Languishing at the bottom of the points table, Brisbane Heat will take on Adelaide Strikers on Wednesday (December 23) at their home ground Brisbane Cricket Ground. This will be Heat’s first fixture in Brisbane.
In both their last two matches in Canberra, Brisbane Heat have faced a disappointing defeat which would have put their morale down. Against Melbourne Stars, who have the likes of Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis, they were all out for paltry 125 runs and lost the match by six wickets.
In the next match against Sydney Thunders, although they had set up a fighting 178-run target with the help of Chris Lynn, bowlers could not defend the target. With back to back two defeats, Brisbane Heat will want to swoop confidence in the squad. They will look to register a win against Adelaide Strikers, who are also coming off from a defeat.
Here, let’s take a look at Brisbane Heat’s playing XI:
Max Bryant hasn’t managed to give a decent starting to Brisbane Heat and as a result, the pressure comes in middle-order batsmen to build the innings. In the last two matches, he has scored 20-ball 20 and 23-ball 29 runs respectively. Brisbane Heat will want him to set the stage on fire in powerplays to allow the middle-order to play freely.
The southpaw Sam Heazlett has scored 14 and 20 runs against Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunders respectively. Like his opening partner, Heazlett has also been unable to give a good base to the team and it adds pressure on Chris Lynn to score runs. The 25-year-old will look to redeem against Strikers otherwise Brisbane Heat might be in another trouble.
Brisbane Heat captain Chris Lynn, who was sent back early against Stars, bounced back stronger against Thunders. However, his fiery knock of 69 runs off 44 balls, which comprised of three fours and five sixes, could not end up in the winning cause. The bowlers were unable to defend the total. Lynn will desire to win against Strikers otherwise the defeat will wallop them.
The promising youngster Dan Lawrence hasn’t stoop up to expectation in the last two matches, being out for mere eight and 20 runs respectively. On both occasions, he had the opportunity to step up and take the team forward after the early fall of top-order. However, Lawrence could not capitalize on the opportunity.
Seeing his impressive performance in English domestic cricket, he was called to play for Brisbane Heat. The young gun needs to get runs in the coming match to prove his case.
Tom Cooper, who has represented Australia in 23 ODIs and 18 T20Is, has not had a good start to the 10th season of the Big Bash League (BBL). He has scored 26 and 5 runs in the last two matches respectively. As of now, Chri Lynn hasn’t been used as the bowling option. Having mammoth experience of domestic cricket, Brisbane Heat will hope that Cooper gets runs for them in a difficult situation.
The fast bowling allrounder Jack Wildermuth played his match of the ongoing season against Sydney Thunders. He went on to play a rocket fueling knock though stayed for a shorter period in the field. Jack faced only 11 balls but struck four sixes and went on to score 31 runs.
Apart from batting, he was also economical and picked three wickets while gave away only 23 runs in his four overs quota. His overall contribution could not help Brisbane Heat to clinch victory. However, the franchise will want him to continue giving them success.
The wicketkeeper-batsman Jimmy Peirson has not been effective with the bat in the last two matches. He amassed 18 runs in the opening match while in the second match, he didn’t get enough chance to face ball as Chris Lynn and Jack Wildermuth got the team to a good total. He will look to get runs in the third match.
Mark Steketee, the 26-year-old pacer, didn’t feature in the first match of Brisbane Heat as he was playing for Australia A in warm-up games against India. He featured in the last match against Sydney Thunder where he picked up one wicket but could not control the run rate. In his four overs, he was hit for two fours and two sixes, giving away a total of 35 runs. He will want to come out more economical against Adelaide Strikers.
Matthew Kuhnemann, who made the debut in the Big Bash League last year, has notched two wickets in the last two matches. The left-arm spinner has also not been economical which has been the cause of concern for Brisbane Heat. To maintain his spot, Matthew needs to be effective in death and middle-overs.
The known player of South Africa Morne Morkel, who has now become the permanent resident of Australia, has not played a match for Brisbane Heat this season. But he is likely to get the place against Adeliade Striker because Ben Laughlin has been very expensive. And the franchise needs a bowler in death overs, who get control the run rate and for which, Heat will go for Morkel.
Mujeeb ur Rahman:
Mujeeb ur Rahman was economical in the last match but he could not get the wickets which was the need of the hour. Against Sydney Thunders, he notched the only wicket of Baxter Holt and leaked 27 runs in his four overs quota. The right-arm off-spinner will look to be the leading wicket-taker for them on Wednesday.