ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 16: Marcus Harris of the Melbourne Renegades bats during the Big Bash League match between the Adelaide Strikers and the Melbourne Renegades at Adelaide Oval on January 16, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Since winning their first BBL title in the tournament's eighth edition, the last three campaigns haven't been kind for the Melbourne Renegades.

Three consecutive seasons of finishing last doesn't sit well for a team looking to make some noise.

On paper, it's a solid playing roster with plenty of experience which includes T20 specialist Kane Richardson, Marcus Harris, Nic Maddinson, former Scorcher Shaun Marsh, Australian short form captain Aaron Finch, and the addition of Jonathan Wells.

One thing is for certain, the Renegades need to avoid a woeful start which saw them lose five of its opening six games in BBL11, ultimately, leaving the side playing catchup. But you sense this will be a season of writing the wrongs and turning lopsided losses in their favour. Only time will tell.

Here are some of the key players who are going to have a major input on the Renegades' title chances.

Key players

Jonathan Wells
Perhaps one of the big fish acquisitions for the Renegades who can make a difference in terms of building a big score to chasing down targets. A major problem for the Renegades last season was their constant middle-order collapses.

An area in which one of their two prized additions will rectify to make sure it doesn't happen this time around. The 34-year-old was tremendous in BBL11 for the Adelaide Strikers scoring 501 runs at a strike rate of 128.79, scoring four half-centuries at an average of 38.54.

He finished second for the most amount of runs behind power-hitter Ben McDermott (577). His thirst for runs is unwavering and especially came to the fore with a crucial 73 from 49 deliveries in the Strikers' crucial win over the Melbourne Stars.

Overall, Wells currently sits fourth for the most runs scored all-time (2554) only behind Glenn Maxwell, new teammate Aaron Finch, and Chris Lynn.

No doubt Renegades fans should be excited in what Wells will add. Certainly in terms of relieving the pressure of Finch, Sam Harper, and New Zealand star Martin Guptill with his level-headed temperament at the crease.

Martin Guptill
When the Renegades made the announcement that former New Zealand opener Martin Guptill would be playing, fans surely would have been buoyed by the addition. Guptill brings a wealth of experience having represented his country in 47 tests, 198 one-day international matches scoring 7346 runs, and 122 T20 matches scoring 3531 runs.

The 36-year-old has had many incredible T20 innings for New Zealand, which includes making 101 of 69 balls against South Africa in 2012, and a rapid fire 105 of only 54 deliveries against Australia in February 2018.

His ability to gain the ascendency of opposition bowling attacks is paramount, one which the Renegades are hoping can translate into major contributions.

Far too often last season, the team had too much of a heavy reliance on Aaron Finch to compile a major score. But now with Wells and now Guptill joining, it is going to give opposition sides plenty of thinking in cutting the head of the snake.

Kane Richardson
A major lynchpin of the Renegades' bowling attack, Kane Richardson is going to have the task again of delivering wickets in crucial stages. One of the top white-ball bowlers in the tournament, Richardson enjoyed another solid BBL11 campaign taking 19 wickets at 16.42.

Apart from being bludgeoned to all sections of Docklands Stadium by Ben McDermott, ending up with figures of 0/63 from 4 overs, Richardson by far was the side's most consistent bowler.

Some of Richardson's best bowling performances in BBL11 include taking 4/32 against the Adelaide Strikers, 3/33 against the Perth Scorchers, and 3/24 against the Melbourne Stars.

The Renegades are going to be counting on the veteran pace bowler to deliver again.

Player to watch

Zak Evans
Zak Evans is set for a breakout campaign after displaying glimpses of his bowling potential in BBL10, taking 10 wickets from 5 matches. However, BBL11 would be a different story only featuring in 4 matches taking 3 wickets as couldn't solidify his place in the team.

However with veteran James Pattinson's departure, it opens the door for the upcoming 22-year-old to make his mark this campaign for the Renegades.

It's a interesting bowling lineup consisting of Richardson, Jack Prestwidge, Sri Lankan spinner Ruwantha Kellepotha, Will Sutherland, and Mohammad Nabi. Expect the side to have more success this season in slowing opponents down.

Renegades matches to watch
Sunday, December 18 v Sydney Thunder, Docklands Stadium
Wednesday, December 28 v Sydney Sixers, SCG
Sunday, January 1 v Perth Scorchers, Docklands Stadium
Tuesday, January 3 v Melbourne Stars, MCG
Tuesday, January 24 v Adelaide Strikers, Docklands Stadium