Josh Philippe, Chris Lynn, Tom Banton, Ben Cutting, James Vince, Josh Lalor, Ben Dwarshuis, Sean Abbott, Steve O’Keefe, Zahir Khan, Tom Curran
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates
Captain: Josh Philippe
Philippe is a fairly obvious pick to captain this one, given his start to the season and formidable record at the SCG, where he averages 47 and strikes at 161. His wicketkeeping could bring some added points too.
Vice-captain: Tom Curran
The Big Bash’s leading wicket-taker has been among the Sixers’ most impressive performers so far with five strikes at 12.4. Curran might get taken for some runs at the death, but his variations on an SCG track, which has recently favoured seamers more than spinners, are worth backing.
Steve O’Keefe/Benjamin Manenti
O’Keefe sat out Sixers’ second game, reportedly with a calf injury. Keep an eye on the team news for whether he is in their starting XI on Sunday. If he is in, he’s a must-have against the Heat, who have a top order full of right-handers. At the SCG this year, he has picked up six wickets at 22.5 and has an economy rate of 6.13. O’Keefe can bowl in the powerplay, and against the Heat’s power-hitting top three of Max Bryant, Chris Lynn and Tom Banton, he could well prove to be the Sixers’ trump card.
If O’Keefe misses out, offspinner Manenti could prove to be a smart, budget pick. Manenti is in his second season, and took on powerplay duties successfully against the Hobart Hurricanes on Friday. And just as the Sixers’ batting went into a freefall, he shored them up with useful runs down the order.
Lynn is a shoo-in in most fantasy teams, and often the leading captaincy option. He has dominated the Sixers’ pace attack, but hasn’t had the best of times against left-arm spin in the past (strike rate 101, 18 dismissals). If he can see the O’Keefe threat off early on, he could be in for a big haul.
Arguably T20 cricket’s breakout talent of the year, Banton’s rise has seen him bag a full-season Big Bash deal with the Heat, followed by an IPL contract. After a quick 16 on BBL debut, Banton hit a rapid fifty, taking on both pace and spin with ease.
The left-armer hasn’t had much competitive top-level cricket since the last Big Bash season, but has had a terrific start to his BBL 09 campaign. He has four wickets to show from his first two outings, at an outstanding economy rate of 5.00. He’s available on a cut-price deal for now, so make the most of it, especially when the Sixers are at home.
Picked up a five-for the last time these two sides faced off. Didn’t start off well against Perth Scorchers, but could well find himself in business at the SCG with his slower balls.
Points to note
The Sixers’ bowling line-up has been their stronger suit so far, even more so at the SCG, where pace bowlers have picked up 47 wickets in 2019 at an economy rate of 7.65. Keep an eye on their combination though – they picked leggie Lloyd Pope over O’Keefe in their second game, but are unlikely to bench the senior spinner in home conditions if he is fit.
The average first-innings score in the last three completed T20 innings at the SCG has been 127, and if the Sixers win the toss, you could consider adding Sean Abbott to your XI over one of the middle-order batsmen.