Marcus Stoinis is the answer.
Who could forget back in BBL08 when the Melbourne Stars all-rounder hammered 533 runs, snared 14 wickets and produced a KFC SuperCoach BBL average of 96.9?
The following summer Stoinis started at $259k, $176k more than his starting price in BBL12.
He has hardly bowled in the past three BBL tournaments, largely due to injury.
But in a positive sign for KFC SuperCoaches, Stoinis was a regular in Australia’s bowling attack during the T20 World Cup.
The Stars have no shortage of bowling options, but if Stoinis is opening the batting and bowls even a few overs during the round 1 double, his price tag of $83k will surely be one of the great bargains in KFC SuperCoach BBL history.
So with that position in your KFC SuperCoach BBL team sorted, where should you look next?
Double game rounds are the obvious starting point, but there are some players who can score well regardless of whether they play once or twice in a round.
All-rounders should be your focus and I’m set on Sydney Thunder’s dynamic duo Daniel Sams and David Willey for the round 1 and 2 doubles.
KFC SuperCoach BBL is traditionally a game which favours bowlers over batsmen, and it’s no wonder some of the top wicket-takers in BBL history are always consistent point scorers.
Sean Abbott has an impressive points floor, only scoring fewer than 41 points once in nine rounds last season.
He’s the perfect player for KFC SuperCoach – he bowls at the death, is capable of reaching a quick 20 with the bat and always finds a way to get involved in the field. Who could forget that stunning catch to remove Chris Lynn a few summers ago?
Kane Richardson is another player who is always in my thoughts when planning my KFC SuperCoach team.
He’s such a smart bowler and knows how to exploit the wicket at Marvel Stadium, which has always been tough to bat on.
Like Abbott, he rarely has a poor score and only went below 37 points once last season. His last four scores in BBL11 were 111, 65, 65 and 117.
It’s hard to start with many Perth Scorchers due to their round 1 bye, but Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye will be firmly in my round 2 plans.
Tye has proven himself as one of the world’s best death bowlers and has averaged 50 points or more in three of his past four seasons.
Richardson scored 149 KFC SuperCoach points more than any other player in BBL10 and will be a must-have for the Scorchers double.
The player I keep coming back to who doesn’t have an early double is Josh Philippe.
His opening three scores in BBL11 were 168, 102 and 159 points. If he can go close to replicating those numbers, who needs to worry about which wicketkeeper has the double?
If you like taking a risk in KFC SuperCoach, Chris Lynn is the player for you.
He’s well priced at $112k, has a round 1 double and arrives in Adelaide with a point to prove.
He doesn’t have the best record at Adelaide Oval despite it traditionally being a batter-friendly pitch, but you sense Lynn will want to remind the BBL audience of just how good he is after a few lean summers.
There are a few players to put on your KFC SuperCoach radar, but what about strategy?
I’ve always thought the most important thing in KFC SuperCoach is planning a few rounds ahead.
I’ve mapped out how I would like my team to develop in the first four rounds, being mindful of the double game rounds.
The last thing you want is to get to round 3 or 4 and realise you don’t have enough players who play twice.
The addition of the trade boost in KFC SuperCoach BBL will help avoid that scenario, but you don’t want to be a premium or two behind other coaches – especially if you’re in the running for the $25k overall prize.
Originally published as KFC SuperCoach BBL: Mr SuperCoach Mike Hussey reveals his must-have players