Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Stars will locks horns in the 27th match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2018-19, at Adelaide Oval. It is going to be a thriller of a contest, as all three matches played at the venue have garnered over 150 runs. However, the Strikers have managed to pull off a victory in only one match at their home ground.
The Stars, on the other hand, have been on a roll. They have won 3 of 5 matches and are at the third position in the points table. If they manage to edge past the Strikers, they will dethrone Sydney Sixers from the second position.
Adam Zampa, Alex Carey, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Billy Stanlake, and Peter Siddle will not be a part of the contest, as they will be preparing for the three-ODI series against India, starting January 12.
Rashid Khan, the highest wicket-taker for Strikers, has flown back to Afghanistan following the death of his father.
Let’s walk through our fantasy team.Note: Make your fantasy cricket team by knowing the statistics.
My XI: Seb Gotch (wk), Colin Ingram, Travis Head, Jake Weatherald (c), Ben Dunk, Nick Larkin, Dwayne Bravo (vc), Michael Neser, Liam O’Connor, Scott Boland, Sandeep Lamichhane
Head is back to the Strikers squad after the gruelling Test series against India. He was the second highest run-scorer for Australia, and will look to continue the good form in the shortest format. Not to forget that he is a remarkable T20 player, and has a hundred and 8 fifties to his name.
Boosting the scoring rate alongside him will be the experienced Ingram. His 75 against Sydney Thunder on New Year’s eve was a delight to watch.
However, it’s Weatherald who has been taking the T20 world by storm. He blasted 71 and 50 in his last two games. He is also a potential candidate for captaincy in our fantasy team.
In the absence of Stoinis, Larkin will have to take the responsibility of piling up runs for the Stars. The swashbuckling batter has walloped 137 runs at 45.6 in 6 matches.
Our fifth batter will be Ben Dunk. Although he hasn’t been at his best of late, his ability to hang around and build partnerships put his team in a comfortable position.
To power their batting, The Stars added Gotch into the playing XI in their last two matches, also giving him the responsibility to keep wickets. He is likely to open the innings with Dunk in the absence of Stoinis and Maxwell.
With 464 victims to his name, Bravo is the highest wicket-taker in T20s. Such is his swagger that Lasith Malinga, the second highest, is 109 wickets behind.
Our second all-rounder will be Neser: he has taken 5 wickets at 28.4, and can scale up the run-rate in death overs.
It’s a blessing in disguise if you have wrist-spinners in your squad, especially in this format. Lamichhane has been making Nepal proud with his wizardry spin-bowling. His average of 13.6 is the best this season. The other leg-spinner will be O’Connor. He is not as effective as Lamichhane but has a knack of taking wickets at crucial junctures.
The only pacer in our team will be Boland. His 2 for 28 against Sydney Thunder set the tone for his team.
Adelaide Strikers: Peter Siddle, Ben Laughlin, Colin Ingram, Michael Neser, Jonathan Wells, Travis Head (c), Alex Carey (wk), Matthew Short, Cameron Valente, Billy Stanlake, Nick Winter, Jake Lehmann, Harry Nielsen, Rashid Khan, Liam O Connor, Jake Weatherald, David Grant, Wes Agar, Michael Cormack
Melbourne Stars: Dwayne Bravo, Liam Plunkett, Jackson Coleman, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell (c), Michael Beer, Ben Dunk (wk), Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Jackson Bird, Scott Boland, Adam Zampa, Daniel Worrall, Marcus Stoinis, Nick Larkin, Seb Gotch (wk), Matthew Parkinson, Travis Dean, Sandeep Lamichhane, Liam Bowe, Jonathan Merlo, Lance Morris, Tom O Connell