Ten years underway the commencement of the Australian big blast T20 extravaganza, i.e. the Big Bash League, we are halfway down the tenth edition of the Australian T20 franchise league and former Australian captain and one of the greatest Number three batsman of all-time, Ricky Thomas Ponting AO has picked his all-time BBL eleven.
The Great Australian veteran has chosen the best eleven on the basis of their Big Bash statistics. Cricket Australia has challenged Ponting to pick his eleven according to original Big Bash rules, hence he had only two spots for the non-Australian players. He picked players on the basis of three stats; BPB (balls per boundary), Basra (batting average and strike rate), and WPI (wicket per innings).
The Renegades duo of Marsh-Finch over the BBL highest run-getter.
For the opening spot, Ricky chooses both the current Renegades openers over Chris Lynn. According to Ricky, the left and right combination of Melbourne Renegades are formidable. Aaron Finch, the Australia white-ball skipper is the World No. 3 T20I batsman and one the best white-ball hitter. In the 63 matches, Finchy has scored 2252 BBL runs at the Basra of 175.48 with 20 fifties and he hits boundaries after 5.74 balls.
His partner in crime, Shaun Marsh is the other opening pick. Marsh has 1894 runs in the league. The best thing about Marsh is he hits a half-century in every 3.5 knocks. The surprising thing in Ricky’s opening choice was the exclusion of Chris Lynn as he is the highest run-scorer in the history of the league.
Brad and the Big Show at three and four spots.
Further, for the Number three-position, Ponting selected Brad Hodge. According to Ricky, Hodge dominated the league at the end of his career and he introduced some T20 shots over the off-side field. Hodge has played in three franchises and scored 1412 runs in 50 games with a BPB of 6.18 and Basra of 177.14.
For the number four spot, Ponting went with the most preferable choice in Glenn Maxwell. About the Big Show, Ricky said, “I’ve got the Melbourne Stars’ current captain. He’s just a dominant player, he scores 360 degrees around the wicket”. We all know how dynamic he is and he is very handy with the ball in hand as well. The cherry on top is his fielding.
Wade, the wicket-keeper batsman in at Number 7, and NO CAREY!
To solidify the middle and lower-middle order, the veteran got George Bailey, Marcus Stoinis, and Matthew Wade in at Number five, six, and seven respectively.
George Bailey was an obvious choice as he is a very experienced player who had the ability to change the game in his team’s favour by batting with an outstanding strike rate in 16-20 overs.
About Stoinis, Ponting said, “He is someone who has really developed his game in the last two or three seasons”. Stoinis is clearly been the best all-rounder in the shortest format of the game and the veteran has been in all-rounder’s aww since his IPL season at Delhi Capitals.
Many eyebrows aroused when Ponting took Wade’s name over Alex Carey for the role of wicket-keeper-bat. He said, he was a bit confused about Wade or Carey but he went with Matty as he thinks Wade is a better option who can finish games a bit better. Like many other Aussies, Wade is also improving with the older, he is getting!
Australian quicks and Asian superstars.
The former Australian picked Lasith Malinga and Rashid Khan as his non-Australian features. Malinga only played a few seasons in the BBL but when he did play, he was absolutely outstanding. He’s one of the all-time great T20 bowlers and Punter might have preferred him due to his Mumbai connections.
Rashid Khan is unarguably the best in what he does. He is a quality leg-spinner with quicker action. He’s a wicket-taker but his economy rate of 6.37 RPO is outstanding. According to Ricky, he is the reason why the Strikers have been so successful in the past three-four seasons. Khan has 56 Big Bash wickets in his 40 matches at a lovely strike rate of 16.64.
Ponting went with the Australian duo of Ben Laughlin and Sean Abbott as his Australian bowling picks. Ben Laughlin might be a surprise choice for some, but his numbers though his career have been absolutely outstanding. Whereas Abbott is a BBL legend, he is a wicket-taking machine for the Sixers and regularly at the top of the wicket-takers list at the end of every season. Sean also knows how to swing his handle hard in the backend.
Here’s Ricky Ponting XI: Aaron Finch (c), Shaun Marsh, Brad Hodge, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Sean Abbott, Rashid Khan, Ben Laughlin, Lasith Malinga.