Coming off from a defeat, Melbourne Stars will face off Adelaide Strikers at their home ground Adelaide Oval on January 11 (Monday). This will be the 36th match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21 but the two teams will be meeting for the first time in this season.
Melbourne Stars decorated with star Australian players had a top-notch start of the tournament but have come out poor in their last matches. In eight matches played, they have lost four and won three matches while one has ended in a draw. And, with 15 points, they are currently at the second last position in the points table. Glenn Maxwell-led Stars need to win this match against Adelaide Strikers to rise through the ranks.
Here, let’s take a look at how Melbourne Stars can shape in for the fixture:
The West Indies player has not been able to set the stage on fire for Melbourne Stars. In the eight matches, he has not even managed to score 20 runs in a match.
In the last encounter against Brisbane Heat, Andre Fletcher scored just 15 runs in which he struck two fours. The opening batsman needs to give a good start, which Stars are lacking in this tournament.
Although he has not got the support from his opening partner, Marcus Stoinis has scored decent runs. Against Hobart Hurricanes, he remained not out and scored 97 runs off 55 balls. In his unbeaten knock, he smacked seven fours and seven sixes to take Melbourne Stars total to 183 runs.
Australia’s national team’s star allrounder is being only used as a pure batsman. He had sustained a side strain injury during India’s limited-over leg series. After which, he has been not bowling. Maybe in the latter half, he will be used in the bowling option when he regains full fitness.
Nick Larkin, who had an impressive season last year, returned in the playing XI after Nic Maddison got injured. Against Hobart Hurricanes, he consumed nine balls but scored just four runs. In the last match against Brisbane Heat, he was in good form and smacking boundaries to take the game close. However, his unbeaten knock could not end up in a winning cause.
Glenn Maxwell (c):
Melbourne Stars captain Glenn Maxwell is scoring a large chunk of runs but all have come under pressure after the early departure of the top-order. But in the last match, he was out for duck despite his team had a good start. He will look to redeem against Adelaide Strikers.
Continuing his good form of IPL, Nicholas Pooran left everyone in awe with his power-hitting in his first match with Melbourne Stars. He struck eight giant sixes and two fours to score 65 runs off 26 balls and pushed the total of Stars above 180 after the early fall of top-order. But after this knock, he hasn’t been consistent. If he plays another knock like this, Melbourne Stars will be no doubt in a good position.
After failing to fulfill his duty at number three, Hilton Cartwright has been demoted in the middle-order. The change of position has worked for Melbourne Stars. He scored 36 runs off 24 balls in which he smacked three sixes and one boundary against Hobart Hurricanes in the second meeting.
Cartwright is likely to play in the same position in the coming matches and needs to get runs on the board to take the home.
Sam Rainbird is in the playing XI of Melbourne Stars in the last three matches and has notched three wickets. In the last match against Brisbane Heat, he bowled two overs but leaked only 15 runs and went wicketless.
Seb Gotch (wk):
The wicketkeeper-batsman played the first match for Melbourne Stars against Hobart Hurricanes, which was the second meeting of the side. He could not open his account with the bat while also could not add a dismissal in his name. Similarly, in the last match, he didn’t get much opportunity to bat. He is likely to play coming matches for Stars.
Adam Zampa has gone expensive this season. In his first five matches, he has picked up eight wickets but has registered an economy rate of above 8. Against Brisbane Heat, he got two wickets while gave away only seven runs in his two overs. It was his most economical figure in this season.
The leggie had missed one match because of the obscenity remark which led to his ban for one encounter.
Liam Hatcher has got the knack of picking wickets at the crucial junctures. Against Sydney Sixer, he got the wicket of Carlos Braithwaite who was snatching the game away from Melbourne Stars. The pacer also sent Jordan Silk early. He was the most economical bowler for Melbourne Stars among the ones, who bowled four overs.
After being expensive against Sydney Sixers, Billy Stanlake bounced back stronger against Sydney Thunder. He picked two wickets while gave away only 18 runs in his four overs. Similarly in the first meeting against Hobart Hurricanes, he got three wickets in his name while conceded 25 runs in four overs.
The right-hand pacer has come out in great form this season and will be looking to prove his case after being sidelined from the Australian team.