All-time meetings: Brisbane Heat W3, Adelaide Strikers W4 Last meeting: Adelaide Strikers beat Brisbane Heat by 56 runs
THE TEAM NEWS
Coach: Daniel Vettori
Captain: Chris Lynn
The Brisbane Heat are coming off a hugely disappointing BBL07 in which they finished in seventh place in the ladder and they were never really contenders despite having a chance to reach the top four in the very final game of the group phase.
Following in his brother Brendon McCullum’s footsteps, Chris Lynn takes over as captain but the added pressure may not help their star batsman upon whom there is plenty of pressure to succeed and lead the team.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman is their big name signing for BBL08 and he replaces Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah who rotated last year so he has big footsteps to fill but the talented young Afghan spinner should do reasonably well in the competition, though with so many returning players, they will need to produce a much higher level of performance to challenge for honours this time around.
Coach: Jason Gillespie
Captain: Colin Ingram
The BBL07 champions Adelaide Strikers come into the new campaign with plenty of hope and expectation after being able to retain the vast majority of their squad from last season and they are boosted by the fact Aussie international Travis Head has signed a new three-year deal with them.
They will have to do without Head however as he has forced his way into the Australian Test side so Colin Ingram will lead the team in his absence but they have plenty of quality in the squad to survive Head’s absence for a period of time.
They will hope to be able to count upon Peter Siddle as long as he is not on national team duty but with key men Rashid Khan, Alex Carey and Billy Stanlake all expected to play key roles for them once again.
The champions kick off BBL08 determined to defend their crown but will have to start their campaign without captain Travis Head. They travel to Brisbane to face the Heat who were disappointing last season, but have plenty of talent in their ranks. They desperately need McCullum and Lynn to fire from the beginning but neither brings much form into the start of the Big Bash. The Strikers will be the team everybody wants to beat early on, but they have the all-round quality to get off to a winning start here and they offer some value as underdogs in this opening match.