The T20 World Cup final will hold plenty of significance for KFC SuperCoaches as several BBL signings compete for the top prize in T20 cricket.
Up to six players of interest to KFC SuperCoaches are in the frame to feature at the MCG, headlined by No. 1 draft pick Liam Livingstone and Pakistani all-rounder Shadab Khan.
Here’s what we’ll be looking out for in the final and what it could mean for your KFC SuperCoach selections.
Chris Jordan (Sydney Sixers) $125,000 BWL
No guarantee to feature in the final if Mark Wood proves his fitness. Jordan was on the end of Hardik Pandya’s late flourish in the semi-final, taking three wickets but finishing with 3-43. His three wickets and eight dot balls in that match would have equated to 68 KFC SuperCoach points, which emphasises the importance of targeting death bowlers. Even if they’re expensive, they can rack up KFC SuperCoach points as teams chase quick runs.
Phil Salt (Perth Scorchers) $125,000 BAT
Perhaps the most interesting player on the KFC SuperCoach BBL watch list in the T20 World Cup final. Salt came into the England team for the injured Dawid Malan in the semi-final but wasn’t required as Jos Buttler and Alex Hales put on an unbroken 170-run opening partnership against India. KFC SuperCoaches would love to get a look at Salt before the BBL season to get an indication of his form. He’s cheap enough that you could stash him on your bench with an eye on the Scorchers’ Round 2 double and a strong performance in the final would lead to an ownership rise from featuring in less than 500 teams.
Liam Livingstone (Melbourne Renegades) $180,000 BAT-BWL
The Renegades’ top draft pick won’t be relevant until Round 5 in KFC SuperCoach after being called up for England’s Test squad to tour Pakistan. Andre Russell has been signed as his replacement for the first four rounds. Livingstone is expected to play about five matches for the BBL and should have a prominent role as a middle-order bat and spin-bowling option when he arrives. Importantly, he looks set to be available by December 28, when the Renegades play the Sixers in game one of their first double of the campaign. Livingstone was rarely used as a bowler by Perth but has been an important part of England’s attack at the World Cup.
Alex Hales (Sydney Thunder) $130,000 BAT
Surely you already have Hales in your team after his semi-final demolition job? A score of 86 from 47 balls would have been worth 111 KFC SuperCoach points. Hales was already in about 38 per cent of KFC SuperCoach teams before his Adelaide heroics, largely due to the Thunder playing four games in the opening two rounds of BBL12. His ownership is so high, you practically have no choice but to pick him. If he goes large in any of the first four games and you aren’t on board, you’ll be chasing almost half the field in KFC SuperCoach BBL. Even if he goes cheaply in the final, Hales should be in your starting team.
David Willey (Sydney Thunder) $149,500 BAT-BWL
Unlikely to play in the World Cup decider unless England makes a shock change and leaves someone like Jordan out to lengthen its batting order. Will be a popular starting pick regardless due to two doubles in two rounds.
Shadab Khan (Hobart Hurricanes) $125,000 BAT-BWL
See the extensive notes below on why Shadab might be the best value pick in KFC SuperCoach for BBL12. A strong showing in the final would make it almost impossible to leave him out for Round 1 in KFC SuperCoach despite not having a double until Round 8.
THE PLAYER EVERY KFC SUPERCOACH WILL BE WATCHING IN T20 FINAL
Yes we Khan.
Shadab Khan that is.
One of the heroes of Pakistan’s improbable surge to the T20 World Cup final will be staying in Australia after the tournament after being drafted in the first round of the inaugural BBL draft by Hobart Hurricanes.
The official rankings suggest Khan is the 15th-ranked T20 all-rounder in the world, but that undersells his talent and importance to Pakistani cricket.
Shadab collected 10 wickets in the Super 12 stage, making him one of the most prolific spin bowlers at the T20 World Cup.
Only Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga – a player who fetched $2 million in the lucrative IPL auction – took more wickets than Shadab of the spinners at the T20 World Cup.
The 24-year-old might be relatively unknown to Australian cricket fans but he is hugely popular on the subcontinent and has a Twitter following of 1.5 million.
Most significantly for the Hurricanes, Shadab is one of the few premium players drafted who will be available for the full BBL tournament.
“I think the challenge the BBL teams have faced the last couple of years has been their international players coming in and out,” Ricky Ponting, who headlined Hobart’s BBL draft team said on the night.
“You get two or three games out of one and you have got to try and fill that spot with someone of a similar role and ability and that’s pretty hard to do.
“The three that we’ve got are there for most of the tournament and we wanted that continuity.”
The Hurricanes will be the unofficial BBL team for Pakistan cricket fans after drafting Shadab, middle-order power-hitter Asif Ali and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf.
“Our first couple of picks were exactly the ones that we were after. We were surprised that Shadab got to where he did. It was a hole in our squad that we needed to fill with a quality spinner that’s a three-dimensional player,” Ponting said on draft night.
“We wanted to add some power in our middle-order. I’m sure other teams would have spoken about Asif Ali. I think Brisbane had spoken about him … that’s exactly the role that we needed.”
Ponting is right when he describes Shadab as a 360-player, which was evidenced not just by his bowling but his batting and fielding in the T20 World Cup.
He scored a half-century off 22 balls in a crucial Super 12 game against South Africa and then pulled off a direct hit run-out to remove Devon Conway in the semi-final against New Zealand.
Now, for the important stuff – his KFC SuperCoach value.
At $125 and listed as a BAT-BWL, Shadab might be the most undervalued player in KFC SuperCoach BBL.
Khan has played for Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers, although it would be unfair to judge his talent based on four games for the Sixers in BBL11 where he only bowled nine overs and batted twice.
Let’s assume the Hurricanes’ batting line-up shapes up something like this: Wade, McDermott, Short, Ali, David, Shadab.
Batting in the top-six and bowling four overs as the frontline spinner is about as good as it gets in KFC SuperCoach.
The quickest source of points is wickets (worth 20), while Shadab would be in line for the strike rate bonus if we can replicate his career strike rate of 137 (from 219 T20 games) in the BBL.
Hobart might not have a KFC SuperCoach double until Round 8 and an awkward bye in Round 5, but imagine what Shadab’s price could be by then.
At $125k, he is priced at roughly 43 points a game – the equivalent of one wicket, a catch and a bowling economy rate of between 7-8 (with a few dot balls thrown in).
That’s before he even picks up the willow.
Any KFC SuperCoach can tell you loading your team with players on the double is crucial.
But it’s the stars you fit around them who truly make the best teams.
At a price which makes him the 50th most-expensive player in KFC SuperCoach, Shadab is almost impossible to ignore.
If you’re a Pakistan cricket fan, you will no doubt be invested in the T20 World Cup final as your country looks to complete an incredible comeback helped by the Netherland’s victory over South Africa on the last day of the Super 12 stage.
And the best way to continue that passion deeper into the summer is by entering a KFC SuperCoach BBL team at supercoach.com.au
You can’t go wrong by picking Shadab as the first player in your team, even if it’s a selection based on parochialism rather than KFC SuperCoach.
He has shown at the World Cup just how damaging he could be for the Hurricanes and why his price of $125k is frankly a bit ridiculous.
Enjoy the final – which Shadab will no doubt play a major role in – then make sure he’s in your KFC SuperCoach team.
Bargains like this don’t come around often in KFC SuperCoach.
Originally published as T20 World Cup final: Players to watch, Shadab Khan KFC SuperCoach BBL analysis