Adelaide Strikers Hit By Ashes Selection Calls, But Rashid Khan Provides Star Quality: BBL 2021

Adelaide Strikers: Travis Head and Alex Carey appear to be out for most of the event. The BBL07 champions had a hit-or-miss season, with several perplexing home losses, and were fortunate to qualify for the playoffs after favorable results.

There was anticipation that a solid top-order of Alex Carey, Jake Weatherald, and Travis Head could click into gear at the pointy end, but the Strikers’ season was cut short in the eliminator by the Brisbane Heat.

They showed flashes of becoming a power, but lapses cost them dearly, none more so than a humiliating home loss to the struggling Melbourne Renegades. Strikers’ middle-order struggled to fire, and the loss of excellent spinner Rashid Khan in the final stages significantly damaged their attack.

Adelaide Strikers are substantially shorthanded at the top of the order following the final Ashes selection calls

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Alex Carey has been chosen to replace Tim Paine, while Head has been chosen above Usman Khawaja to bat at No. 5. Matt Renshaw will miss the early matches because he is also with Australia A squad. Rashid should be able to play throughout the event.

For many years, Rashid Khan has been the Strikers’ talisman. Bringing a mix of high skill and theatrics to the team. Strikers are difficult to beat when Rashid is in form. And his absence late last season due to international responsibilities emphasized his importance.

The 23-year-old arrives in Australia in fine form after an outstanding performance. At the T20 World Cup, when he took eight wickets in five games.

Rashid has had to deal with the disappointment of Afghanistan’s historic Test in Australia being postponed. But helping the Strikers return to the top of the table would be a welcome distraction.

Key stat

Over the last two seasons, the Strikers have been the most cost-effective bowling unit. In 2019-20, they were at 7.80, and in 2020, at 7.60. Although Rashid is a major contributor to that statistic, the pace bowlers’ assistance is equally crucial. Their quicks are only 7.83 seconds, which is the second-best in the competition.

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