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Back to the drawing board for Melbourne Renegades

Their season was over well before they managed to secure a few late victories and their major issue was with the bowling attack

Alex Malcolm
Shaun Marsh broke his bat  •  Getty Images

Shaun Marsh broke his bat  •  Getty Images

Season in nutshell
The Renegades' title defence was a disaster from the start. They lost their coach Andrew McDonald and overseas signings Usman Shinwari and Faheem Ashraf on the eve of the season. Michael Klinger was appointed just a month from the start but the Renegades blueprint from last year couldn't be repeated. They lost two tight games to start the season against Sydney Thunder and Perth Scorchers and that started a slide of nine straight defeats. They finally won their first game late in the season but only managed to claim three victories overall, two against the Brisbane Heat and one against the Sydney Thunder.
What went right?
Their batting was far better than last season. They scored in excess of 170 in six games and had five players score 12 half-centuries and a century between them. Last season they scored just three individual fifties for the entire tournament. Shaun Marsh and Beau Webster both made more than 400 runs for the tournament and Aaron Finch posted more than 300 despite missing five games due to international duty. Six players averaged 25 or more with four of them striking at better than 140. Last season they had just two players average more than 25 and Cameron Boyce and Sam Harper were the only players to strike at better than 124.
What went wrong?
The bowling was very poor. They could not take wickets and opponents were able to chase down whatever the Renegades set with ease. Boyce and Kane Richardson were the only two bowlers to take more than 10 wickets, with Boyce taking 14, compared to four bowlers last season with Richardson taking 24. Last season, nine of the Renegades 10 bowlers used for the tournament had economy rates under eight runs per over and four conceded less seven. This time only Richardson went at 6.99 and 10 of the 15 bowlers used conceded more than eight, including experienced duo Dan Christian and Mohammad Nabi and overseas signings Richard Gleeson and Harry Gurney who both went at more than 10 runs per over.
Performance of the season
The Renegades best night came against the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba. The Heat were 0 for 84 after 5.5 overs chasing just 165. The Renegades then took 10 for 36 as the Heat suffered a record collapse. Boyce produced a stunning spell taking 4 for 15 from four overs and was on a hat-trick in the seventh over. It all took place while the Renegades two most important players, Finch and Richardson, were away on Australia duty.
Player of the season
Webster was the surprise package of the season batting in the difficult middle-order role. He made 429 runs at 42.50 striking at 131.98, including three half-centuries. He also played a significant part in the win over the Heat top-scoring with 36 off 26 after the Renegades were in trouble. He was particularly savage against pace bowling in the middle and death overs but will need to improve against spin, falling seven times in the tournament and striking at under 100 against the slow bowlers.
Key Stat (Gaurav Sundararaman)
Last year they were the best bowling unit and this year they are the worst. The leading wicket-taker has just 14 wickets and is 15th on the leaderboard. As a bowling unit, they averaged 32.59 conceding 8.55 runs per over - the worst in the league. You don't win competitions with these numbers.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne