SuperCoach Plus: KFC SuperCoach BBL expert judgment on returning Australian testers

Australia’s Test stars will be relegated to the BBL in KFC SuperCoach in time for the home run. Who are the must-haves and which ones can you avoid? Our experts have their say.

A welcome boost for the Big Bash League – and the KFC SuperCoach teams – a host of Aussie Test stars will soon be joining the BBL franchises for the BBL12 run home.

Skipper Pat Cummins and pacemen Josh Hazlewood and Scott Boland are yet to sign for a team, while Mitch Starc and Cameron Green will be absent through injury.

David Warner’s BBL return has dominated the headlines, but with Steve Smith also back, Travis Head and Alex Carey in brilliant form, and “Wild Thing” Lance Morris eager to be unleashed, the Test team will see the KFC SuperCoach -Provide teams with many options.

The third Test against South Africa is due to end on January 8, although it should increase the chances of Head and Carey playing in the Strikers’ first game in the Round 9 double on January 10 if Australia can complete the game earlier.

Fast gates, please Patty and Co!

Scroll down to see our verdict on each player featured in BBL12 in this week’s SuperCoach Plus article.

Travis Head (Forward) $125,000 BAT BWL

Head, one of the summer’s formatives, did not fail against the West Indies with 99, 177 and 38 points and underscored those efforts with 92 and 51 points in the first two Tests against South Africa. Runs are one thing, but it’s the rate at which Head has been scoring that should excite KFC SuperCoaches. Head’s 312 runs against the West Indies averaged a 91.5 batting average. In the first two Tests against South Africa it was 143 runs for a SR of 94. He will have a fair chance to bowl with Rashid Khan as well as he is set to leave. Expect him to bat for 3rd place behind Matt Short and Alex Carey.

VERDICT: Assuming he’s available for the first game of the ninth round, you can’t miss it. Could be a long shot though if they play five days in Sydney. He’s in the form of his life and ready to lead the Strikers final.

Alex Carey (Forward) $121,400 WKP-BAT

Maiden Test Century? Completed. Now Carey returns to the top of the Strikers order for the BBL12 run home. Hopefully the Aussie Test gloveman will be available for Round 9 as he would be a starting option in the KFC SuperCoach for the Strikers doubles and Rounds 10 and 11 when no teams play twice. The Scorchers then play twice in Round 12 so he could become Josh Inglis depending on the score/prize. Carey averaged 52.3 KFC SuperCoach points in BBL10 and 57.9 in BBL09. And he’s a better player than he was then.

VERDICT: Just like Travis Head. If he faces the Renegades on January 10th, he’s a must. Likely to open the lash with Matt Short.

Nathan Lyon (Sixers) $90,500 BWL

It’s a GOAT sale! How can Australia’s all-time leading off-spinner be available for less than $100,000? His one round last season in the BBL resulted in a 39 score and Lyon didn’t feature at all for the Sixers in BBL10. That means you can get one of the world’s best spinners for less than $100,000 in KFC SuperCoach – which may come at the perfect time when other high-priced targets are returning for their respective clubs. Lyon has 42 wickets in 33 games for the Sixers with an impressive batting rate of one every 16.6 balls.

VERDICT: If the SCG’s course continues to offer as much turn as it has, Lyon could be a great cheap option to go home.

David Warner (Thunder) $204,000 BAT

Welcome back Davey! Warner has signed a two-year deal to return to the Big Bash League after guest appearances for The Thunder in BBL01 and BBL03. Warner also played in a game for Thunder’s city rivals Sydney Sixers. KFC SuperCoaches would not have dreamed of paying more than $200,000 for a batsman before Warner celebrated his 100th Test with a double-century triumph over South Africa. Expect its T20 rating to be obvious when it’s available. It’s just a matter of whether you can fit him into your limited KFC SuperCoach budget. He will take over the opening role from Alex Hales, who is soon to move to the United Arab Emirates’ T20 league.

VERDICT: It’s hard to justify paying that much for a batsman, but it’s great to see him back in the BBL.

Usman Khawaja (Heat) $155,200 BAT

Khawaja has joined the Heat from Sydney Thunder and is likely to open in the latter part of the tournament with Colin Munro and Sam Billings en route to the United Arab Emirates. It’s been seven BBLs since Khawaja led the Thunder to a title with some of the best innings in tournament history. But he’s averaged 30 out of 107 career T20s, which is a record that needs to be respected. Played in the final for the Thunder last year and made 23 of 17 balls in the knockout against the Adelaide Strikers.

VERDICT: One that should be on the radar for the round 12 double of the heat. The price tag rules him out until then.

Marnus Labuschagne (Heat) $204,700 BAT-BWL

Labuschagne’s proud prize is a far cry from the $64,000 he had at his disposal before dominating the walk home during the BBL10. In that tournament, Labuschagne played a pivotal role for the Heat with bat and ball, hitting 176 runs in six innings and snapping 10 wickets. The Heat rolled into BBL12 with two spinners, selecting Mitch Swepson and Matt Kuhnemann early in the season. If one of them is ousted by Labuschagne’s return, take that as a sign he’s going to bowl. He will take over Sam Billings’ role in the batting lineup and start at either #3 or #4.

VERDICT: The hardest player from this list to make a final call. Scored 61, 24, 67, 122, 139, 107 and 70 points in his last KFC SuperCoach BBL rounds and finished BBL10 with a prize of more than $250,000. Pay just $204,000 if you’re sure he’ll bowl – and wicket.

Steve Smith (Sixers) $180,000 BAT

Great result for BBL fans and KFC SuperCoaches after a stalemate threatened his availability for BBL12. He was reportedly looking to play the Finals for the Covid-ravaged Sixers last season but was beaten back. At least that won’t be the case this summer as Sydney prepares for Smith to take over the top order position that will become vacant when James Vince departs mid-season. He has a point to prove after being ousted from Australia’s T20 side. He has only played 24 games for the Sixers but has 235 career T20s and almost 5000 shortest format runs.

VERDICT: No doubles in the last four rounds for the Sixers, but that shouldn’t completely shut Smith out of your thinking. He will be a figurehead, hitting 120 runs with a batting average of 151.9 during BBL09.

Lance Morris (Scorchers) $62,500 BWL

Wild Thing, you make my heart sing. Will you show love to Lance Morris when he returns to the Scorchers? Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye and Jason Behrendorff were so good in BBL12 that Morris may not enter the Perth team straight after returning from the Test squad. However, coach Adam Voges has spoken enthusiastically about the impact he thinks Morris can have having established himself in the Test squad so far in the BBL12. Perhaps Perth will start rotating their quicks to ensure they all shoot in the final?

VERDICT: Why not? At this price it’s not a risk and you can get away with dragging it from your bank. At least it will be fun to have a player named “Wild Thing” on your team.

Cameron Green $62,500 (Scorchers) BAT-BWL

Unfortunately for KFC SuperCoaches, Green was ruled out of BBL12 due to the finger injury he sustained at the Boxing Day Test. Happily, he’ll likely have $62,000 again in BBL13. Not bad for a guy who wants to make more than $3 million from the IPL.

VERDICT: Only if you need a late loophole as he won’t play.



3 VOICES – Travis Head*

2 VOICES – Alex Carey*

1 VOICE – Nathan Lyon


3 VOICES Travis Head

2 VOTES Alex Carey

1 VOTE Marnus Labuschagne


*Subject to Round 9 being available.

Originally published as SuperCoach Plus: KFC SuperCoach BBL Expert Opinions on Returning Australian Tryouts SuperCoach Plus: KFC SuperCoach BBL expert judgment on returning Australian testers

Ryan Sederquist

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