Sydney Thunder will take on Melbourne Stars in their fifth match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21 in Canberra on Tuesday (December 29). Thunder played their season opener against Stars which the latter won comfortably.
But after that season opener loss, Sydney Thunder have consecutively won the last three matches and are currently at the number second position in the points table. They will look to take revenge for the defeat against Stars in their first meeting.
Here, let’s take a look at how Sydney Thunder’s playing XI will shape in against Melbourne Stars:
Usman Khawaja, who is playing for Sydney Thunders since 2011, finally gave them a fiery start in the last match. He scored 34 runs off 18 balls, striking six fours. His comeback is a big positive for the Thunder, who are looking to get revenge for their defeat.
Alex Hales, who was also out four duck back to back, supported Usman Khawaja to share 70 runs stand with him. He amassed 35 runs off 21 balls, striking four fours and two sixes, to fully utilise the powerplay.
The right-hand batsman needs to against setting up a good partnership with Khawaja against Melbourne Stars to take the game home.
Callum Ferguson (c):
Sydney Thunder captain Callum Ferguson was the main architect of the victory against Perth Scorchers. After the fall of the two opening batsman, he took the game in his own hand and played a rocket-fueling innings to release the pressure. The right-hand batsman registered the second half-century of this season to take home. He will look to get runs and guide his team to victory in Canberra.
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 Baxter Holt didn’t get much opportunity to bat in the last match. But he has not been impressive. He was out for one run in the season opener of Sydney Thunder against Melbourne Stars, which his side ended up losing. Against Brisbane Heat, he only scored 23 runs off 24 balls.
Playing the first season of BBL, the 21-year-old is taking time to get in a rhythm after a long hiatus due to COVID-19. The franchise will hope that Holt gets good runs on board in Canberra.
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.
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.
Being the match-winner for them with the bat against Brisbane Heat, Daniel Sams went too expensive in the last two matches with the ball. He conceded 21 runs in his two overs while picked the only wicket of Will Sutherland against Melbourne Renegades. With the bat, he accelerated the innings scoring 22 runs off 12 balls.
The spin bowling all-rounder, who has gone too expensive in the first three matches, bowled only two overs in the last match and went on to pick two wickets.
While with the bat, he has scored 5 and 6* runs respectively in the first two matches but he didn’t get the opportunity to bat against Scorchers. In the last match, he scored only eight runs. Sydney Thunder will hope that he contributes equally both with the bat and ball against Melbourne Stars.
The pacer Nathan McAndrew, who is playing the competitive series for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus, has picked up four wickets in four matches. But he hasn’t been economical, leaking too many runs in middle-overs.
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 Canberra.
Tanveer Sangha, who is playing the maiden Big Bash League season, was the main architect of the Sydney Thunder’s win against Melbourne 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.