After getting defeated in the first meeting against Adelaide Strikers, Melbourne Stars will now again face them at their home, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), on January 15 (Friday). This will be the 40th match of the Big Bash League (BBL 2020-21).
When Melbourne Stars first meet Adelaide Strikers this season, which was also the last match of Stars, in the ongoing 10th edition, they were bundled out for just 149 runs. Strikers spinner Rashid Khan was the main contributor behind sending Stars early to the pavilion but the Afghan player has now returned back to his home owing to national duty. His ouster is undoubtedly a big advantage for Stars to take the revenge of their defeat.
Here, let’s take a look at how Melbourne Stars can shape in for the fixture:
The West Indies player has not been able to set the stage on fire for Melbourne Stars. In the nine matches, he has not even managed to score 20 runs in a match. Against Adelaide Strikers, he scored just 12 runs off 12 balls, striking two fours. He needs to play a big spell rather than getting out after hitting two or three boundaries.
Although he has not got the support from his opening partner, Marcus Stoinis has scored decent runs. Against Hobart Hurricanes, he remained not out and scored 97 runs off 55 balls. In his unbeaten knock, he smacked seven fours and seven sixes to take Melbourne Stars total to 183 runs. Against Adelaide Strikers, he amassed 47 runs off 31 balls, striking four fours and three sixes.
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.
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, he consumed 23 balls and struck just 18 runs. His slow innings aided only in adding pressure on his batting partner. He will look to redeem in the second meeting against them.
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. But in the last two matches, he has been out for duck despite his team gave a good start. He will look to redeem against Adelaide Strikers.
Continuing his good form of IPL, Nicholas Pooran left everyone in awe with his power-hitting in his first match with Melbourne Stars. He struck eight giant sixes and two fours to score 65 runs off 26 balls and pushed the total of Stars above 180 after the early fall of top-order. But after this knock, he hasn’t been consistent. If he plays another knock like this, Melbourne Stars will be no doubt in a good position.
Nic Maddinson returned in the last match after recovering from injury. 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.
Sam Rainbird is in the playing XI of Melbourne Stars in the last four matches and has notched four wickets. In the last match against Adelaide Strikers, he picked the wicket of opener Matt Renshaw while gave away 33 runs in his four overs. With matches passing by, his bowling is improving.
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.
Adam Zampa has gone expensive at the start of this season. In his first five matches, he has picked up eight wickets but has registered an economy rate of above 8. But he has returned back to his form in the last two matches. Against Brisbane Heat, he got two wickets while gave away only seven runs in his two overs. In the first meeting against Adelaide Strikers, he got two crucial wickets of Alex Carey and Jake Weatherald while conceded only 20 runs in his four overs. Zampa will look to continue his good form in the coming matches.
Liam Hatcher has got the knack of picking wickets at the crucial junctures. Against Sydney Sixer, 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.
After completing his national duty, the Pakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf has returned to play the BBL. In his last two matches, he has picked up only one wicket. Against Adelaide Strikers, he notched the wicket of Jonathan Wells while gave away 33 runs in his three overs. But his inclusion has made the Melbourne Stars combination a lot more stronger.