In their final group stage of Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21, Adelaide Strikers will face off Sydney Thunder on January 25 (Monday). This will be the 51st match of this season and the second meeting of the two sides.
Adelaide Strikers need to win against Sydney Thunder in the second meeting to seal their spot in the playoffs. In the last edition, they entered the playoffs but failed to become a finalist. This season they deserved to be in the playoffs considering they have a strong team.
Here, let’s take a look at Adelaide Strikers predicted XI:
Alex Carey (wk):
As Adelaide Strikers regular captain Travis Head has returned from national duty, Alex Carey is playing only as of the wicket-keeper batsman without any added burden of captaincy.
Against Brisbane Heat, he opened the innings for Strikers and went on to register the maiden century of the ongoing season. He smacked 101 runs off 62 balls in which he struck 10 fours and three sixes. Earlier, he was batting as the number third batsman but he is likely to again play as the opener against Sydney Thunder.
Jake Weatherald was again promoted to the opener’s position in the second last match. He scored 36 off 18 balls at the staggering strike rate of 200.00. In his fiery knock, he smashed five fours and one six. He would be expected to do the same against the Sydney Thunder.
Travis Head (c):
Travis Head has returned to the side after the conclusion of the four-match Test series against India where he was benched after playing the first two Tests.
Adelaide Strikers captain played the first match of the BBL 2020-21 against Brisbane Heat. He also charged up the innings, scoring 25 runs off 19 balls. The right-hand batsman will look to play a big knock against Sydney Thunder to take the team to the playoffs.
Phil Salt registered his highest score of this tournament in the third last match against Melbourne Renegades. He amassed 59 runs off 42 balls in which he struck three fours and three sixes but it could not end up winning the match. As he wasn’t able to give a good start to the side, he was demoted to the middle-order in the second last match against Brisbane Heat. He scored quick 26 runs off 17 balls while batting as number four batsman.
Against Brisbane Heat, Matt Renshaw was also demoted to the middle-order like his opening partner Phil Salt. He didn’t get much opportunity to bat as he faced only three balls before the end of Adelaide Strikers’ innings. But he will have to accelerate the innings against Sydney Thunder to put a challenging total.
Ryan Gibson has returned in the playing XI for the good. Against Melbourne Renegades in the first meeting, he stitched up a match-winning partnership with Weatherald to stabilize Adelaide Strikers’ innings. He remained not out and scored 43 runs off 31 balls at the strike rate of 138.71.
The pacer Michael Neser has also come back in Adelaide Strikers’ squad after the completion of the Test series between India and Australia. However, the 30-year-old didn’t get a Test match. But his return in Strikers has made their bowling a lot more stronger. He picked his maiden wicket of the season against Brisbane Heat.
After recovering from injury, the veteran featured against Brisbane Heat, which was the second last match of Adelaide Strikers. He ran through their middle-order and picked the wicket of Joe Burns and Lewis Gregory to halt Heat to just 115 runs.
Lian O’Connor, who played three matches last season, has got the place in the playing XI after the departure of Rashid Khan, who has returned to play for Afghanistan in the series against Ireland. Against Brisbane Heat, he was economical and picked up an important wicket of Jimmy Pierson. The leg-spinner conceded only 20 runs in his four overs.
Wes Agar is the crucial player for Adelaide Strikers in the bowling department. Against Brisbane Heat, he was all over the top-order, picking the wickets of the top three batsmen. He trapped Marnus Labuschagne, Chris Lynn and Joe Denly to send them early to the hut and establish the win of his side. Overall, in 12 matches, he has notched 21 wickets.
The English cricketer was bowling well against Melbourne Renegades in the first meeting. He picked two wickets while chocked the middle-order to score runs against him. In his four overs, he gave away only 17 runs and registered an impressive economy rate of 4.25 Against Brisbane Heat, he was also impressive, picking one wicket in his four overs quota.