Five teams down and three to go in out 2018-19 Big Bash League team previews! Today we take a look at the 3rd placed team in last year’s Big Bash League, the Melbourne Renegades. Can the Renegades improve and go one step further in BBL08?
Last Season: 3rd
In: Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Zak Evans, Mackenzie Harvey, Will Sutherland, Usman Khan Shinwari, Harry Gurney
Out: Dwayne Bravo (Stars), Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, James Pattinson, Matt Short, Guy Walker
Current Squad (18): Aaron Finch, Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Tom Cooper, Zak Evans, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Usman Khan Shinwari, Harry Gurney, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Mohammad Nabi, Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Chris Tremain, Beau Webster, Cameron White, Jack Wildermuth
After four years in a row finishing outside of the top four, the Renegades finally made their way back into the finals in 2017-18, finishing third on the table before ultimately going down to the Adelaide Strikers in the semifinal.
Melbourne have finished in the top four in just two of the first seven BBL seasons and remain the only team in the competition not to make a final. They have added some key pieces this year in the form of overseas contracted players Usman Khan Shinwari and Harry Gurney who will play half od the season each.
Aaron Finch will begin the season as captain but due to international duties could miss the majority of the season. Cameron White looks the obvious replacement as captain while Andrew McDonald will enter his third season as head coach.
Finch will be a big loss if he keeps his spot in the Test side and is ruled out of the majority of the BBL season. However, the skipper only suited up for six games last season and the Renegades still managed to make the finals, so confidence should still be high in the team camp. Marcus Harris is another player likely to miss through international duty.
With the two Test openers out of the side, the top order will be held up by Tom Cooper, Cameron White, Beau Webster and wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman. The batting department will be strengthened by a plethora of all-rounders. The Renegades will lose stalwart Dwayne Bravo, but in his place, they will slot in Dan Christian, who joins from the Hobart Hurricanes. Joining Christian in the middle order will likely be Mohammad Nabi and Jack Wildermuth.
All in all it looks a pretty solid lineup for the Renegades, which could obviously be strengthened and turned into arguably the best in the league with the return of Aaron Finch and/or Marcus Harris later in the season.
Dwayne Bravo was one of the best bowlers in the Big Bash League last season, claiming 18 wickets in 11 games to tie Rashid Khan for the league lead. That production and particularly the death bowling that Bravo provides will be hard to replace but the Renegades have added some pieces.
English left arm quick Harry Gurney will join the Renegades in BBL08 and alongside him in the pace attack will be Kane Richardson, Joe Mennie and Chris Tremain, who is arguably the most in form paceman in the domestic scene at the moment. Pakistni quick Usman Khan Shinwari is also a great addition.
The Renegades also boast some quality spinning options in the likes of all-rounder Mohammad Nabi and full timers Jon Holland and Cameron Boyce.
1. Aaron Finch
2. Marcus Harris
3. Cameron White
4. Tom Cooper
5. Tim Ludeman
6. Mohammad Nabi
7. Dan Christian
8. Kane Richardson
9. Joe Mennie
10. Chris Tremain
11. Jon Holland
A lot relies on the Renegades all-rounders this season. Without Finch and Harris in the team their batting line-up becomes a little thin and Mohammad Nabi and Dan Christian will have to play a massive role with the bat.
Another season in the top four definitely isn't out of the question for the Renegades, but without a few of their star batsmen for the majority of the season we have them finishing just outside the finals.
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