Captain Travis Head

Coach Jason Gillespie

Squad Danny Briggs (Eng), Wes Agar, Alex Carey, Harry Conway, Travis Head, Spencer Johnson, Rashid Khan (Afg), Michael Neser, Harry Nielsen, Liam O'Connor, Matt Renshaw, Phil Salt (Eng), Liam Scott, Matt Short, Peter Siddle, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald, Daniel Worrall, Jon Wells

In Danny Briggs, Spencer Johnson, Matt Renshaw (Heat), Liam Scott, Daniel Worrall (Stars)
Out Jake Lehmann, Billy Stanlake (Stars), Cameron White, Nick Winter (Hurricanes)

Overseas player availability Danny Briggs (all tournament), Rashid Khan (available until Jan 9), Phil Salt (all tournament)

Last season: Knockout

The Strikers threw away a chance to make it to the last three and potentially reach the BBL final last year. They had a consistent season with an experienced and deep batting unit and well-balanced bowling attack and earned a home final after finishing third on the table. They had Sydney Thunder on the ropes in the Knockout at Adelaide Oval, but needed 37 to win from 31 balls with seven wickets in hand they collapsed to fall eight runs short.

Bubble impact

Captain Travis Head will be unavailable until very late in the tournament due to Test duties. Michael Neser may also be unavailable for the same period although he could potentially be released from the Test squad to play some matches where possible. Alex Carey will miss at least the first match against the Hurricanes and possibly the second but should be available for the remainder of the tournament. The biggest impact may be Rashid Khan who is likely to leave on January 9 to head to the UAE for Afghanistan's ODI series with Ireland.

Player to watch

Jonathan Wells has become one of the best middle-order specialists in the BBL over the last two seasons and has been discussed as a viable option in Australia's T20 team. At 32, he is a curious case study given he no longer has a domestic contract after a decade in the system and does not play in any other T20 leagues around the world. His only cricket outside the BBL is grade cricket in Perth. Yet if he has another outstanding BBL, he could further press his claims for international selection.

Key stat (Gaurav Sundararaman)

Rashid Khan's impact on the BBL is incredible. In the last three seasons, he has 56 wickets at an average of 17.66 and strikes once every 17 balls. Rashid concedes a boundary once every 11 balls. This means he conceded just about two boundaries per T20 match.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne