The fifth edition of the Women’s BBL is about to get underway in just a few days and it is time to have a run-down of the teams, look at the changes made in the squads, and determine which teams seem likely to be title contenders this season.
WBBL 05 promises to be better than every single preceding year as Australia’s continued investment into women’s cricket builds up an impressive talent pool to pick from. It would not be entirely unfair to see the WBBL as the toughest tournament in all of women’s cricket right now.
Brisbane Heat defied all odds as it managed to hold off the rampaging Sydney Sixers in WBBL 04. Can they put up a defense of their title or will the Sydney Sixers roll over the competition once again?
|Team||Played||Wins||Losses||Points||Net Run Rate|
|Brisbane Heat Women||14||10||4||20||0.723|
|Adelaide Strikers Women||14||10||4||20||-0.076|
|Perth Scorchers Women||14||9||5||18||0.008|
|Melbourne Renegades Women||14||8||6||16||0.117|
|Sydney Sixers Women||14||7||7||14||0.601|
|Sydney Thunder Women||14||5||8||11||-0.487|
|Hobart Hurricanes Women||14||4||9||9||-0.197|
|Melbourne Stars Women||14||2||12||4||-0.734|
The Adelaide Strikers had a very poor season last year. They were too dependent on their opening pair to get the runs and did not seem to have anything after. They have addressed a few of those concerns by adding some more batters ahead of WBBL 05.
Stafanie Taylor, the West Indian T20 star, has been roped in for the first couple of matches of the WBBL. She will also be available for the last couple of matches and the playoffs, should the Adelaide Striker manage to make it.
The all-round skill, batting power, and experience that Taylor brings to the group are going to be invaluable. English international, Laura Winfield is going to be replacing Taylor for the time that she is unavailable.
A potential starting lineup that has Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Stafanie Taylor, Tahlia McGrath, and Katie Mack is a pretty strong one. We have some concerns about the lower middle order as well as about Laura Winfield once she gets in the mix as well.
Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown, and Amanda Jade Wellington could be the lead bowlers for the Adelaide Strikers this season. Megan Schutt is ranked as the best T20 international bowlers in the women’s game while Darcie Brown is slated to be the next teen sensation of the game.
There is still some amount of dependency on Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates to have a great WBBL season, The Strikers could suffer if that does not happen, as they did last year.
WBBL 2019-20 Prediction: Top 4
Sydney Thunder managed to make the semi-final last season before crashing out. It was the third time in four years that Sydney Thunder had reached the final four stages. Once, though, it did manage to go to final when it won the WBBL in its first
There have been big changes ahead of this season. The Indian players are not going to be available for the WBBL this season and so Thunder will not have the services of Harmanpreet Kaur in its side. Considering the impact that she had on the previous season, this is going to be a big
The addition of Nida Dar is a very good one for the squad. The Pakistani is similar to Kaur in her style of playing and can contribute with both bat and ball
A lot of focus will also be on Rachel Haynes, who just scored her first ODI century against Sri Lanka, and is in excellent form. We expect the Australian international to be among the leading run-scorers this season.
Alex Blackwell, Rachel Priest, and Tahlia Wilson are the other players to watch out for in this squad.
Shabnim Ismail, the South African quick, has joined the side. As one of the fastest bowlers on the international circuit, Ismail is going to attract a lot of attention no matter what happens. She can be quite expensive on some occasions but is a prolific wicket-taker.
Sydney Thunder’s bowling attack looks a bit weak to us although it has some very decent all-rounders to try and make up for those deficiencies.
The Melbourne Renegades have had a very tough time in WBBL. The side has never managed to make the playoffs and has finished 7th for the last two years running. The only way seems to be up for the Stars, although it is certainly not going to be easy.
Like the other sides, the Melbourne Stars have concentrated on strengthening the batting ahead of WBBL 05.
Three important international signings have certainly helped in that regard as Mignon du Preez, Katey Martin, and Lizelle Lee will all be playing for the Stars in WBBL 05. Add Emma Inglis, Elyse Villani, and Erin Osborne to the side and the Stars are looking pretty decent in the batting department.
There is an excess of wicketkeepers in the side but they are all capable of holding their place as pure batters as well, giving the Stars more options.
We are concerned about the bowling of the Melbourne Stars. The bowling unit appears to be one of the weaker ones in the tournament and is going to rely on Holly Ferling, Nicola Hancock, and Kristen Beams to lead the attack.
There are some young and inexperienced faces in the squad as well so maybe the Stars can unearth a new player to surprise everyone in this season.
Overall, even with the stronger batting unit, we don’t expect the Melbourne Stars to challenge for the top-4 in WBBL 05.
The Melbourne renegades were involved in one of the most exciting finishes that we see all of last year as some incredible last-ball drama forced their WBBL 04 semi-final to go into a Super Over. The Melbourne Renegades were unable to win that and were denied a chance to enter their first ever WBBL final appearance.
For WBBL 05, the Melbourne Renegades have added some batting firepower to their side. Tammy Beaumont joins her England teammate Danny Wyatt in the Melbourne renegades. The pair of them are expected to open the batting for the renegades and set the tone.
Both these batters are very consistent but may perhaps lack in the power department.
Sophie Molineux, Jess Duffin, Josie Dooley, and Claire Koski are the other batters in the side that should be able to make the playing eleven. This gives the Melbourne Renegades a decent amount of depth and batting talent.
We are looking at Sophie Molineux to make a move and take her game to the next level in this tournament.
Lea Tahuhu and Georgia Wareham will lead the bowling attack alongside the all-rounders.
Power hitting and depth in the bowling could be things that hold back the Melbourne renegades but overall we believe they are a stronger side than last season.
The defending champions of the WBBL are not resting on their laurels and have made some big changes in their squad ahead of this season. Both their international signings from last season have been replaced by two very promising Kiwis. Amelia Kerr is an aggressive leg-spinner that is handy with the bat while Maddy Green is going to play an important role in the batting department.
It may seem ages ago but Amelia Kerr actually has a double century to her name.
Grace Harris was one of the finds of the tournament last season and with the T20 World Cup approaching, she is going to want to put in another strong season. Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, and Sammy Jo-Johnson provide plenty of batting power to Brisbane Heat.
Delissa Kimmince, Laura Harris, and the all-rounders are going to be responsible for shouldering the bowing workload in WBBL 05.
It took a lot of things to go right for Brisbane Heat women to be able to win the WBBL title. Defending it is going to be even tougher.
WBBL 2019-20 Prediction: Top 4
Last season was the first time in WBBL history that the Perth Scorchers failed to make the playoff stage in the WBBL. The side finished fifth and would have bee quite disappointed to not go further ahead looking at the kind of talent it had.
We have no doubt that the Scorchers are going to come hard in WBBL 05.
Leading the side in terms of the batting and as the captain is going to be Meg Lanning. She is regarded as one of the best Aussie batters in the country but has never quite managed to dominate T20 cricket like she does the 50 over format.
This could be the perfect opportunity for her to set the record straight ahead of the T20 World
Lanning is going to be supported in the batting department by Amy Ellen Jones, Chloe Piparo, Kim Garth, and Nate Sciver. There is a decent amount of batting depth in the Perth Scorchers although the need for Meg Lanning to play a central role is also clear.
One of the things that the Perth Scorchers found difficult last season was to contain the opposition batters. Its bowling unit did not have the best of times on a home surface that was very good for batting.
Heather Graham, Emma King, Jemma Barsby, and Mathilda Carmichael are some of the bowlers in the squad that are in line to make their presence felt in the playing eleven.
There is a strong core of players at the center of this group but the inexperience in the bowling and some gaps in the batting lineup make the Perth Scorchers vulnerable. A lot will depend on how well Lanning goes.
WBBL 2019-20 Prediction: Top 4
After two consecutive seasons of finishing dead last in the WBBL, the Hobart Hurricanes have decided to start with a clean slate. They are making a massive overhaul to their side in order to be more competitive this season.
Some of the big names that will be turning out for the Hobart Hurricanes include Heather Knight and Fran Wilson from England, Tayla Vlaeminck, and Maisy Gibson.
Heather Knight is perhaps the best T20 player in England right now and will play a very important role in the Hobart Hurricanes season. She is capable of winning matches on her own with the bat and is experienced enough to help guide the other youngsters alongside.
Smriti Mandhana was among the leading batters for the Hobart Hurricanes previous season and her absence is going to be missed this year.
Tayla Vlaeminck, the Aussie fast bowler who has impressed watchers around the world, is also going to be turning out for the Hurricanes this season. With Maisy Gibson to provide the leg-spin in the middle, the Hobart Hurricanes are building a stronger squad for this season.
The Hobart Hurricanes are still finalizing the final few places in their squad and have not released the final list of players as yet.
The most consistent and successful side in WBBL history enters WBBL 05 with one of the strongest squads once again. There has never been a WBBL tournament where the Sydney Sixers have not reached the final.
They were runners up in the first and fourth edition and ended up winning in the second and third edition.
With Elyse Perry, Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner, and Erin Burns forming the core of the side, it is easy to see why the Sydney Sixers are going to be the favorites to win once again. The experienced South African duo of Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk are also going to be part of the squad once again.
There is some concern about their fitness seeing as they missed the most recent South African tour but they are expected to recover in time to play a large role. The Sydney Sixers have plenty of youngsters and new faces in their side as well.
If the South African duo does end up missing some matches then the Sydney Sixers bench strength is going to be tested. There is enough batting strength in the side to not worry about the loss of a few players but the all-round bowling ability of the South Africans may be more sorely missed.
WBBL 2019-20 Prediction: Winners
WBBL 05 Top-4: Sydney Sixers, Perth Scorchers, Brisbane Heat, Adelaide Strikers
WBBLL 05 Winners: Sydney Sixers
WBBL 05 Highest Scorer: Alyssa Healy
WBBL 05 Highest Wicket Taker: Megan Schutt