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Hobart Hurricanes BBL preview: Smart recruiting and top-order power provide strong mix

The Hurricanes shouldn't be massively hit by international calls and the batting could pack a punch

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
D'Arcy Short shapes to play a short ball, Hobart Hurricanes v Sydney Sixers, Big Bash League 2018-19, Hobart, January 4, 2019

D'Arcy Short shapes to play a short ball  •  Getty Images

Coach Adam Griffith
Squad Scott Boland, Johan Botha, Tim David, Jake Doran, Nathan Ellis, James Faulkner, Peter Handscomb, Colin Ingram (SA), Will Jacks (Eng), Caleb Jewell, Sandeep Lamichhane (Nep), Dawid Malan (Eng), Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, David Moody, Mitch Owen, Wil Parker, Tim Paine, Keemo Paul (WI), D'Arcy Short, Matthew Wade, Charlie Wakim, Nick Winter, Mac Wright
In Johan Botha, Tim David (Scorchers), Peter Handscomb (Stars), Sandeep Lamichhane (Stars), Colin Ingram, Will Jacks, Dawid Malan, Wil Parker, Keemo Paul, Nick Winter
Out Simon Milenko (Heat)
Overseas player availability Colin Ingram (available until early January), Will Jacks (all season), Sandeep Lamichhane (available from early January), Dawid Malan (quarantine until Dec 18), Keemo Paul (available from December 25)
Last season: Eliminator
The Hurricanes scraped into the finals last year thanks to a magnificent unbeaten century from Wade in their final match of the regular season but they didn't progress any further as they were humbled at home by Sydney Thunder in the Eliminator. They only won six games for the tournament and Wade's elevation to the Test team affected the balance of their side and has ignited a recruiting drive for this season.
Bubble impact
Wade will again be absent for large parts of the tournament and may only be available for the last two games and finals. But outside of that, the Hurricanes have structured their squad to cover all basis on the quarantine front. They have signed five overseas players that will come in and out of the squad at various times due to quarantine restrictions. Malan will miss the first four games but Colin Ingram is there as cover, while Keemo Paul and Sandeep Lamichhane will join the squad after Christmas. They have pulled Johan Botha out of retirement to provide spin support while Lamichhane is unavailable. Australia Test captain Tim Paine has signed for the club and could play a handful of games after the India Test series.
Player to watch
Nathan Ellis was a surprise packet last season picking up 12 wickets in 15 games with an excellent economy rate of 7.94 having bowled a lot of the difficult death overs. Such was his impact the national selectors were even taking note of his ability to restrict scoring at the death with his mix of yorkers and slower balls. The second year is often the most difficult for new kids on the block with all teams now having seen his array of tricks over the course of a full season. He will be very important for the balance of the Hurricanes' attack.
Key stat
No team is more dependent on their openers than Hobart Hurricanes. In the last two seasons, the Hurricanes openers strike at 141.81 and average 43 runs per wicket. The addition of Malan has bolstered the top order. In the last two years in T20s he has scored 1926 runs and averages 36.33 with a strike-rate of 136.49 and three centuries.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne