In a win for the old bulls over the young bucks, experience dominates youth in the pre-Christmas team of BBL10 revealed by former Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Renegades crowd favourite Brad Hogg.
While young guns Josh Philipe, Jake Weatherald and Ben McDermott fill the first three positions in Hogg’s batting line-up, the average age of his XI is a tick over 30.
However, Hogg might think 30 is young as he was still sending down his crafty left-arm wrist-spinners less than a week shy of his 47th birthday.
Power-hitter Colin Ingram is named at four, grafting batsman and freakish fielder Jordan Silk slots in at five and box-office talent Glenn Maxwell is listed at six, while all-rounders Dan Christian and James Faulkner are the last of the batsmen at seven and eight respectively.
The lightning-quick Nathan Coulter-Nile is then named at nine, while leg-spinner Adam Zampa and workhorse paceman Peter Siddle round out the side.
Hogg said the veterans impressed him over the first 26 games of the BBL season.
“The good thing about it is those guys are still very competitive and they’re matching the youth. In fact they’re leading the way,” Hogg told Wide World of Sports.
“Daniel Christian – just the way he’s coming around the wicket. He’s found something – a way to stop certain players in those final overs with what I call negative tactics, but it’s working well. It’s going to be interesting when someone finds a way to negate that tactic of coming around the wicket – bowling more round-arm so it’s coming from a greater angle. Once that’s negated what comeback has Christian got? That’s the interesting one.
“But him and a lot of the other older guys have been brilliant this year.”
Hogg said the best player of the pre-Christmas stretch was Faulkner, the former Melbourne Stars entertainer who’s now firing for the Hobart Hurricanes.
Faulkner was for a long time a mainstay of Australia’s short-form sides, enjoying so much success that he earned the nickname ‘The Finisher’ and won player of the match in the 2015 ODI World Cup final victory over New Zealand.
But injuries and form killed his dream run.
He hasn’t played an international match since October 2017, and Tasmania didn’t offer him a new contract for the 2020-21 summer, the state for whom he debuted when he was 18.
Faulkner is now carving out an exceptional BBL10 campaign, with the left-armer having taken eight wickets at 13.50 and conceding just 6.75 runs per over.
“It’s been a sensational story and I just love it when you’re down and out, you’ve got a few problems with your body and then you work it out,” Hogg said.
“He just doesn’t give up and he’s so resilient. I’m really loving the efforts of James Faulkner.”
Hogg overlooked Tim David, Callum Ferguson and James Vince despite the fact they have all scored more runs than Philipe in BBL10, but he said he opted for the Sydney Sixers opener because he’d dealt with his growing spotlight admirably.
“There’s a lot of talk about Philipe. He’s getting a lot of coverage now and sometimes that can affect certain players,” Hogg said.
“But he’s held his head up and concentrated on the job at hand. It’s more off field than on field for me that I’ve liked about his presence.”
Hogg gave special mentions to Sixers tweaker Steve O’Keefe and Melbourne Renegades fast bowler Jack Wildermuth.
Brad Hogg’s pre-Christmas team of BBL10
1. Josh Philipe (runs 102, average 34, top score 95)
2. Jake Weatherald (runs 97, average 32.33, top score 68)
3. Ben McDermott (runs 135, average 135, top score 89)
4. Colin Ingram (runs 145, average 36.25, top score 55)
5. Jordan Silk (runs 73, average 36.50, top score 45)
6. Glenn Maxwell (runs 85, average 42.50, top score 46)
7. Dan Christian (runs 71, average 35.5, top score 50, wickets four, best bowling figures 3-36, average 7.62)
8. James Faulkner (wickets eight, best bowling figures 3-21, average 6.75)
9. Nathan Coulter-Nile (wickets four, best bowling figures 4-10, average 8.25)
10. Adam Zampa (wickets two, best bowling figures 2-10, average 17)
11. Peter Siddle (wickets eight, best bowling figures 5-16, average 15.62)
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