The Big Bash League provides plenty of opportunities to find some value in a variety of markets, provided you go into the tournament with the appropriate strategies. The Cricket Trader details some steps to follow when looking to unearth a wager on one of the world’s biggest T20 tournaments.
Individuals Win T20 Matches
One of the key things to remember when gauging the merits of a BBL side is that T20 matches are more often won by significant contributions from a handful of players, rather than the entire XI chipping in. While captains and coaches will have you believe that they could not have got over the line if not for each and every player “executing their role”, it’s important to remember that some roles are much more pivotal than others.
Last season’s Brisbane Heat side are a great example of this as they catapulted themselves to second on the ladder after three successive years of missing the finals. However, their secret was not adding depth but getting more out of their top players with two batsmen – Brendon McCullum and Chris Lynn – famously blasting 43% of their runs, while two young bowlers – Mark Steketee and Mitchell Swepson – claimed 47% of their wickets. So incredibly just 25% of their total squad used contributed nearly half of the total runs and wickets over the course of the tournament which highlights how each side should be assessed on their top few strongest players, rather than the composition of their full squad.
Focus on T20 Form
Furthermore when evaluating the strength of those top players, or indeed any players within a BBL side, it’s crucial to focus purely on their abilities within T20 cricket and not oversell or underestimate them unfairly based on their proficiency in other formats. A highly successful test or even one-day player does automatically guarantee a T20 master, however this is one of the most common pitfalls a punter can fall into. Even if a side contains a collection of “big name” players, be sure to closely examine their records in the shortest forms of the game as it can often be the more unheralded specialists who actually bring more value to their team.
Choose the Right Stats
Additionally when you sit down to rank the merits of each player in T20 cricket it’s important to look at the right stats. With batsmen, more weight should be assigned to a higher strike-rate, rather than the traditional statistical approach of using a batsman’s average. That’s because an innings of 25 off 25 balls will in all likelihood be detrimental to their team’s chances of winning, whereas a knock of 16 off 8 balls can be advantageous at any point throughout a team’s innings. Averages are naturally lower in T20 cricket given the pace of the format and while a batsman who scores consistently does provide value, if they regularly operate at a lethargic strike-rate they are likely doing more harm than good.
The same theory, however, does not quite apply to bowlers as the times when bowlers operate generally dictates which is the most important statistic with which to assess them. For example you might have a bowler who has acquired a favourable average on the back of picking up cheap wickets at the death, yet their astronomical economy rate indicates that they are not particularly effective in their role. Conversely you may have a bowler with an excellent economy rate who bowls through the middle overs, but a poor strike-rate suggests they don’t ask sufficient questions of the opposition during that period and as a result they put their death bowlers under increased pressure.