Finally, after breaking their seven-match losing streak, Melbourne Renegades will face off Brisbane Heat in Canberra on January 14 (Thursday). They will be first time meeting Brisbane Heat and it will be the 39th match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21.
After winning only their second match of the ongoing season against Adelaide Strikers, Melbourne Renegades would have surely gained some confidence which was lost after back to back seven defeats. The hero of that match was Mohammad Nabi. But the allrounder has now left the league owing to his national duty. However, Renegades will look to carry on the winning momentum against Brisbane Heat, who are coming off a defeat.
Here let’s take a look at Melbourne Renegades’ predicted playing XI:
Aaron Finch (c):
Melbourne Renegades captain Aaron Finch is the main man of his side. The team totally depends on his batting display. In the last match, he was given a controversial LBW off Wes Agar’s fast bowling. He was angry with the decision but had to leave his team after scoring just 14 runs off 15 balls. However, this time his early departure didn’t end up in losing cause.
Coming in place of Shaun Marsh, the 24-year-old Mackenzie Harvey was the highest scorer for his side in the first meeting against Adelaide Strikers. After the early departure of the skipper, he tried to set foot in the field and scored 34 runs off 29 balls before moving out of the field. As Shaun Marsh is likely to miss a couple of more matches because he is with his wife and newborn baby, Harvey has a good opportunity to become the hero of the team and earn the permanent place in the playing XI.
Sam Harper (wk):
Against Adelaide Strikers in the first meeting, Sam Harper had tried to stabilize the innings with Harvey after Aaron Finch’s departure for duck but Dany Briggs broke their partnership by picking his wicket. He scored 31 runs off 30 balls in which he struck two fours and one six.
The wicketkeeper-batsman had also earlier stepped in against Hobart Hurricanes when the openers lost their wickets early in the last match. He amassed unbeaten 66 runs off 52 balls, striking four fours and two sixes. However, his knock could not help Melbourne Renegades to clinch the victory
The franchise will hope that they produce the same innings to get better off Brisbane Heat.
Will Sutherland was in the playing XI in a couple of matches but was dropped after being expensive with the ball. But as Mohammed Nabi has left the tournament, the allrounder will be swooped in place of an Afghan player. Melbourne Renegades will hope that he fills the space of Nabi perfectly.
The all-rounder Beau Webster, who has also played for Hobart Hurricanes, has not been effective so far. In the first match, he didn’t get the opportunity to bat but bowled three overs in which he gave away 14 runs while picked one wicket. Against SS, he scored only two runs besides going wicketless.
He neither has been effective with the ball nor with the bat. But Melbourne Renegades will back him considering he has experience of playing T20s.
The Pakistan allrounder Imad Wasim was the leading wicket-taker against Adelaide Strikers in the first meeting. In his three overs, he got the crucial wicket of Alex Carey and Jonathan Wells while conceded 13 runs. But he could not produce an impressive performance in the second meeting. However, with the bat, he hasn’t got much opportunity.
Melbourne Renegades will hope that Wasim gives an overall contribution to take the game home against Brisbane Heat.
The 18-year-old Jake Fraser-McGurk, who was dropped after a low string of runs, returned back in the playing XI when Melbourne Renegades meet Adelaide Strikers for the first time. He came out as the match-winner for them in the second meeting with Strikers. He played a second fiddle to Mohammed Nabi and didn’t give away his wicket. The youngster scored unbeaten 29 runs off 23 balls.
The 24-year-old Jack Prestwidge went wicketless against Adelaide Strikers in the first meeting. But he bounced back in the second occasion, notching two wickets in his three overs. Melbourne Renegades will hope that he could get early wickets for them against Brisbane Heat.
Kane Richardson, who missed out on the limited-overs leg of Australia against India, had an impressive start of the 10th season of BBL. He notched three wickets in the maiden match with Melbourne Renegades to take the game home.
However, the pacer has gone expensive in the next three matches. In the last match against Adelaide Strikers, he picked up only one wicket and leaked 40 runs in his four overs.
Josh Lalor was the most expensive bowler in the disappointing defeat against Adelaide Strikers in the first meeting. He conceded 51 runs in his four overs without picking a wicket.
Being expensive in previous matches, he has been replaced with Zak Evans and a couple of others but his replacements haven’t done been effective. So, he is likely to return back considering he has been also picking wickets, unlike his replacements.
The 15-year-old Noor Ahmad was replaced with Jonathan Mark Holland in the playing XI against Hobart Hurricanes. He became the youngest overseas player to make his debut in the BBL. In the last match, he went wicketless while gave away 35 runs in his four overs quota.