In the 23rd match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21, Melbourne Stars will take on Hobart Hurricanes at their home on January 2 (Saturday). They will be meeting first time in this season but in their past three meetings Stars have been dominant a force to reckon with.
But currently, Melbourne Stars are below Hobart Hurricanes in the points table with ten points. In five matches played so far, they have won two and lost as many while one has ended in no result due to rain. Glenn Maxwell-led side will look to start with a moral-lifting win when they met Hurricanes.
Meanwhile, Melbourne Stars will also be missing the service of Adam Zampa as the leggie was handed a ban for an obscene on-field remark picked up by a stump mic.
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 five matches, he has amassed 12, 12, 6*, 4 and 18 runs respectively. The 33-year-old, who has represented Windies in 45 T20Is and 25 ODIs, will have to give a good start to the team to release the pressure from Glenn Maxwell’s shoulder.
In his last four outings, Marcus Stoinis has scored a half-century on one occasion. In the last match against Sydney Thunder, while chasing 220 runs target, he scored just 27 runs and could not give a good base to the team.
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.
In his last three innings, Hilton Cartwright has overall scored 79 runs. He hasn’t played his role at number three successfully. In the last match against Sydney Thunder, after the early fall of openers, he should have taken the command of the innings instead he gave away his wicket cheaply. Apart from batting, he is also a useful bowler. Cartwright needs to get runs on the board to take the home.
Melbourne Stars captain Glenn Maxwell played a fiery unbeaten knock of 71 runs against Sydney Sixers. In his innings, he smacked five four and as many sixes to take the game total to 193 runs. However, his knock went in vain.
Maxwell has been giving his best but because of the disappointing start from the top-order, the burden has been on his shoulder to score runs and rebuild the innings.
Continuing his good form of IPL, Nicholas Pooran has left everyone in awe with his power-hitting against Syndey Sixers. 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. If he plays another knock like this, Melbourne Stars will be no doubt in a good position.
More than his attacking batting in his two appearances, Nic Maddinson has been effective with the ball, picking three wickets. He has got the opportunity to bat on one occasion that was the last match against Sydney Thunder. The 29-year-old scored just five runs.
Melbourne Stars will hope that Nic Maddinson comes good against Hobart Hurricanes.
Ben Dunk has given a decent contribution with the bat but not as expected. He hasn’t been able to power the innings and been not much productive with the bowler. He might be replaced with the x-factor as per the team’s need
As the team will be missing Adam Zampa’s service, Tom O’Connell is likely to replace the prominent spinner in the playing XI. He will be playing only his sixth T20 match for Melbourne Stars against Hobart Hurricanes. Being inexperienced, he went expensive in his last match against Scorchers. He bowled only one over but was hit for two sixes and overall, gave away 15 runs. It is a golden opportunity for the youngsters to guide the side to victory.
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 them. 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. 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.
The left-arm spinner Zahir Khan will be playing only his third BBL match of this season against Hobart Hurricanes. In his last two matches, he has gone expensive while has not able to get a wicket in his tally. With Adam Zampa’s ouster, he is expected to play even though his inclusion has not been fruitful for the team.