Melbourne Stars will look to break their four-match losing streak when they meet Hobart Hurricanes on Monday (January 3). This will be the 28th match of the Big Bash League (BBL) and will be played at Hobart Hurricanes home ground i.e, Bellerive Oval.
In the first meeting with Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Stars could not chase down below par target of 165 runs even though the skipper Glenn Maxwell had scored a half-century. It was a disappointing defeat for the Stars who had an impressive start to the 10th edition.
Meanwhile, Adam Zampa, who was handed a ban for an obscene on-field remark picked up by a stump mic, will join Melbourne Stars in this match.
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 five matches, he has not even managed to score 20 runs in a match. In the last match against Hobart Hurricanes, he has scored just 10 runs off eight balls.
The 33-year-old, who has represented Windies in 45 T20Is and 25 ODIs, will have to give a good start to the team to release the pressure from Glenn Maxwell’s shoulder.
In his last five outings, Marcus Stoinis has scored a half-century on just one occasion. Against Hobart Hurricanes, he faced 10 balls but scored just seven runs before getting out by Scott Boland. His poor outings has aided in Melbourne Stars to lose the matches.
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 in the latter half, he will be used in the bowling option when he regains full fitness.
In his last three innings, Hilton Cartwright has overall scored 87 runs. He hasn’t played his role at number three successfully. Against Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Stars, after the early fall of openers, he should have taken the command of the innings instead he gave away his wicket cheaply. Cartwright needs to get runs on the board to take the home.
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.
Against Hobart Hurricanes, he played a fiery knock of 70 runs but he didn’t get the support from the other end. In his innings, he smacked six fours and five sixes. However, his knock went in vain.
Maxwell has been giving his best but he will expect that he gets the team support to break the losing streak.
Continuing his good form of IPL, Nicholas Pooran has 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. If he plays another knock like this, Melbourne Stars will be no doubt in a good position.
As Nic Maddison is out because of injury, Sam Rainbird is likely to get the place in the playing XI of Melbourne Stars against Hobart Hurricanes. He played the last match against Hurricanes where he got expensive in his four overs, leaking 10 runs per over. With the bat, he scored only 15 runs. As this was his first match, Rainbird will bounce back stronger.
Ben Dunk has given a decent contribution with the bat but not as expected. He hasn’t been able to power the innings and be not much productive with the bowler. He might be replaced with the x-factor as per the team’s need.
Adam Zampa has gone expensive this season. In his four matches, he has picked up seven wickets but at an economy rate of above 8.
The leggie had missed the last match because of the obscenity remark and Melbourne Stars went on to lose that match. His return will boost Melbourne Stars’ confidence.
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 them. The pacer also sent Jordan Silk early. He was the most economical bowler for Melbourne Stars among the ones, who bowled four overs.
But in the last match, he went wicketless.
After being expensive against Sydney Sixers, Billy Stanlake bounced back stronger against Sydney Thunder. He picked two wickets while gave away only 18 runs in his four overs. Similarly in the last match, he got three wickets in his name while conceded 25 runs in four overs.
The right-hand pacer has come out in great form this season and will be looking to prove his case after being sidelined from the Australian team.
The left-arm spinner Zahir Khan will be playing only his fourth BBL match of this season against Hobart Hurricanes. In his last three matches, he has gone expensive while has not able to get a wicket in his tally.