rate of 160. He scores big and at a brisk pace. The Gabba pitch could be perfect for Banton to showcase his skills.

Sydney Sixers

Captain: Moises Henriques

Coach: Greg Shipperd

Overseas players: Tom Curran (England), James Vince (England)

Full squad: Moises Henriques, Sean Abbott, Justin Avendano, Jackson Bird, Tom Curran, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Dan Fallins, Josh Hazlewood, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Steve O'Keefe, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Jordan Silk, Steven Smith, James Vince.

Last season: Semi-finals

A solid league season helped them qualify in third place for the semi-finals, a run of four victories in a row in the latter part of the tournament building a good head of the steam. But that was halted in the final regular season game when they collapsed for 74 against the Stars. That blew the chance of a home semi-final, meaning they headed back to Melbourne to face the Renegades, where Dan Christian ripped the match from them.

What's changed for the season?

It has been a reasonably quiet off-season for the Sixers, although there was the headline of them securing Steven Smith for a handful of matches at the back-end of the tournament, which could include the finals if the Sixers make it, while Josh Hazlewood has also returned after a gap of five years. They may need to look for overseas replacements at that stage, however, with Tom Curran and James Vince likely to be involved in England's limited-overs matches in South Africa.

Australia impact

Alongside Smith not appearing until after the one-day tour of India, Nathan Lyon and Hazlewood won't be available until the Test series against New Zealand ends, and Hazlewood could be delayed further if recalled to the ODI side. But apart from that only a potential call-up to the one-day side for Sean Abbott would disrupt their plans.

Player to watch

Josh Philippe passed 300 runs last season but that still felt a little underwhelming for the talent he possesses. At 22, he still has plenty of time on his side, but a strong campaign this year could propel him into the planning for next year's T20 World Cup. After a promising start to the Marsh Cup for Western Australia, he was left out of the final, so the BBL will be crucial for keeping the season on track.

Key stat (Gaurav Sundararaman)

Daniel Hughes has been the most consistent batsmen for the Sixers in the last three seasons. He has scored more than 200 runs in each of the last three seasons averaging in excess of 30. His strike rate over the last three seasons (121), however, is the lowest for a top-order batsman to have played a minimum of 400 balls.

Sydney Thunder

Captain: Callum Ferguson

Coach: Shane Bond

Overseas players: Alex Hales (England), Chris Morris (South Africa)

Full squad: Callum Ferguson, Jono Cook, Oliver Davies, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales (overseas), Usman Khawaja, Jay Lenton, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Morris (overseas), Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain

Last season: 6th

They were in contention throughout the competition before falling just short of the knockouts. There was an element of controversy to that as they were well on top in the match against the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba when the lights went out. A brilliant century from Callum Ferguson secured a big chase against the Perth Scorchers but they were thrashed by the Sydney Sixers to all but end their hopes.

What's changed for the season?

There have been two strong overseas signings in Hales and Morris, while Chris Tremain, after his move from the Melbourne Renegades, bolsters the pace attack, which had been a weakness. Alex Ross has also come in from the Brisbane Heat.

Australia impact

Usman Khawaja, who has committed his future to the Thunder, may be available for the whole campaign after losing his Test place, although he could still feature in the ODI squad to tour India in mid-January. Pat Cummins, who played once last season, will not feature this season.

Player to watch

Matthew Gilkes is a rising star, having given glimpses of his talent for New South Wales this season to follow his 51 off 38 balls on T20 debut for the Thunder last summer when the club went through a succession of wicketkeepers. With Jos Buttler not returning, there is a chance for someone to grab hold of the wicketkeeping spot, and Gilkes will compete with Jay Lenton although he could also play as a batsman.

Key stat (Gaurav Sundararaman)

Since the start of 2017, there have been 157 bowlers who have bowled more than 200 balls in the powerplay. Chris Green has the best economy rate (6.04) for a spinner and the second best among all bowlers, only behind India's Bhuvneshwar Kumar (5.89). With the T20 World Cup in Australia next year, Green's performance will hold the key towards Thunder's hopes as well as his chances to make the Australia squad.