Shane Warne column SuperCoach BBL: Melbourne Renegades batsmen
No reigning Big Bash League champion has started the season with five consecutive losses before.
If Melbourne Renegades are going to mount what appears an unlikely resurgence, their batsmen are going to need to be smarter.
That has been reflected in their SuperCoach BBL numbers, with skipper Aaron Finch (62.3), Beau Webster (57) and Shaun Marsh (51) the only Renegades batsmen averaging more than 50 to Round 5.
There has been a steep drop off after that trio, with Sam Harper (35) the next best.
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Brisbane Heat were facing a similar issue before turning their form around in style against Hobart this round.
Too often players including Chris Lynn, Max Bryant and Tom Banton had fallen when their side could ill afford to lose a wicket.
But Lynn and Bryant better summed up the batsmen-friendly conditions in Hobart and took full toll on a Hurricanes line-up hobbled by an injury to James Faulkner.
I was prepared to reluctantly trade D’Arcy Short after he was called into the one-day squad which travels to India from January 8.
But Hilton Cartwright missing out on the first game of Melbourne Stars’ double forced the Club 23 Legends into a reshuffle and Short stayed as a result.
I’ve got Finch, Short and Adam Zampa heading to India, but plan to use their value to bolster my team and continue my recent rankings surge.
The Club 23 legends have climbed from 35,797th after Round 2 to 17,198th after Round 4.
I’ve still got some ground to make up to reel in fellow Fox Cricket commentators Isa Guha and Mike Hussey, but there’s plenty of time to close the gap.
The Big Bash League title has so often been decided by momentum in the second half of the season and much like Darren Lehmann’s Heat, my side will be at its most dangerous when it matters.
The Renegades and Heat have a double in the last round of the regular season and SuperCoaches want both teams with something to play for.
Perth Scorchers play twice in Round 6 and I’ve loved the form shown by their leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, who was in my starting side.
Ahmed could even be in the mix for a return this round after being traded out for Zampa’s double.
I’m mindful of the Stars having a double in Round 7 and after holding Rashid Khan through his bye, hope to do the same with Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis.
Originally published as SuperCoach: Warne’s plan to juggle ODI stars