10 cheapies to consider for your starting SuperCoach BBL side + pros & cons
The mad scramble to sort out your final SuperCoach BBL side is on but finding the right cheapies makes a huge difference to juggling your budget to get the players you want and that piece of mind we all crave ahead of the first lockout.
Of course, you want your cheapies on the bench generating cash and doing that consistently, rather than playing for 1-2 weeks and then getting dropped. And you may even need them as cover at some point. There’s a bit to weigh up.
So Honeyball has assembled 10 cheapies who are in the mix to play in Round 1 worth considering, offering some pros and cons. Good luck finding the right ones!
Syed Faridoun ($62k BWL)
Unheralded young Pakistani left-arm leg-spinner who actually bowled offies until the Pakistan Cricket Board convinced him to change 18 months ago. Stars coach David Hussey raved glowingly about his two googlies and ability to turn the ball. Only took one wicket in Tuesday’s back-to-back practice games but was economical. Seems likely to play early before Qais Ahmed arrives around Round 3 or 4. Could be anything, based on Haris Rauf example.
Matthew Gilkes ($62k BAT/WKP)
Likely to benefit most from Usman Khawaja and Ollie Davies’ early absence, the Thunder wicketkeeper-batsman will open or bat first drop, with Sam Whiteman drafted in. Whether he holds his spot when Davies returns will likely depend on form. But Gilkes has a bit of that, scoring 35 off 15 balls in a midweek practice game along with a blazing half-century for NSW in the Marsh Cup last month.
Sam Whiteman ($62k BAT)
Former Scorchers title winner, remembered for a swashbuckling 41 from 21 balls to set up their victory in the BBL|06 Final, Whiteman has joined the Thunder as a replacement for Khawaja. After a concussion last month, Whiteman returned with good touch, scoring a Shield century and Marsh Cup fifty. With Khawaja and Davies out, he’s likely to slot into an opening spot or bat first drop. Has more experience than Gilkes, so may open as the senior player. Struggled in his last BBL stint two years, but had a tougher role. He no longer keeps due to finger injury, hence no WKP status.
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Brody Couch ($42k BWL)
Stars replacement fast bowler, only 21-years-old, has played three Marsh Cup games and one Shield game for Victoria. Comes into the Stars calculations with their fast bowling stocks decimated, with Nathan Coulter-Nile, Billy Stanlake and Liam Hatcher to miss early. Couch took two wickets in Friday’s practice game as well as two scalps on Tuesday too. He’s likely to contend with Sam Elliott for a game first up. If he plays, whether he holds his spot is another question with uncertainty on Coulter-Nile (who is still in WA) and Hatcher’s return dates.
James Seymour ($42k BAT)
Another Victorian newcomer debuting for the state in April in both formats before making a breakthrough Shield century in November. He’s shown plenty in this week’s practice games with 70 from 51 balls on Tuesday, winning a replacement deal with the Renegades. Seymour celebrated that with a stunning 59 from 22 balls on Friday. With the Gades down on batting options with Finch, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Harris and Nic Maddinson absent early, he’s shot right into their top four calculations. Big bolter vibes.
Nick Hobson ($42k BAT)
Likely to get a crack in the first few games as an opening batsman, in absence of Australia A trio Josh Inglis, Mitch Marsh and Ashton Agar, who are expected back for Round 3. Played five games for Perth in BBL|08 without setting the world on fire but played middle order. Made over 1,000 runs last season in WA Premier Cricket and offers a left-handed option at top of the order. Made 90 in a midweek practice game.
Aaron Finch ($62k BAT)
Sadly the Renegades opener is set to miss the first few rounds with a knee niggle otherwise he would’ve been in most SuperCoach teams. However, there is a dilemma that you could potentially carry him on your bench until he’s fit, or spend a trade bringing him in in Round 3 or 4, when you’ll be wanting to grab players on the double. Tough call, but you know Finch will play when fit and should re-discover better form than last season, meaning his value will rise.
Matt Short ($62k BAT)
Popular early season choice with the Strikers top order batting options decimated, meaning Short has been earmarked for a key batting role, potentially opening. The former Renegade has opened the batting in the past. But there’s a big form flag; besides for a blazing Shield 90 last month, he has scored only 26 runs in his past eight knocks. On the flipside, he does potentially offer some part-time spin. Look out for the Strikers replacement signings on this one.
Joel Paris ($62k BWL)
Paris has long been touted as a cheapie, having been signed as a bowling all-rounder, but it’s been a rollercoaster ride for SuperCoaches since. After taking 13 wickets in four Shield games, he injured his hamstring on the eve of the BBL. Hobart then signed English all-rounder Jordan Thompson sending Paris’ stocks further crashing. But he returned to bowling in the midweek practice games and should get a chance early with Scott Boland (Australia A) and Riley Meredith (hamstring) out. He’ll need very good performances to hold his spot in the side but he does offer variety as a left-armer.
Clint Hinchliffe ($63k BAT/BWL)
Left-arm wrist spinning all-rounder has displayed excellent form with both bat and ball in the midweek practice games (with 39 off 20 and 34* from 20 along with 1-20) at a time of need for the injury-hit Stars. Hinchliffe’s issue may be that the Stars are stacked for similar spinning options, with Faridoun joining Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell, while Beau Webster is a similar type, although it’s unclear if he’s fit to bowl after a side strain. The Stars aren’t afraid to pick three spinners though and Hinchliffe has had some excellent BBL cameos in the past, including two 100+ SC BBL scores in BBL|09. In saying all that, he does offer a bit with the bat, which they may view favourably.
Two others worth flagging who are just above the sub-$65k cheapie category are Harry Nielsen ($76k WKP/BAT) and Ben Manenti ($76k BWL). Nielsen will take the gloves all summer with Alex Carey absent with the Test squad and should bat high for Adelaide for reasons similar to Short, while Manenti seems set to start ahead of Lloyd Pope as Steve O’Keefe’s support spinner for the Sixers on a double.