5 New Players to watch out for in the Big Bash League (BBL) 2019-20

Around the globe, the Australian Big Bash League (BBL) is one of the most popular and entertaining T20 leagues. This Australian domestic competition underwent a revolution at the beginning of the decade when six state-based teams grew in number to eight-city oriented franchises. The number of matches would increase from 59 to 61 in this upcoming season of the men’s tournament. It is mainly carried out post the knockout format after the revamping started to help the best two teams getting another chance to qualify for the finals. The system of the playoff would comprise of The Qualifier, The Eliminator and The Challenger before the finals.

The tournament commences from the 17th of December. Previously, it was responsible for launching several cricketers to bolster their international career. With the T20 World Cup being set in the land of down under next year, men from different nations will compete hard for maintaining their focus entirely.

New Faces to Watch out in BBL 2019-20

1. Zahir Khan

With the already glorious wealth of spin bowlers, the Afghanistan international is the latest addition. Alongside Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, it would not be long till he tastes success at the top level. He would join the elusive group of bowlers by being a china man, thus bringing in the X-factor.

This youngster has gone through an epic rise. From being successful at the Under-19 International Level and being the highlight of the Intercontinental Cup, he was able to bag an IPL contract and feature in the second test of Afghanistan; Khan has undergone several rapid strides in starring in the top XI of the squad.

Along with Mitchell Swepson and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Zahir Khan would increase the strength of spin-bowling tenfold. His T20 career and List A also look promising enough for him not to earn a spot in the upcoming T20 World Cup for Afghanistan.

2. Tom Banton

Joining Brisbane Heat in the league, England’s Tom Banton is strengthening the already impressive batting line-up of Ab De Villiers, Chris Lynn, Max Bryant, Joe Burns and Sam Heazlett. Belting almost 550 runs in the domestic English T20 tournament, Banton came in the eyes of the English selectors, concluding second as the second-best scorer in the competition.

For England’s T-20 tour of New Zealand, he was chosen as a reward. While his debut did not turn a lot of heads, his approach towards the format has made him an exciting prospect. Having unusual abilities, the 20-year old is quite adept in playing his scoops and sweeps successfully. It puts him on the specialist list of the short-format game.

Having a player who is proficient in playing a wide range of shots in the shortest format of the game, he should be valued as an asset for any team. The odds of guys like Zahir Khan and Tom Banton playing in the initial phase of the tournament is quite high, with two marquee signings like Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Ab de Villiers replacing them down the line.

3. Chris Morris

The signing of the South-African pacer, Chris Morris came as a result of the endorsement of Shane Bond, the bowling coach of the Sydney Thunders. Terming him as the X-factor, the former Kiwi speedster thinks that he alone is capable of changing the dynamics of the game, both with the ball and the bat.

Whenever chosen, Morris has proved to be a determining factor in the performance of teams whom he represented all around the globe. As a pacer, this 32-year old is capable of clocking up to 140 kmph speed in the bouncy and fast Australian decks.

Morris can hit fearlessly, and while batting, he can be believed in as a match-winner. Undergoing a sequence of changes, Morris’ experience would be a determining factor in the performance of the team.

4. Dale Steyn

 By pulling the biggest heist in the BBL, Melbourne Stars have roped in South African ace Dale Steyn. One of the best bowlers in history, this Protean called it a day after a decorated Test career, claiming 439 scalps in 93 matches. A game-changer in the shortest format as well, this 36-year-old has been a big fan of the Big-Bash League since forever.

However, mainly because of his participation in the New Year’s tests, he was unavailable. By seizing the opportunity of the curtain-call, Melbourne Stars created a shocker for their upcoming league. However, because of his national team commitments against England in the limited-overs, he would only be available for the first six matches of the campaign.

Steyn can be a one-person wrecking crew, even in this brief run, by terrorizing the opponents with his relentless pace and nagging line and length. His performance in Australia could also be a detrimental factor in his selection for the upcoming T-20 World Cup, providing him with the final opportunity to win a big one in the process.

5. AB de Villiers

This name needs no introduction. In a format, where hard-hitting is a difference-maker, AB de Villiers is one of the best exponents. Being the hottest free agent, De Villiers had been a significant draw for every T-20 league around the globe. To make his debut in the BBL, the Protean is likely to join in January.

With the likes of Tom Banton, Chris Lynn, Max Bryant and Ben Cutting, he would add immense depth in the already star-studded batting order. However, he would be available only in the second half of the tournament.

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