SuperCoach BBL|08 Review: Brisbane Heat
It was a shocking year for the Heat who looked initially to have the deepest batting lineup in the Big Bash League, but they quite literally didn't fire a shot, failing to win on their home deck until Round 11 where they defeated cellar dwellers Perth by two runs.
There was a bit of a changing of the guard, as teenage sensation Max Bryant forced his way into opening the batting for the Heat, effectively putting an end to the Bash Brother partnership of Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum.
Brisbane Heat coach Daniel Vettori is set to quit ahead of a full-scale review, but could retired Kiwi Brendon McCullum step into the potential vacant role, similar to that of Adam Voges at the Scorchers?
Top 5 players
- Josh Lalor - BWL - 70.2 average points per game
- Ben Cutting - BAT/BWL - 63.6
- Mujeed Uh Rahman - BWL - 55.0
- Matthew Renshaw - BAT - 47.4
- Brendan Doggett - BWL 46.1
Coming into the season, the Heat were considered to have one of the deepest batting lists in the Big Bash. However, while they quite literally batted deep, this did not translate to SuperCoach scores.
Three of the top five SuperCoach players for the Heat were dedicated bowlers. Nobody would've picked that coming into the season. Perhaps what's more startling is Matt Renshaw's inclusion in the top five. After struggling for opportunities earlier in the BBL|08 seasons, Renshaw got going during a four-game stint which included a SuperCoach score of 183 from Round 12.
Josh Lalor really came of age this year. The left arm fast bowler showcased his pace, taking three wickets over two overs against the Scorchers. International Mujeeb Ur Rahman proved to be a popular pick in SuperCoach at the start of the season, and remained a keeper throughout, averaging a very handy 55 points per game.
Ben Cutting has been a consistent performer over the years in BBL, so it comes as no surprise to see the handy all-rounder anchored here in the top. Brendan Doggett creeps into the top five, having played just seven games with five of those bettering 45 points or more.
Top 5 disappointments
- Sam Heazlett - BAT - 8.0
- Joe Burns - BAT - BAT - 18.0
- Jimmy Peirson - WKP/BAT - 20.7
- Brendon McCullum - BAT - 33.9
- Mitch Swepson - BWL - 34.3
Heading the list of disappointments was Sam Heazlett. In a season where the Heat struggled to post big scores, Heazlett only managed a total of 22 points from the Round 1 double, and a mere two SuperCoach points before he was never to be seen again. After a promising JLT Cup, Heazlett failed to live up to the hype he generated with the bat before the season got underway.
Similarly, Joe Burns didn't play after Round 6, playing a total of five games for the year. Jimmy Peirson had one standout game 69, but batting lower in the order meant that he was starved of opportunities with the bat and had to rely on his glovework to generate scores.
Shane Warne labelled Mitch Swepson as the next big thing in cricket but that selection proved a flop, averaging just 33.4 points a game from 13 Rounds.
Top 5 individual performances
- Josh Lalor - Round 9 - 183 points vs Sydney Sixers
- Ben Cutting - Round 14 - 173 points vs Melbourne Stars
- Ben Cutting - Round 1 - 140 vs Hobart Hurricanes
- Max Bryant - Round 13 - 138 vs Melbourne Stars
- Chris Lynn - Round 4 - 126 points vs Sydney Sixers
Looking ahead to BBL|09
Long-serving heavy-hitter, Brendon McCullum has retired and therefore will not be returning to the Heat in BBL|09.
While baby Bash Brother Max Bryant opened on several occasions for the Heat, he'll now form a full-time partnership with captain Chris Lynn at the top of the order, a sight we can get ready to see for a long time to come.
Having become the youngest player ever to sign a BBL contract, Brisbane will be looking to gain the signature of Afghani spinner Ur Rahman ahead of BBL|09 and beyond after he became a replacement for Pakistani spinner, Shadab Khan. He came to Australia on a one-season contract, but given his performances, the Heat will be quick to renegotiate his contract for next year.