Big Bash, a little crash and plenty just having a lash

A BIG six weeks of Big Bash League action has produced controversy, verbal stoushes, physical clashes and some classic catches. But what have we learnt this summer?

An eight-team competition should reward only three finalists, otherwise we are rewarding mediocrity. Remove the fourth team from finals and we make the round-by-round fixtures even more crucial.

And cut-throat semi-finals are unfair on the top team, this season the Melbourne Renegades. The Renegades won seven of eight games and finished well clear on top; they should have won immunity from a cut-throat semi, progressed straight to the final and secured a berth in the lucrative Champions League.

The preliminary final should be a cut-throat game between second and third.

Unfortunately, time does not allow for any more finals as the schedule is already crammed pre- and post-Big Bash.

Scheduling is always a difficult process. But to ensure the long-term success of the Bash, we need the best players available more often. At least make a window for the finals system suggested above that allows every Australian player to be available to the three best teams for the finals.

The Duckworth Lewis system, which works OK in one-day cricket, does not work in Twenty20 games and must be thrown out.

Someone out there with a cricket brain and who is mathematically inclined has the opportunity to create a new formula for rain-affected games in Twenty20.

If not, then at least the chasing side must lose some wickets off the target chasing score.

It is far easier chasing in limited overs with all 10 wickets in the shed. The Perth Scorchers benefited from this system in two matches this series, the semi-final in particular.

Coach Justin Langer would say justice was served as the Stars earlier in the series found a loophole no one else was aware of and snuck away from Perth with two points in a two-over game. That must be fixed.

As always, the Big Bash exposed some new talent and in some cases reignited some old talent. Brad Hodge is still pure class and, if the selectors are to be consistent, should be picked to play Twenty20 for Australia. If it was good enough for the other Brad [Hogg] last year, then it's good enough for this Brad this year.

Ben Laughlin is the best bowler in the country in this format and should also be rewarded with a call-up next week. His yorkers and slower balls are an ideal mix.

Two mollydookers at the top of the order were outstanding. Shaun Marsh is the cleanest striker in the land and Luke Pomersbach may finally be realising his true potential. Both these bludgeoners from the West have courted off-field trouble in the past and hopefully now have shaken themselves substantially to realise being elite is a 24-hour-a-day commitment. Both should be picked in the Australian Twenty20 team.

It's hard to fit everyone into the Australian side, but a must selection for mine is Renegades' Ben Rohrer. He is as close to Michael Hussey as we will get. A classy left-hander with nerves of steel and composure under pressure. His ability to manipulate or maul in the middle-order is crucial in any quality Twenty20 outfit.

Rohrer should be on the plane to India as Hussey's replacement. He is a clever player of spin, capable and nimble with his feet and a good sweeper, both conventional and unconventional. This is crucial in India if we are to win the Test series.

Rohrer has snuck under everyone's radar for too long with a first-class average in the 40s. He's the man with the temperament and technique we need to win in India.

The Big Bash is done and the bright lights will now dim for some players - some may never be seen again.

Some teams unearthed fresh young talent and exciting careers have just begun. Domestic normality resumes this week with the Sheffield Shield and Ryobi Cup, but state versus state will never be the same again. The landscape has changed, players swapping colours and allegiances. I'll let you be the judge as to whether we have the right formula.

Former Victorian and South Australian wicketkeeper Darren Berry is the coach of the South Australian Redbacks and Adelaide Strikers.

This story Big Bash, a little crash and plenty just having a lash first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.