Team Chance of Winning:
- Perth Scorchers have executed things better than Melbourne Stars, who are still searching for consistency in the competition
- With Andrew Tye available to come in at number eight, the Scorchers have a deep batting unit, which could prove to be a critical difference in crunch games
- The Scorchers have done better than Stars in the tournament thus far – on all accounts and will be more confident between the two sides
We are just passing the midway mark in the Big Bash League 2021 and despite the Covid obstacles, the tournament is moving along at a pretty brisk pace. The points table is taking its shape and a clear line of separation is emerging between the teams placed in the top half and the bottom half of the ladder.
Up next in the competition, Melbourne Stars are set to take on Perth Scorchers in what is going to be an important contest. Just a couple of days ago, the scheduled match between these two sides was canceled due to Covid scares and now the two sides will be raring to go.
Date: January 02, 2022
Time: 10:00 AM (IST)
Venue: Junction Oval, Melbourne, Australia
Live Streaming: Sony LIV App
TV: Sony Sports Network
Pitch and Weather Conditions:
Melbourne Stars (MLS):
While a Covid positive case in the supporting staff would still be playing on the minds of the players, this short break might actually do them a lot of good. Melbourne Stars were having a wayward campaign before the tournament started and this break might well help them to regroup and get back better.
As it currently stands on the points table, Melbourne Stars are placed at the sixth spot with ten points to their name coupled with a net run-rate of -1.114. Although they have done well after the kind of beating they received in their first match, they are yet to reach their full potential. They have so far won three matches out of six played and will be looking to gather some momentum going into the second half of the tournament.
The Stars are coming off a decent win over Brisbane Heat, wherein they defended a total of 207 on a surface that had only a little for the batsmen. Batting first, Melbourne Stars went out all guns blazing with almost everyone looking to smash the ball long and hard. They kept losing the wickets at regular intervals, but Joe Clarke and Hilton Cartwright got stuck in the Brisbane Heat bowlers, propelling their side to a total of 207.
Although chasing down a total of 207 was always going to be difficult for Heat, the Stars ensured that with remarkable bowling first up. Qais Ahmed was the pick of their bowlers as he returned with the impressive figures of 3 for 26 in his four overs. Apart from him, however, all other bowlers proved to be a tad too expensive from the Stars camp and they would want to do a lot better in the matches to come.
On paper, there are only a few lineups that match the potential that Stars have. Having said that, despite having all the star power available, the Stars are struggling with execution. We have seen many instances of individual brilliance from them with Cartright, Maxwell, Russell, and Clarke getting runs, but getting things right in unison is something that they have not been able to do. Similarly, they have the needed potency in their bowling lineup too, but they have fared a lot less than what they are capable of.
All in all, Melbourne Stars have not hit their peak potential yet and when they do, they will be a tough side. This break might have helped them to troubleshoot the problems they had in the first half and if they can get past them and play to their on-paper potential, beating them is going to be very difficult
Likely XI: Marcus Stoinis, Joe Clarke, Glenn Maxwell, Joe Burns, Andre Russell, Hilton Cartwright, BJ Webster, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Qais Ahmad, Brody Couch.
Please check the team once when Playing XI Announced.
Perth Scorchers (PRS):
Perth Scorchers had a flawless start to their campaign and wouldn’t really complain about the kind of first half they had. They looked unbeatable in most of the matches and will be looking to build onto that in the second half as well. With 21 points to their name, they already are well placed to progress to the next round and a couple of wins hereon should be enough for them to seal a spot in the knockouts.
Remarkably, the Scorchers were unbeaten till their first six matches up until they met Sydney Thunder. Bowling first, they got off to a terrific start with Matthew Kelly picking up a couple of wickets in quick succession. Post that, however, all their bowlers looked tired and gave away frequent looseners, which allowed Sydney Thunder to not only rebuild but also counterattack. Perth Scorchers found their rhythm back in the death overs, but the damage had been done till then as Scorchers ended up scoring a total of 207.
Chasing down a total of 207 was never going to be easy for the Scorchers and loss of early wickets only made their problem worse. Kurtis Patterson, Josh Inglis, and Mitchell Marsh were all dismissed inside the powerplay, leaving their side in all sorts of bother. Colin Munro and Andrew Tye played fighting knocks each, but that proved to be too little too late as the Scorchers lost the match by a massive margin of 166.
On paper, there is still nothing wrong with the Scorchers’ unit, and if anything that loss would act as a wake-up call before the second half. Their bowling does look a bit one-dimensional in unfavorable conditions and that is perhaps the only area that they’ll be looking at. Any improvement they make hereon will make them a further stronger side. With the momentum they had, they would feel that they’ve been away from the action for a long time and will be itching to go out there. If they are able to perform to their on-paper potential, they will be a very hard side to get past in this upcoming match.
Likely XI: Josh Inglis, Kurtis Patterson, Mitchell Marsh, Colin Munro, Ashton Turner, Laurie Evans, Ashton Agar, Andrew Tye, Matthew Kelly, Jason Behrendorff, Peter Hatzoglou.
Please check the team once when Playing XI Announced.
Melbourne Stars Squad: Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Seb Gotch, Liam Hatcher, Clint Hinchliffe, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell (c), Tom O’Connell, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Joe Burns, Sam Rainbird, Joe Clarke, Qais Ahmad (joining after the conclusion of Abu Dhabi T10 League), Sam Elliot, Beau Webster
Perth Scorchers Squad: Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Aaron Hardie, Peter Hatzoglou, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Kurtis Patterson, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Colin Munro, Brydon Carse, Laurie Evans