The Big Bash League begins tomorrow and let’s kick off by looking at one of the top teams – Brisbane Heat.
This is a team that peaked early on in the Big Bash League’s history as they won the second edition but they have had an unimpressive run ever since.
They have failed to even qualify for the semifinals in every single edition since except for one and on that one occasion, the semifinals were as far as they got.
Do they have any chance of improving on their track record and redeeming themselves in this year’s Big Bash League?
Let us find out but a little bit about this team before that.
A Little Background
As the name suggests, this is a team that is based out of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia.
Their home ground is the Brisbane Cricket Ground.
Chris Lynn is their current captain and Darren Lehmann is their coach.
Notable current players include Marnus Labuschagne, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Morné Morkel, Tom Cooper, and Mitchell Swepson while big names like Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Dale Steyn, Andrew Flintoff, and AB De Villiers have represented this team in the past.
A Brief History
This team had a rather forgettable start in the Big Bash League as they lost all the first four of their matches during the inaugural season of the tournament.
They fought valiantly in the next three matches but it wasn’t enough to get them past the league stages.
They again started slowly in the second edition but came on strong towards the latter half of the tournament which was enough to take them all the way to their maiden BBL title.
The next three seasons of the tournament were quite forgettable as the team won just twice each year and got eliminated in the group stages.
The 2016-17 edition seemed like a shot at redemption on the backs of great performances from the likes of Brendon McCullum, Chris Lynn, and Mitchell Swepson.
This took them to the semi-finals where they tied the match but ran out of steam in the super over.
The next three editions that followed were more of the same old routine with them coming up short by the semi-finals.
What Does the Future Hold for Brisbane Heat?
While the team hasn’t been all that great ever since that championship win in the second edition, they have been making steady progress over the last couple of years.
And if they play their cards right this time around, they can finally have a shot at adding a second championship trophy to their collection.
It won’t be easy though as the big names that made sure that the team had a fighting chance in the past are no longer there and their captain Chris Lynn isn’t in top form.
However, what the current squad does bring is a lot of youth.
Marnus Labuschagne and Mitchell Swepson are two players to watch out for. Both have had pretty impressive international outings and they will play pivotal roles in restricting the opposition’s batting line-up.
The big question mark though is the team’s batting.
The batting line-up doesn’t exactly scream star power and that can be both good and bad depending on how well the batsmen perform when it counts.
Theoretically, this team has enough batsmen, bowlers, and all-rounder to pick a very balanced team in each match, and on paper, many of their players have all the right qualities to be match winners.
Whether they actually pull it off will depend on how adept these players, a majority of whom aren’t the most experienced in the tournament, are in standing up to the high-pressure environment that is very common in the Big Bash League.
All the ingredients are there for this team to grab some headlines. Only time will tell if it will be in a positive light or a negative one.