The new year 2021 will begin with the match between Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Renegades. This will be the 22nd match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21 and will be hosted by Carrara.
In the first meeting with Melbourne Renegades, Sydney Thunder comfortably won the match by 129 runs while defending their mammoth 210 runs target. As Renegades are low in confidence with back to back defeats, it would be easy for Thunder to again give them crushing defeat.
Also, with the win, they will reach the top of the points table. Currently, they are in the number two position with winning all their last four matches. They will look to maintain their winning streak on the eve of the new year.
Here, let’s take a look at how Melbourne Renegades playing XI might shape in for the fixture:
Usman Khawaja, who is playing for Sydney Thunders since 2011, finally gave them a fiery start in the last two matches. Against Renegades, he scored 34 runs off 18 balls, striking six fours. His comeback is a big positive for the Thunder, who will also be looking to top the table.
Alex Hales, who was also out four duck back to back, supported Usman Khawaja to share 70 runs stand with him against Renegades in the first meeting. He amassed 35 runs off 21 balls, striking four fours and two sixes, to fully utilize the powerplay.
The right-hand batsman scored his first half-century of the season in the last match against Melbourne Stars. He also stitched a crucial partnership of 89 runs. Syndey Thunder will hope that he set up another match-winning partnership with his opener partner.
Callum Ferguson (c):
Sydney Thunder captain Callum Ferguson is currently the leading scorer of the BBL 2020 with 197 runs in five matches. He scored his third half-century of this season in the last outing against Melbourne Stars. Ferguson has always been there to make amends whenever the team has lost early wickets. He will look to get runs and guide his team to victory against Renegades.
The 20-year-old Oliver Davies played his maiden BBL match against Perth Scorcher. The young debutant accelerated the innings and took the pressure from the captain’s shoulder albeit he didn’t stay longer in the crease. He scored 36 runs off 22 balls, striking one four and three sixes.
He played a similar knock against Melbourne Renegades, scoring 48 runs off 23 balls which included five sixes and one boundary. Davies is the find of this season and is going to be the vital cog for Sydney Thunder.
The wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings played the maiden match of this season against Melbourne Stars. However, he could not score big and was out for 6 runs. As the English cricketer was in 14 days quarantine, it would take some time for him to get back into the groove.
Ben Cutting, who has returned to play for Sydney Thunder, gave a massive contribution in the win against Scorchers. He scored unbeaten 29 runs off 16 balls to take the side across the line. Apart from batting, he played a huge role with the ball, giving away 16 runs in three overs while picked a crucial wicket of Colin Munro.
In the last match against Melbourne Stars, he scored unbeaten 20 runs in just seven balls, striking three fours and one six to take the team’s total past 200.
Having a mammoth experience of playing T20 cricket around the world, the franchise will hope Cutting to come out as the match-winner for them in this season.
Sams, who was the match-winner for them with the bat for Sydney Thunder against Brisbane Heat, got the most important wicket of Nicholas Pooran, whose power-hitting has destroyed many oppositions. He is an overall package and a vital cog to guide them to victory.
The spin bowling all-rounder, who has gone too expensive in the first three matches, notched four crucial wickets in the last match. He sent back the two openers Andre Fletcher and Marcus Stoinis early while picked the wicket of Nic Maddinson and Ben Dunk in the middle-overs.
Apart from bowling, he also fired one four and one six at the end to add 12 runs to Sydney Thunder’s total.
The fast bowling all-rounder Nathan McAndrew is likely to miss the match against Melbourne Renegades. He has picked a lower grade side strain and has thus, has also missed the last match. In his absence, Chris Tremain got the opportunity and he went on to pick two wickets, including one wicket of Glenn Maxwell. He is expected to play against Renegades as well.
The pacer Adam Milne, who was swooped in place of Jonathan Cook, was the most economical bowler for Sydney Thunder against Perth Scorchers. He gave away only 17 runs in his four overs but he could not get the wickets. In the last match against Melbourne Renegades, he got two wickets and registered an economy rate of 21 runs in three overs. The speedster is undoubtedly going to play in Carrara
Tanveer Sangha, who is playing the maiden Big Bash League season, was the main architect of the Sydney Thunder’s win against Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars.
Against Renegades, in his four overs, he notched four wickets, including Aaron Finch, to all-out the opposition for 80 runs. The 19-year-old will want to continue his good form throughout the season to keep Sydney Thunder in a good position.