After winning their season opener, Melbourne Renegades have faced back to back defeats in the last two matches. Out of which, one was a demoralizing defeat as they were all out for 60 runs while chasing 206 runs.
In their 4th match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21, Melbourne Renegades will take on Sydney Thunder in Canberra on Saturday (December 26). They will look to win this match somehow to swoop in confidence.
Moreover, they will be playing without their regular captain Aaron Finch as he has taken leave from BBL bio-bubble and has returned home in victoria. In his absence, Shaun Marsh will again captain the side, who lead the team in the last match against Hobart Hurricanes but ended up losing that match.
Here let’s take a look at Melbourne Renegades’ predicted playing XI against Sydney Thunder:
The opening batsman Shaun Marsh, who scored a gun-blazing half-century in the victory against Perth Scorchers, has scored 13 and one runs in the last two matches and as a result, Melbourne Renegades has also lost them. He hasn’t been able to set the stage on fire which he is known for.
Having an additional burden of captaincy, he will look to redeem in Canberra and entertain fans with his fiery knock.
The 18-year-old Jake Fraser-McGurk, who showed his firepower in Australi U-19, has not stood up to expectation. In his first BBL match, he was out for a duck. Against Sydney Sixers, he had the opportunity to come out as a hero but he was out after scoring just 13 runs.
In the last match, he was promoted to the opening batsman position but nothing changed for the youngster. He was out after scoring two runs. Melbourne Renegades is going to back him but he needs to return back the faith with his performance.
Mackenzie Harvey, who was the captain of Australia’s U-19 team in the World Cup 2020, was in the playing XI against Hobart Hurricanes. But was promoted down the order and thus, didn’t get the opportunity to bat. The youngster will be looking for an opportunity to prove his case.
After scoring 1 and 5 runs respectively in the last two outings, the wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Harper stepped in 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
He has gained back his rhythm which is a big positive for the team but this time, he will look to be the match-winner.
The South African cricketer Rilee Roscoe Rossouw, who scored 17* and 0 runs in the first two matches, bounced back stronger against Hobart Hurricanes.
Being out of the game for over nine months, he took time to adjust in the field but now has found the rhythm back. The 31-year-old scored 59 off 40 balls in which he smacked eight fours and one six in Hobart to take the guide his team set up 158 runs target. Melbourne Renegades will hope that he continues his good form throughout the season.
The all-rounder Beau Webster, who has also played for Hobert 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.
In the last match against the Hurricanes, he was not given to ball and also not got enough chance to bat. He faced eight balls and remained unbeaten scoring 10 runs. Webster will want to capitalise on the next opportunity.
Mohammad Nabi played the maiden match of the ongoing season against Hobart Hurricanes. He scored 14 runs off 12 balls while went wicketless in his three overs. The Aghan allrounder is likely to be retained because Melbourne Renegades is looking to strengthen their batting line up in the absence of their batting mainstay Aaron Finch.
Will Sutherland also played his maiden match of the season against Hobart Hurricanes, which was the last match of Melbourne Renegades. The all-rounder didn’t get the opportunity to bat but went expensive in his three overs, leaking 26 runs. Moreover, the speedster also could not notch a wicket. Sutherland will hope to give a significant contribution against Sydney Thunder.
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 last two matches. Against Hurricanes in the last match, he picked the crucial wicket of Colin Ingram but could not control his run rate. He gave away 35 runs in his 3.4 overs. The team will hope to give them breakthroughs in the coming matches.
Josh Lalor was the most expensive bowler in the disappointing defeat against Sydney Sixers. He conceded 49 runs in his four overs and got the wicket of Josh Phillipe, who had already done the harm with the bat.
In the last match as well, he also conceded 44 runs in his four overs and picked the only wicket of D’Arcy Short.
Melbourne Renegades has been leaking too many runs in death overs. Lalor will have to bowl tight overs.
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.
The young gun notched the prized wicket of the skipper Peter Handscomb while came out as the most economical bowler for Melbourne Renegades in that match. In his four overs quota, he registered the economy rate of 6.75.