In the 45th match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21, Melbourne Stars will combat Melbourne Renegades on January 20 (Wednesday). Docklands Stadium in Melbourne will host this match which will be the second meeting of the two teams in this season.
Melbourne Stars comfortably won the match against Melbourne Renegades in the first meeting. And they have, undoubtedly, the upper hand against Renegades as Aaron Finch-led side having the worst season, languishing at the bottom of the points table with nine losses in 11 matches. On the other hand, Stars are at number third position in the points table.
Here, let’s take a look at Melbourne Stars predicted playing XI:
After struggling to score runs in the previous matches, Andre Fletcher showed his mettle with the bat after playing an explosive unbeaten 89 runs off 49 balls against Adelaide Strikers. He smacked eight fours and four humongous sixes to put 179 runs on board. His knock also had his famous no-look shot. The Windies return is a big positive for Melbourne Stars.
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 later, he will be used in the bowling option when he regains full fitness. In 10 matches, he has amassed 333 runs at the strike rate of 144.15.
Nick Larkin, who had an impressive season last year, returned in the playing XI after Nic Maddison got injured. Against Brisbane Heat, he was in good form and smacked boundaries to take the game close. However, his unbeaten knock could not end up in a winning cause.
Against Adelaide Strikers in the first meeting, he consumed 23 balls and struck just 18 runs. His slow innings aided only in adding pressure on his batting partner. In the last match, he scored 43 runs off 32 balls to guide his side to victory.
Glenn Maxwell (c):
Melbourne Stars captain Glenn Maxwell is scoring a large chunk of runs but all have come under pressure after the early departure of the top-order.
After being out for a duck for consecutive two times, Maxwell stiched explosive 61 runs partnership with Fletcher in which he scored 37 runs off 28 balls against Adelaide Strikers.
Nic Maddinson has returned to the playing XI after recovering from injury. In the first meeting against Adelaide Strikers, he scored unbeaten 48 runs off 34 balls in which he struck two fours and three sixes to push the total past 140 after the early fall of middle-order. Melbourne Stars will hope that the Aussie such more knocks.
Hilton Cartwright has been a consistent scorer for Melbourne Stars in the middle-order. In the last match against Adelaide Strikers, he smashed 30 runs off 17 balls, which includes two fours and as many sixes. His fiery knock contributed to taking the team’s total past 170.
Seb Gotch (wk):
The wicketkeeper-batsman played the first match for Melbourne Stars against Hobart Hurricanes, which was the second meeting of the side. He could not open his account with the bat while also could not add a dismissal in his name. Similarly, against Brisbane Heat, he didn’t get much opportunity to bat. But in the last match, he had the chance to play a fiery knock but gave away his wicket early. So far, there has not been a useful knock from him.
After having a disappointing start of the season, Adam Zampa has bounced back stronger. Against Adelaide Strikers, he ran through the opposition batting line up while defending 180 runs target. He notched a five-wicket haul while gave away only 17 runs in his 3.2 overs. And as a result, Strikers were bundled out for just 68 runs. The spinner was the main architect of Melbourne Stars’ thumping win.
Liam Hatcher has got the knack of picking wickets at crucial junctures. Against Sydney Sixers, he got the wicket of Carlos Braithwaite who was snatching the game away from Melbourne Stars. The pacer also sent Jordan Silk early. He was the most economical bowler for Melbourne Stars among the ones, who bowled four overs.
Billy Stanlake, the right-arm pacer, is among the leading wicket-takers of the Melbourne Stars. In 10 matches, he has picked up 12 wickets but at the poor economy rate of 8.51. Against Melbourne Renegades in the first meeting, he notched the important wicket of Shaun Marsh and Sam Harper.
The Afghan spinner Zahir Khan registered the most economical figure against Adelaide Strikers. In his four overs, he conceded only 19 runs while picked two wickets. This was only his fourth match of this season for Melbourne Stars. He is likely to retain his place in the playing XI against Melbourne Renegades.