Wicket Wisdom: Lock in another Scorchers-Heat final

29 December, 2023
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 20: Scorchers players celebrate the wicket of Ben Manenti of the Strikers Caught Andrew Tye and bowled Lance Morris of the Scorchers during the Men’s Big Bash League match between the Adelaide Strikers and the Perth Scorchers at Adelaide Oval, on January 20, 2023, in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Sarah Reed/Getty Images)

Dive into the latest Wicket Wisdom for an insightful analysis of the upcoming BBL final. Discover why the Scorchers and Heat are favorites for a thrilling rematch, and explore David Warner’s potential impact on the Sydney Thunder in the BBL post his Test career. Stay updated with My Betting Mates.

Brisbane were the surprise packets last season, charging home to reach the final and going close to knocking off Perth at the Scorchers’ Optus Stadium cauldron. But the Heat have proved that incredible run to the decider was no fluke as they are unbeaten halfway through this campaign.

The Queenslanders have traditionally had the batting power, but the Heat can now boast a bowling attack to match it with the best of them. Quicks Spencer Johnson, Michael Neser and Xavier Bartlett are always in the game, while their spinners Matt Kuhnemann and Mitch Swespon are among the best of the current BBL squads.

But in a blow to the Brisbane fans who have turned out to watch their team en masse, the Heat’s finals contests won’t be played at the Gabba if they are good enough to host. Due to Australia’s Test against the West Indies, the Gabba will be unavailable for all of the Heat’s home finals, including the competition decider on January 24.

Despite the season-ending injury to captain Ashton Turner, the Scorchers remain a well-drilled and formidable opponent. Perth were given a scare on Boxing Day, being pushed all the way by the winless Melbourne Renegades. But fill-in skipper Aaron Hardie and World Cup-winning wicketkeeper Josh Inglis starred with the bat to push them towards a winning total.

Last season’s final was a classic, and if it’s a rematch this January, then Cricket Australia and BBL hierarchy will be extremely happy. The Heat and Scorchers are clearly the two best teams in it and it’s hard to see them not facing each for the title.

Will he, or won’t he?

David Warner’s Test career is about to come to an end. This leaves the veteran opener technically available to front up for the Sydney Thunder in the BBL once Australia’s Test against Pakistan at the SCG finishes. The Thunder are expecting Warner to play for them once his red-ball commitments with Australia finish.

However, Warner is also expected to prioritise other lucrative T20 tournaments when his Test days are over. The International League T20 in the United Arab Emirates starts on January 20 and could clash with some Thunder games. The Thunder’s last match is on January 17, but Warner’s franchise, the Dubai Capitals, owned by the Delhi Capitals, might want him over there early. The 37-year-old has been heavily involved in the promotion of the UAE league. In social media posts, Warner declares “I’m all in”.

The BBL needs players like Warner playing to recapture the glory years of the competition. When the Thunder won their one and only title back in 2016, they had recently-retired greats like Jacques Kallis, Shane Watson and Mike Hussey involved. In that final, the Melbourne Stars boasted the international firepower of Kevin Pietersen.

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