An excellent second season by the Renegades.
It all kicked off with a Motorcross event at Docklands followed by a belting of the Stars and finished with a belting of the Sixers to finish the home and away season with a 7-1 record. Unfortunately they couldn’t get the job done when it mattered most – in the Big SEMI – losing to Brisbane Heat and missing out on the Champions League.
One thing that certainly did help the Renegades was the remarkable consistency of their line up. Six players played all 9 games and another three played 8 games. Really the only spots in the line up that varied for the tournament were the opening partner for Finch and who batted at No 3.
Finch kick started the season with a masterful hundred against the Stars and never looked back. He racked up 300 odd runs at a decent clip and skippered the side with aplomb. Finch even managed to winkle out 3 wickets with his gentle spin and earned an Australian T20 call up for his efforts
The NSW journeyman was a revelation batting at No 4. He provided runs and in quick time knocking up 295 runs at a strike rate of 150+. He skippered the side in Finch’s abscence and was a bit stiff not to receive a call up for national duty.
He only played the two matches but won the game against the Sydney Sixes off his own bat with a whirlwind 89 off 53 balls. He could be the opening partner for Finch the Renegades need.
The Bowling Unit
This was a remarkably consistent bowling unit of 6 players and mainly no names to boot: Murali – O’Brien- Rimmington – D Pattinson – Sheridan – Samuels. All took between 8 and 11 wickets, had economies between 5.96 and 7.67 and had averages between 17 and 26. They all had strike rates between 16.5 and 21 balls and their best bowling efforts were all 3-fors ranging from 3/15 to 3/34. Truly amazing consistency and a big reason behind the Renegades success.
Unsurprisingly the best among this tight knit unit was Murali but surprisingly dumped SA & NSW off spinner Aaron O’Brien was next best.
The good doctor opened the batting in the first 6 games and managed 32 runs at an average of 5.33 and at a strike rate of 48.88 – his highest score was 10. Next year he should drop the playing aspect from his playing/team doctor role and stick to the medical stuff.
He courted controversy at every turn, firstly by throwing down 130 km/h darts off two steps which raised the ire of two BBL coaches Chuck Berry & Boof Lehmann. Then he decided it would be a good idea to pull on Dave Hussey’s shirt when Hus was trying to go for a run – somehow he only got a reprimand for this. The handbags at 10 paces that took place 90 minutes after this was complete Shane Warne manufactured bullshit. To finish the evening Samuels got smashed n the bongo by Mailnga and is still convalescing from a fractured eye socket – missing the Renegades Big SEMI.
Despite being a self proclaimed legend Samuels efforts in the BBL were, in fact, crap – he batted at No 3 yet in 6 digs he managed only 73 runs with a top score of 21. His throwing fared much better with him taking 8 wickets at an average of 18.
“All the talk in the Victorian camp was how shit we were going to be, how we had no good players.”
Aaron Finch’s brutally honest assessment of what people were thinking about the Renegades prior to BBL|02
“He’s [Warne’s] supposed to be a legend in Australia. What he did was give me the stripes, so I am the legend now.”
Marlon Samuels proclaiming he is a legend. [Give me the stripes?? The 1920’s rang Marlon – it wants its terminology back!]
What they should do
Try to keep the squad together.
Another opener to partner Finch and a Number 3 would be the keys recruiting requirement batting wise. The answer could lie within – one slot could well be filled by Alex Hales if he can be secured as one of the internationals. Squad batsmen like Alex Doolan and Michael Hill who had tasters in BBL|02 would need to make a sizeable step up in output to get a permanent position in the batting order.
The Renegades also need one of their top 5 to be able to bowl some useful part timers. If one of their bowling unit does get belted about a 6th bowling option is required that is a little better than Finchy’s very hittable doorknobs. Marlon Samuels was the answer this campaign but will the legend be back BBL|03?
Three internationals into two slots won’t go so I’d keep Murali and Hayles and ditch Samuels.
Bowling wise I’d keep the status quo. Will there be room for the injured cult figure, fast medium bowler Jayde Herrick to be welcomed back into the fold for next year or will he just do all the promo work and not play like this season?