Melbourne Renegades, who are having the worst-ever Big Bash League (BBL) season, will combat Melbourne Stars on January 20 (Wednesday). This will be the 45th match of the league and will be hosted by Docklands Stadium.
The fate of Melbourne Renegades was said to be changed after they broke their seven-match losing streak after winning against Adelaide Strikers. However, they have lost back to back two matches after that, also one against Melbourne Stars. From their batting to bowling performance, they have been below par.
Currently, they are languishing at the bottom of the points table with nine losses out of 11 matches.
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 but he hasn’t stood up to the expectation. Against Brisbane Heat, he demoted himself to middle-order but it didn’t bring any change for the side. He was out after scoring 13 runs off 13 balls. In the last match against Melbourne Stars, he was out for a duck. The southpaw needs to play a big knock to have the upper hand in the game.
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. Against Brisbane Heat, he scored 20 runs off 14 balls. In the last match, he was demoted to middle-order and scored 29 runs off 17 balls.
After attending the birth of his child, Shaun Marsh returned in the playing XI against Brisbane Heat. However, he could not open his account as he was out for a duck. In the last match, he scored 24 runs off 21 balls. Melbourne Renegades will hope that he gets a good sum of runs on the board as the team heavily depends on him.
Sam Harper (wk):
Sam Harper has played a couple of gritty knocks like unbeaten 66 runs off 52 balls against Hobart Hurricanes. In the last match as well, he scored 63 off 52 balls. But disappointingly, his knocks have ended up in losing cause. The franchise will hope that they produce the same innings to get better off Melbourne Stars.
The all-rounder Beau Webster, who has also played for Hobart Hurricanes, scored 50 off 40 balls after the early fall of top-order against Brisbane Heat. He stitched up a crucial partnership with Jake Fraser-McGurk to push the team’s total past 140. Melbourne Renegades will hope that he again charge up the innings.
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. Similarly, against Brisbane Heat, he struck 40 runs off 33 balls.
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. And, with the bat, he hasn’t got many opportunities.
Melbourne Renegades will hope that Wasim gives an overall contribution to take the game home against Melbourne Stars.
The 24-year-old Jack Prestwidge went wicketless against Adelaide Strikers in the first meeting. But he bounced back on the second occasion, notching two wickets in his three overs. Against Brisbane Heat, he also picked one wicket but in the last match, he was dropped from the team to make way for Will Sutherland. The fast bowler is likely to return to the team.
Melbourne Renegades will hope that he could get early wickets for them against Melbourne Stars.
Kane Richardson, who missed out on the limited-overs leg of Australia against India, had an impressive start of the 10th season of BBL. However, the pacer has gone expensive. In the last match against Melbourne Stars, he controlled the run flow and gave away only 24 runs. He also picked up two wickets but it was too late to defend a below-par score.
The leg-spinner Peter Hatzoglou has given breakthroughs but the results for Melbourne Renegades have not changed. Against Brisbane Heat, he broke the 46 runs partnership between Max Bryant and Chris Lynn. However, his early breakthrough was not sufficient to defend the below-par target. Besides Bryant’s wicket, he also picked the wicket of the tail-ender. Similarly, in the last match, he picked the wicket of Marcus Stoinis. However, Melbourne Renegades lost the match. He will be looking to notch early wickets.
The 15-year-old Noor Ahmad replaced Jonathan Mark Holland in the playing XI against Hobart Hurricanes and has now earned the permanent spot in the team. He became the youngest overseas player to make his debut in the BBL. But he has went wicketless in the last two matches.