Sixers look solid as ever to win the BBL
A good coach and experienced, clear-headed captain
Greg Shipperd has been coach for a while and runs a tight ‘ship’, no pun intended. He knows his players well, recruits well and has lots of experience.
Last season an Australia call-up and injury meant Moises Henriques missed a fair few matches and it was left to Daniel Hughes to lead the side. When Henriques came back, Hughes kept the job and they won it.
Henriques will lead this year and few know the BBL like him.
Smart choice of overseas players
In recruiting English trio James Vince, Tom Curran and Chris Jordan they got a classy opener, a bowling all-rounder and a specialist death bowler into the side. Those are three vital roles and it shows they have good balance by picking such different players.
Vince was man-of-the-match in the semi and final last year and the second-highest run-scorer in the BBL. Chris Jordan is England’s leading wicket-taker in T20Is so there’s a real quality about them.
Opening batsmen who can score quickly
Josh Philippe scores extremely quickly given he adopts a reckless (in the best possible way) approach to batting. Occasionally it will cost him but that’s T20 for you and on his day he can easily be 60 off 30 and gone a long way to winning you the game.
Vince isn’t so fast at the top of the order at scoring but then again, he doesn’t need to be, because Philippe is. And as we saw last year, he can accelerate when needed.
At least two six-hitters in the lower-middle order
There’s Dan Christian, who had an excellent tournament last year.
Jordan Silk can hit sixes when needed and so can Tom Curran. Carlos Brathwaite misses out with injury and Jason Holder didn’t return but those three just mentioned should ensure some big hits.
Classy all-rounder who can change the game with bat or ball.
Dan Christian is better-known for what he can do with the bat these days, especially as a finisher. But he still has his days with the ball, bowling awkward deliveries that are hard to get away.
Tom Curran is more of a bowling all-rounder but he can certainly bat himself. He has three T20 fifties to his name.
Chris Jordan probably isn’t classed as an all-rounder these days and will probably bat at eight or nine here but he can occasionally do a job with the bat, as well.
Champion spinner to bowl in the middle overs
To call Steve O’Keefe a champion spinner may be a bit much. He doesn’t spin it that much anymore, nor does he have mystery deliveries.
But at 36 he’s nothing if not highly experienced and though he averages less than a wicket a game in his 100 appearances in T20 cricket, an economy rate of 6.82 across his career shows his value to any side.
Good balance between batsmen and bowlers
With high-quality batters, two proper all-rounders and options both in terms of spin and pace, the balance is certainly there.
Don’t lose too many players to Australia duty.
Unlikely to lose any at all. Sean Abbott might get a call-up but Henriques isn’t in Australia’s Ashes plans at the moment and neither is anyone else.
Sharp in the field with few slow fielders.
Jordan Silk is one of the very best in the business and though there aren’t that many outstanding fielders beyond him, there aren’t really any weak links, either.
Why bet on the Sixers to win the BBL?
The Sixers really do tick all the boxes for being potential champions of the Bash this year.
This isn’t telling you anything you don’t know because this is pretty much the same team who won the last two editions.
So yes, they’re the defending champions and yes, they’re the tournament favourites. But both of those are for a reason.
Continuity goes a long way in franchise cricket.
As it happens, it came back to haunt a side like the Mumbai Indians, who also won back-to-back titles, did not change the team much and it came back to haunt them with a poor showing in the 2021 IPL.
But most of the time, it’s a good thing. They know each other well and know their roles to perfection and certainly know how to get over the line.
Here’s our full team guide to the Sixers.