Big Bash Preview 2018/19: Adelaide Strikers 
Michael Neser, Ben Laughlin and Jonathan Wells celebrate winning last year's Big Bash

Big Bash Preview 2018/19: Adelaide Strikers 

All you need to know about the reigning champions in preparation for BBL 08.

groomy99
Jack Groom

Last season’s winners have opted for little change in their squad this time around as they seek to retain their crown.

They may be heavily affected however by international call-ups, with Alex Carey, Travis Head, Billy Stanlake and Peter Siddle - all mainstays of their title-winning squad in BBL 07 - likely to be snatched away by the Australian national side at some point in the summer.

What you need to know

Ground - Adelaide Oval

Captain - Travis Head

Coach - Jason Gillespie

Overseas Players - Rashid Khan (AFG), Colin Ingram (SA)

Who to look out for

Gun Bat - Alex Carey

With captain Head likely to miss most of this season’s action owing to his requirements with the national team, the mantle will likely fall on wicketkeeper-batsman Carey to provide the bulk of the runs. The second-highest scorer in the competition last year with 443 at an average of 49.22, you would think that if the 27-year-old fires then so too will the Strikers’ batting line-up. Having missed out on inclusion in the test side up to now, Strikers fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that his international commitments in the one-day side are kept at a premium.

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Mr Reliable - Ben Laughlin

Towering quick Stanlake often takes most of the limelight when it comes to the South Australian side’s pace battery, however, his role is made easier thanks to the sterling work of veteran pace bowler Laughlin. With his smorgasbord of variations he continually keeps batsmen guessing, and can frequently be counted upon to seal out the death overs with his miserly economy rate. Also an outstanding fielder - if you haven’t seen his jaw-dropping grab from last year then you must do immediately - his experience yields him indispensable to his franchise.

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Overseas Import - Rashid Khan

The re-signing of Afghanistan leg-spinner Khan is undoubtedly the shrewdest piece of business from the Strikers this time around. Having bamboozled batsmen all around the world thanks to his many variations with the ball in hand, the 20-year-old has rubber-stamped his position at the top end of T20 bowlers throughout the globe during the past two years. Joint-highest wicket-taker in the last edition of the competition with 18, you would be foolish to bet against the schemer being at the right end of that list this time around also.

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Young Starlet - Matt Short

As mentioned, with many Strikers stars expected to be called upon by their country at some stage then the onus may rest on younger players to ensure the side’s progression to the knockout stages. Batsman, Short - an off-season capture from the Melbourne Renegades - will surely be one to benefit from any international call-ups having made his talent known in his knock of 62 from 48 against the Brisbane Heat in January 2018 whilst at the Victoria-based franchise.

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