Fantasy Picks: Punt on legspinners Qais Ahmad and Lloyd Pope

Fantasy Picks – Back spinners to come good at the SCG (4:34)

Recommendations to pick your fantasy team for the BBL match between Sydney Sixers and Hobart Hurricanes (4:34)

January 16: Sydney Sixers v Hobart Hurricanes in Sydney

Our XI: Josh Phillippe, Daniel Hughes, Matthew Wade, Moises Henriques, Caleb Jewell, George Bailey, Ben Dwarshuis, Clive Rose, Qais Ahmad, Tom Curran, Lloyd Pope

NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about a late injury (or other relevant updates).

Captain: Tom Curran

Who better to pick from the Sixers than Curran, who has not only been among the wickets, as he’s expected to but also made crucial runs. In the last game at this venue, Curran starred in both disciplines in a thrilling Super Over finish. At the halfway stage of this BBL, Curran’s Smart Stats were very impressive. So although his conventional economy rate might look high at 9.86 (which is also due to a bad outing in one game), he has been making key breakthroughs. When a player does well on Smart Stats, you can generally expect conventional results to follow soon enough too.

Vice-captain: Matthew Wade

If your captain is from the Sixers, your vice-captain has to be from the Hurricanes. That’s Fantasy Cricket 101 to mitigate risks. Wade was in good form in Australia’s home summer, and though this is a different format, he has shown the same spunkiness in the BBL too. Moreover, he’s a multi-skilled top-order batsman, in that he keeps wickets and bats at the top of the order – which puts him in prime position to net you a bagful of points.

Hot picks

Josh Phillippe: He has been a bit up and down with his form, but the thing with Phillippe is, when he gets going, he is going to take the game away from the opposition. He is still the Sixers’ leading run-scorer by a distance, which shows he hasn’t had many failures, even though he has crossed 50 just twice in nine innings.

Qais Ahmad: Ahmad’s legbreaks in the middle overs have been invaluable for the Hurricanes, which is reflected in his being the team’s highest wicket-taker. He might have been a tad expensive on occasions, but he gets wickets almost every game.

Daniel Hughes: He has reached the double figures in his last six innings so far without going past 40, which might make Hughes a steady, rather than a ‘hot’ pick. But given that he bats at the top of the order, and he is clearly not struggling for form, it’s a relatively safe punt that this will be the innings he’ll go big in.

Value picks

Ben Dwarshuis: He has made most of his impact as a bowler, but Dwarshuis showed some batting chops in his last outing, smashing a 17-ball 42* against table-toppers Melbourne Stars. That wouldn’t have counted for too much if he wasn’t also performing in his primary role, and he has done that with ten wickets, the joint third-most for the Sixers.

Lloyd Pope: Legspinners and T20 games have been a happy marriage for a while now, across venues and countries. Pope has done his bit to further that cause this BBL, picking up ten wickets in eight games. He has practically been among the wickets in every game, and when he’s not, he has been economical. The joint third-highest wicket-taker for the Sixers and has the best economy rate too, given a minimum of ten overs bowled.

Point to note

There have been three matches at the SCG this BBL, and on the basis of that limited sample size, it has been a venue that hasn’t tilted massively towards either batting or bowling. There was one moment of Chris Lynn-sanity when the Brisbane Heat captain smashed 94 off 35, which was the only innings where the team score crossed 170. Phillippe kicked things off with his 81* off 44 against Perth Scorchers. Overall, seam bowlers who can vary their pace have had it good at the SCG, as have the craftier spinners.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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