Coming off victory against Melbourne Stars in the last match, Adelaide Strikers will encounter them a second time on January 15 (Friday) in Melbourne. This will be the 40th match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21.
Adelaide Strikers’ Rashid Khan and Wes Agar were the two architects of the win against Melbourne Stars in the first meeting. Both picked two wickets each to dismantle the top-order and middle-order of Stars early. But in the second meeting, Rashid Khan will be missing in Strikers’ playing XI because he has returned home owing to his national duty. His ouster is indeed a big loss for Alex Carey-led Strikers because apart from his bowling, he entertains fans with his powerful batting. But the blue army have also good options in their playing XI.
Here, let’s take a look at Adelaide Strikers playing XI:
After losing his wickets early, Phil Salt registered his highest score of this tournament in the second last match against Melbourne Renegades. He amassed 59 runs off 42 balls in which he struck three fours and three sixes but it could not end up winning the match.
Strikers are lacking in an opening partnership which has been the significant cause of losing their previous matches. The Aussie need to chip in and give them a good base.
Matt Renshaw again lost his wicket early without giving a good base to the team even though they were chasing a below-par total against Melbourne Stars. He scored nine off 13 balls before Sam Rainbird picked his wicket. Adelaide Strikers will be hoping that he give them match-winning opening partnerships in the coming matches.
Alex Carey (c & wk):
The skipper Alex Carey has always stepped in whenever the team needed him most with the bat. And it was also seen against Perth Scorchers. He scored 82 runs off 59 balls in which he smacked 12 fours and one six to push Adelaide Strikers past 130 after the early fall of top-order and middle-order.
The right-hand batsman Jonathan Wells has not been very impressive. But in the last match, he played a fiery knock to take the team close to win. He smacked 36 runs off 27 balls while chasing 150 runs target. Adelaide Strikers will want him to play such more knocks in the coming matches.
Ryan Gibson has returned in the playing XI for the good. Against Melbourne Renegades in the first meeting, he stitched up a match-winning partnership with Weatherald to stabilize Adelaide Strikers’ innings. He remained not out and scored 43 runs off 31 balls at the strike rate of 138.71. In the last match as well, he scored 22 runs off 13 balls in which he smacked four boundaries to seal the deal for Adelaide Strikers.
Jake Weatherald has been pushed down the order which has been a good decision so far. Against Melbourne Renegades in the first match, he scored a half-century in the last match when the middle-order lost the wicket consecutively. The left-hand batsman amassed 51 runs off 25 runs to push the total past 160.
Lian O’Connor, who played three matches last season, is likely to return in the playing XI in place of Rashid Khan, who has returned to play for Afghanistan in the series against Ireland. The leg-spinner has huge shoes to fill and Adelaide Strikers will hope that he gives them early breakthroughs.
In eight matches, Daniel Worral has picked up eight wickets at an acceptable economy rate of 7.25. Against Melbourne Stars, he notched two wickets while gave away 28 runs in his four overs. Strikers will hope that the pacer replicate a similar performance in the second meeting against Stars.
The veteran pacer Siddle, who registered a five-wicket haul against Hobart Hurricanes, injured his left thumb in what was a nasty blow off a Jake Fraser-McGurk straight drive in the match against the Melbourne Renegades on Friday night. He missed the last match but as Adelaide Strikers are coming off after a five days break, he is likely to available for the selection.
Wes Agar is the crucial player for Adelaide Strikers in the bowling department. Against Melbourne Renegades in the first meeting, he picked three important wickets to halt them to just 111 runs. In four overs, he was economical as well, conceding 23 runs. Against Melbourne Stars, he sent back both the openers early back to hut to pull the momentum towards his side.
The English cricketer was bowling gas against Melbourne Renegades in the first meeting. He picked two wickets while chocked the middle-order to score runs against him. In his four overs, he gave away only 17 runs and registered an impressive economy rate of 4.25 He will look to replicate a similar performance against Melbourne Stars.