BBL06 begins on Tuesday December 20th with the Sydney Derby between the Thunder and Sixers the first of four games in Round 1 and the start of 35 games in 40 days Sydney Thunder vs Sydney.
<p>BBL06 begins on Tuesday, December 20th with the Sydney Derby between the Thunder and Sixers, the first of four games in Round 1 and the start of 35 games in 40 days</p><p> </p><p><strong>Sydney Thunder vs Sydney Sixers (Tuesday 20th, 7.40pm local)</strong></p><p>Last season’s champions Sydney Thunder take on their cross-town rival Sixers in what has become the customary BBL opening night fixture. As it will be with all round one matches, the form and performance of both teams is a massive toss up, as we have very limited information to go by.</p><p>If we are to go by last year’s results, the Sixers, who finished bottom of the table, would have no hope against the reigning champions. However, they have made some moves in the offseason, acquiring the talents of recent Test call up Joe Mennie, as well as exciting English batsmen Jason Roy and Sam Billings.</p><p>The Thunder will go into the season with a revamped side, veterans Mike Hussey and Jacques Kallis having retired, however, I think this may be a blessing in disguise for the Thunder as their production was beginning to wane with age. This will open the door for Aiden Blizzard, Ben Rohrer, Shane Watson and the explosive Andre Russell to all play a much bigger role.</p><p>The Sixers are in the enviable but also frustrating position of boasting the full Australian Test bowling line-up, which makes them competitive with any team in the competition when playing. However, all of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird and Nathan Lyon will miss the match on Tuesday night due to international duty. The Thunder, on the other hand, will only need to replace BBL05 finals hero Usman Khawaja, a much easier prospect for selectors.</p><p>Best odds for the game are Thunder 4/5 Sixers 6/5.</p><p><strong>My bet here will be in the top Sydney sixers bowling market where recent test player Joe Mennie is available at 4/1 with <a href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4829&book=William Hill">William Hill</a>.</strong> A tall bowler who relies on consistency and accuracy rather than sheer pace, Mennie has been one of the Sheffield Shield's most reliable wicket takers and in a second tier bowling attack here 4/1 are attractive odds. 2011.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Adelaide Strikers vs Brisbane Heat (Wednesday 21st, 7.40pm local)</strong></p><p>Adelaide Strikers won 7 out of 8 pool games last year to top the table going into the knockout stage and begin this year against the Brisbane Heat at home on Wednesday.</p><p>Both teams boast similar type rosters, very strong in the batting department with the likes of Brad Hodge, Travis Head, Ben Dunk and Kieron Pollard for the Strikers and Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum and Ben Cutting for the Heat. Neither roster has players who are likely to miss significant time due to international duty, which is their greatest asset. I think the Strikers bat bit deeper and have more consistency in their bowling with the likes of Pollard, Kane Richardson, and Ben Laughlin. I like the Strikers to win this one with the added advantage of them being at home.</p><p><strong>The Strikers can be backed at 4/5 with <a href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4834&book=Paddypower">PaddyPower here</a></strong></p><p> </p><p><strong>Melbourne Renegades vs Sydney Thunder (Thursday 22nd, 7.40pm local)</strong></p><p>Much of the Renegades success this year will be dependant on the types of pitches produced at the Etihad Stadium. Boasting arguably the two best spinners in the competition in Sunil Narine and Brad Hogg, if the Renegades can produce pitches to maximise their strengths, they should go far in this competition. They come up against the reigning champion Sydney Thunder on Thursday night, who will most likely be without their star batsman of last season Usman Khawaja due to international duty.</p><p>That looks to be the only unavailability for the Thunder, while the Renegades will also be missing one player in Matthew Wade due to Test duties. The Thunder have an outstanding bowling attack, spearheaded by Pat Cummins, they also have T20 veteran Clint McKay and Big Bash specialist Gurinder Sandhu. If the Renegades do produce a spin-friendly wicket, don’t discredit Fawad Ahmed's ability to turn this match on its head, also. I think Sydney have a more well-rounded team and wouldn’t be surprised if they snatched this one as underdogs away from home.</p><p>The Thunder can be backed at even money with <a href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4810&book=Bet365">Bet365</a> or <a href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4824&book=Ladbrokes">Ladbrokes</a></p><p>Sydney Sixers vs Hobart Hurricanes (Friday 23rd, 6.10pm local)</p><p>These two teams are near the bottom of the outright betting, though as mentioned in the preview the Sixers look a very powerful side when they have all their international absentees present. This sadly won’t be the case here ahead of the Boxing Day test match which will be noticed particularly in their bowling attack</p><p>The Hurricanes boast a very stable lineup and I think they could produce a few shocks game by game in the pool stages in what looks a very even competition.</p><p>As well as Sangakkara and Broad the Hurricanes have one of the best all-rounders of BBL05 in Dan Christian, and experienced T20 players such as Tim Paine, George Bailey and the menacing Shaun Tait.</p><p>Although they’ll be on the road to open their BBL06 campaign, I like the Hurricanes at 6/5 underdogs at William Hill.</p>