It’s been a winter of discontent so far for England’s cricket fans but now there is something for the Barmy Army to take their mind off Alastair Cook’s side’s dismal performances – the third installment of the Australian T20 Big Bash League.
So, with the flashing stumps ready to go into the ground, backing the Melbourne Renegades to go all the way can provide some New Year cheer and push England’s Ashes defeat right to the back of everyone’s thoughts
Simon Helmot’s side were rank outsiders for glory last year but a blistering campaign, where they suffered only one defeat in the regular season, saw the Renegades sweep all before them in the group stage, before falling in the semi-final to Perth.
But with shrewd signings for the new season this Melbourne side look an even stronger outfit than the dominant side of last year.
Despite boasting one of the most potent attacks in the Big Bash last year, the Renegades have strengthened in the seam bowling department with the additions of Australian internationals James Pattinson and Peter Siddle.
Throw into the mix a spin attack of Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan, Aussie leg spinner Fawed Ahmed and all-rounders Mohammed Hafeez and Aaron O’Brien and you have a winning combination, especially with low and slow pitches at the Etihad Stadium.
But it is not just in the bowling department where the Renegades possess match winners.
And in captain Aaron Finch, they have one of the most destructive batsmen in T20 cricket as his sensational 156 off 63 balls for Australia against England this year proved.
The Victorian also knows how to perform on the Big Bash stage, firing 332 runs at an average of 66.40 on his way to last year’s player of the tournament award.
Hot Aussie prospect Alex Doolan, Ben Rohrer, Tom Cooper and destructive England international Jos Buttler, who took the Australian attack for 75, 65* and 42 across three innings at the end of the last English summer, provide the support with the bat.
The end product is a well-oiled T20 unit with strengths in all departments of the game and the 6/1 with Ladbrokes for a Renegades victory cannot be ignored.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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