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Al Paton explains why you don’t need to be a cricket tragic to succeed in KFC SuperCoach BBL

Cricket tragics are already halfway to picking their team for the new KFC SuperCoach BBL season.

I have a word of advice: Don’t worry about them.

The truth is they are also suffering from information overload from studying the stats, fixtures and team lists and gaming out all the possible permutations and selection combinations.

Who needs that stress?

Of course, I’m perfectly describing myself in the lead-up to every AFL season, but KFC SuperCoach BBL allows me the pleasure of just playing the game for fun – and it’s amazing how that can translate into actual results.

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I finished last summer ranked 117th of more than 73,000 players, by far my best final rank in any form of KFC SuperCoach.

Now, I’m not suggesting that anyone can enter at the last second and walk away with the $25,000 grand prize.

Or that I’m a total cricket dunce. In fact, I had a very undistinguished career for the Heathmont juniors as a wicketkeeper/opening batsman (very solid forward defence) and have been to my share of one-dayers and Boxing Day Tests. But I have to admit I’m not always glued to every delivery of a five-day epic and the power play does leave me scratching my head sometimes.

However, there’s a guaranteed way to make the summer of cricket more fun – add a dose of SuperCoach. I watched nearly every BBL game last year counting Marcus Stoinis’s sixes, Tom Curran’s dot balls and trying to work out Rashid Khan’s economy rate.

SuperCoach BBL is a different and very fun form of the game and while some aspects can be a bit head-spinning, here are the keys to my success – which I hope will help me to an even better result this summer.

THE FIXTURE IS YOUR FRIEND

Keep this link handy (https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/cricket/big-bash/kfc-supercoach-bbl-which-players-to-pick-and-what-the-fixture-means-for-your-team/news-story/efc628cf1c2431c3b8bccffb63c94a2c)

An easy way to gain an edge is just to stay on top of which teams were playing when.

The turnaround between rounds is often a matter of hours, not days, so you need to be ready to make your moves.

SuperCoach AFL players got a taste of this during this year’s fixture frenzy, which means my edge is probably gone!

Marcus Stoinis scored the most runs in a BBL tournament last season.Source:News Corp Australia

CAPTAIN ON THE DOUBLE

The other key fixture factors are byes and double-game rounds. You obviously don’t want players in your starting side who aren’t playing due to a bye, and you can score big by stacking your squad with players from a team that plays twice in one round.

This summer’s fixture is less crazy than in previous years but the opening three rounds will be as hectic as ever – presenting a huge chance to get a jump on other players.

For starters, in Round 1 Melbourne Stars have a double-game round so I’ll be using a lot of my salary cap on big scorers like Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa – and one of them will be my captain. On the other side of the coin Adelaide Strikers have the bye, so there’s no point starting with Rashid. But he’ll be coming straight in for Round 2 when the Strikers play twice.

BUT WAIT

The ability to use three trades every week to play the fixture comes with risks.

Look ahead: I don’t get caught up playing four-dimensional chess and trying to predict an entire season’s worth of trades but it’s probably not a good idea to have eight Melbourne Stars in your team for Round 1 (even though that would produce a huge score on their double) when they have the bye in Round 3 and you can only trade a maximum of three players out per week. Look a round or two ahead before pulling the trade trigger.

Call-up chaos: One big difference between KFC SuperCoach BBL and AFL is my AFL stars aren’t subject to a late call-up to represent their country. You can plan for this to a degree by watching the squads and dates for Tests, one-dayers and T20 clashes, but stay on your toes and watch the cricket news because selection changes can drop at any time.

Picking Tom Curran helped Al Paton finish 117th overall last season.Source:News Corp Australia

Loopholes: Like AFL, you can get two shots at the best captaincy score by using the vice-captain loophole. But the timing of games can get very tricky especially when some teams play twice in the round (in that case they are locked out at the start of their first game). Finding a donut can also be tricky – picking a dirt cheap wicketkeeper can be handy (Baxter Holt from the Sydney Thunders is a prime candidate) but make sure you’ve got a WKP/BAT DPP somewhere to cover for your starting keeper if he has a bye or misses a game.

ONE FINAL TIP

BBL – and specifically SuperCoach BBL – is a fun game, so pick players who are fun to watch. Is it the best tactical play to spend so much cash on Stoinis and Maxwell? Maybe not, but I like the Stars and those guys are just awesome to watch when they get going.

And of course don’t forget to get your friends into a league and, lastly, you can’t really get into the game unless you follow @tim_michell and @supercoachbbl on Twitter.

Good luck!

KFC SuperCoach BBL Q&A

With less than a month to go until BBL10 starts, our KFC SuperCoach BBL experts answer viewer questions.

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Originally published asYou don’t need to be a cricket tragic to play SuperCoach BBL

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