WBBL|03 preview: Melbourne Renegades

02 December 2017

The 'Gades have gone big on their recruiting this season hoping it will lead to a breakthrough finals appearance.

Previous WBBL|03 previews:

The squad:  Amy Satterthwaite (C) (NZ), Molly Strano, Sophie Molineux, Jess Duffin, Lea Tahuhu (NZ), Hayley Jensen, Emma Inglis, Maitlan Brown, Claire Koski, Georgia Wareham, Chamari Atapattu (SL), Tayla Vlaeminck, Kris Britt, Rhiann O’Donnell, Jennifer Taffs

In:  Jess Duffin (Stars), Emma Inglis (Stars), Hayley Jensen (Stars), Amy Satterthwaite (Hurricanes), Claire Koski (Thunder), Chamari Atapattu (SL), Rhiann O’Donnell, Jennifer Taffs

Out:  Grace Harris (Heat), Rachel Priest (Thunder), Nicole Goodwin, Kirsty Lamb, Natalie Plane, Annabel Sutherland, Danni Wyatt, Amy Yates

Mel Jones previews WBBL|03: Melbourne Renegades

The inside word with assistant coach Duncan Harrison: “We went strategically quite young with the Renegades (initially) and we’ve unearthed some good young talent, which is good, but we’re all pretty keen to get up the other end of the ladder from where we’ve been. We’ve brought in some really good experience and we think that will complement our talented young players. (Amy Satterthwaite) has had an incredible two years internationally and she’s been really good with Hobart Hurricanes, and we’re really excited with what she can bring. Sophie Molineux will continue to develop, Maitlan Brown, it will be exciting to see what her development goes … we hope Georgia Wareham continues to develop, Tayla Vlaeminck is another who it’s exciting to see what she can bring. You combine that with players like Molly Strano that are emerging now, we think that’s a pretty good young-to-middle-aged group.”

Tayla Vlaeminck sends down a delivery for VicSpirit / Getty
Tayla Vlaeminck sends down a delivery for VicSpirit / Getty

The talking point: Having fielded such a young side the past two seasons with a focus on development, a push to bring more established players into the line-up for WBBL|03 could be just what the Renegades needed to make a case for finals. A powerful batting line-up including record-breaking Sri Lanka batter Chamari Atapattu and former Melbourne Star Jess Duffin will add firepower to a team desperate to make finals for the first time. New captain and White Fern star Amy Satterthwaite, who topped the World T20 batting average in 2015-16, will also add her skill to the mix after crossing from Hobart Hurricanes on a three-year contract. The Renegades have gone big on recruiting, but have held firm to the crux of their exciting young talent, turning over eight players from last summer.

Chamari Atapattu in action for Yorkshire Diamonds during the England Women's Super League // Getty
Chamari Atapattu in action for Yorkshire Diamonds during the England Women's Super League // Getty

The WBBL|02 result: Seventh. A slight improvement on their inaugural WBBL season, 2016-17 was another development year for a young Renegades outfit. The rewards were starting to come through, with the likes of young gun Molineux putting in a season to remember and showing the potential of the group when it can get some more experience and consistency under its belt. Off-spinner Molly Strano finished second in the league for most wickets in WBBL02, and was also a handy contributor with the bat.

The one to watch: Chamari Atapattu. The damaging Sri Lankan batter has shown what she is capable already this year, with an incredible 178no against Australia in the ICC Women’s World Cup – the third highest score in women’s ODI history. The 27-year-old has represented her country 130 times, but is yet to play on Australian soil, so while she has the runs on the board in a general sense, her first foray into cricket Down Under will be interesting.

Molineux has the Strikers in a spin

The rising star: Sophie Molineux. The former Victorian under-18 captain made a big impact in WBBL|02, playing every game for the Renegades and racking up 256 runs at 23.27. She claimed eight wickets and, at 19 years old, is widely expected to be one of the leading young players to watch this season. Molineux leads a group of exciting young prospects at the Renegades who have come through the junior pathways system together.

The changes: Former captain and wicketkeeper Rachel Priest has crossed to finals hopeful Sydney Thunder, with former Hobart Hurricane Satterthwaite coming across on a three-year-deal to bolster the Gades’ leadership stocks. Atapattu shapes as an exciting inclusion with the bat, while White Fern-turned-ACT Meteor Hayley Jensen and wicketkeeper Emma Inglis join Duffin as converts from crosstown rivals Stars. Sydney Thunder allrounder Claire Koski rounds out the six red recruits for the summer. Big-hitter Grace Harris has also returned to Brisbane Heat after one summer with the Melbourne-based club.

The fixtures:

December 9 v Thunder – North Sydney Oval

December 16 v Strikers – Gliderol Stadium, Glenelg

December 17 v Strikers – Gliderol Stadium, Glenelg

December 22 v Heat – Camberwell Sports Ground, Camberwell

December 23 v Heat – Etihad Stadium

January 2 v Sixers – Camberwell Sports Ground, Camberwell

January 3 v Sixers – GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

January 6 v Stars – MCG

January 14 v Hurricanes -  Blundstone Arena

January 15 v Hurricanes – Blundstone Arena

January 20 v Stars – MCG

January 24 v Thunder – Manuka Oval

January 27 v Scorchers – Camberwell Sports Ground, Camberwell

January 28 v Scorchers – Camberwell Sports Ground, Camberwell

Filed Under

Melbourne Renegades Women

Rebel WBBL|03