In the 42nd match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21, Melbourne Stars will encounter Melbourne Renegades on January 17 (Sunday). Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will host this first meeting of the two franchises.
Melbourne Stars are coming off a staggering victory against Adelaide Strikers which saw an all-around effort from the team. The win has also led them to jump to the fourth position in the points table. On the other hand, Melbourne Renegades are having the worst season of BBL as they are languishing at the bottom of the points table with eight losses out of 10 matches. Undoubtedly, Stars have the upper hand in the game against Renegades.
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 nine matches, he has amassed 290 runs at the strike rate of 145.72
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 didn’t get the opportunity to bat. He will look to play a big knock if he gets the opportunity.
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 in the last two matches, 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.
In the last match, Sam Rainbird was dropped from the playing XI while Zahir Khan was given his place. But as Haris Rauf has returned his home owing to national duty, the pacer will return in the XI. In his four matches, he has picked up four wickets at an economy rate of 7.85.
After having a disappointing start of the season, Adam Zampa has bounced back stronger. In the last match 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 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.
The Afghan spinner Zahir Khan also registered economical figure in the last win 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.