Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne Stars'quest for dominance at home!
Melbourne Stars to win this game!
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Melbourne Stars are in sublime form this season and the side has already won five out of its six games and come into this one after a comprehensive win against the Melbourne Renegades in the last game. They would now play the Sydney Thunder at their home ground the MCG.
The Thunder suffered a big loss in the last game against the Brisbane Heat in what was another poor performance from the side.
The Stars are a confident lot at the moment with their batting as well as bowling units delivering well. Most of their wins this season have been one-sided games where they have dominated from the start. Things aren’t working for the Thunder at the moment and their performance in recent games would have surely hurt their confidence. Having defeated Thunder earlier in the season the Stars would go into this game as a confident unit.
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There seems to be no stopping for Glenn Maxwell’s side at the moment. With their comprehensive 8 wicket win in the last game against the Melbourne Renegades, the side has retained its top position in the points table.
They have won five out of their six games and Maxwell would be aiming for the sixth win in the next game. Marcus Stoinis has made the season his own with several good innings and shall look for another positive start in the next game. Nic Maddinson’s form is a bit of concern and he will have to fire in the next game.
Maxwell and Ben Dunk have looked good and down the order, they have a strong batting line-up in Nick Larkin, Peter Handscomb and Nathan Coulter-Nile in the squad. Dale Steyn who was in the superb form will be missed from the next game but Haris Rauf is a good replacement coming in. Adam Zampa and Sandeep Lamichhane have bowled extremely tight spells already in the season. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Daniel Worrall will look to keep their ends tight in the next game.
Hilton Cartwright, Haris Rauf, Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, N Larkin, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Adam Zampa, D Worrall, Sandeep Lamichhane
Callum Ferguson’s side has made a good start to the season with back to back wins but in the last five games, they managed to win only one. It was a comprehensive loss for the side in the last game against the Brisbane Heat which was affected by rain.
They need to win this one to keep their hopes alive for the rest of the season. The side would need a good start from Alex Hales and Usman Khawaja. The pair has failed in the last few games creating trouble for the side. Down the order, the likes of Ferguson, Daniel Sams and Chris Morris have played their good knocks in the season and shall look to play well against the good bowling attack the opponents have. The side bats are deep with Alex Ross and Chris Green in the lower middle order. It was a day their bowlers would like to forget as none of them seemed to have any answers to the approach of the Heat’s batsmen. Sams and Morris have done well earlier in the season and shall look to bowl tighter lines in the next game. They would need good support from the likes of Green, Chris Tremain, and Arjun Nair.
Alex Hales, CP Tremain, Daniel Sams, Jonathan Cook, Arjun Nair, Chris Morris, Usman Khawaja, Matthew Gilkes, Callum Ferguson, Nathan John McAndrew, Alex Ross
The skies over Melbourne would be clear on January 08 and the weather would be comfortable. The surface here has always been a good one where bowlers have enjoyed good rewards and batsmen have to work their way to big scores. The side batting first would have to eye a score of 170 runs to feel comfortable on this wicket.
The largest ground in the world, the MCG is for batsmen who like to accumulate their runs instead of going slam bang. The larger size of the boundaries makes it a big challenge for the batsmen. Fast bowlers have done well here as there is always early assistance on the surface while spinners have enjoyed thanks to the large size of the boundaries.
Most teams have preferred to bowl first at the MCG in recent games as the pitch offers lot to the fast bowlers at the start of the innings. It eases out as the game progresses making batting easy. The side winning the toss in this game is in all likelihood to choose bowling first.
The form of the two sides is completely contrasting at the moment. The hosts Melbourne Stars have been brilliant this season and have grabbed every opportunity that has come their way. For the Sydney Thunder, the season suddenly seems to have turned on its head after the brilliant start they made.
The Stars are playing at home and would have a huge crowd cheering for them. With the kind of form they are in at the moment they would start as favorites.
Melbourne Stars to win this game!
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