Melbourne Stars v Melbourne Renegades: Saturday 7:10pm AEDT at The MCG
The Melbourne Derby is always one of the anticipated games of the Big Bash and this year will be no different. The Melbourne Renegades have got off to a fantastic start in the tournament with three wins from their four matches while the Stars have stumbled from one defeat to another and are have zero wins after three matches. Can the Stars wake up or will this be a Renegades party through and through?
|Stars v Renegades||Recommended Bets|
|Winner||Melbourne Stars WIN ($2.10)|
|Top Stars Batsman||Ben Dunk ($4.50)|
|Top Renegades Batsman||Cameron White ($4.40)|
|Top Stars Bowler||Adam Zampa ($4.50)|
|Top Renegades Bowler||Dwayne Bravo ($3.50)|
The Melbourne Stars have always started their Big Bash campaigns slowly but things are now threatening to spiral out of control. Glen Maxwell described their performance against the Brisbane Heat as ‘putrid’ and admitted that they were not playing together as a team. Maybe having too many big name players in one side is making it difficult but that seems like a weak argument to make.
The Melbourne Stars have plenty of batting depth in their side and their bowling is not too bad either. The only problem for them has been that neither of their disciplines seems to be performing on the ground at the moment.
The highest run-scorer for the Stars is Marcus Stoinis with 116 runs, 99 of which he got in one knock. The next best Faulkner with 102 and then Maxwell with 62. None of the top order batsmen are scoring runs. Similarly, taking wickets is a problem for the Stars at the moment and once again the leading wicket-taker is Stoinis with just 4 scalps to his name.
There are no such problems for the Renegades right now. Cameron White has 182 runs from just four innings and a total of five fifties has been hit by their squad as compared to the two from the Melbourne Stars.
Aaron Finch was perhaps the only batsman who had not scored any runs and he too managed to get in the act in the last game. If anything, the Wolf feels that the Renegades are a little conservative with their batting approach considering the resources they have available and often end up using less than half of the batsmen in their lineup.
Players like Ludeman, Nabi, Wildermuth, and Bravo have been sitting in the shed taking it easy but can easily contribute with the bat if needed.
Similar to the Melbourne Stars, the Melbourne Renegades also have a bowling lineup that looks a little jittery. Yes, they had an excellent game last time they played but the likes of Mohammad Nabi, Jack Wildermuth, Brad Hogg, and Kane Richardson could come under tremendous pressure from a strong batting side.
Dwayne Bravo has been in the wickets and with 11 to his name is second behind Andrew Tye in the race to be the league’s highest wicket-taker. A lot has been going right for the Renegades but all that could change quite quickly.
Head to Head
The Stars hold an 8-3 advantage over the Renegades historically and that should give them some confidence. They have also beaten the Renegades in 7 out of the last 8 matches that they have played. At the MCG, The Stars have won 4 out of the 6 matches that they have played against the Renegades.
The Stars have an excellent record against the Renegades but are in terrible form. They still have some of the best T20 players in this league and are a batting heavy side playing on one of the flattest pitches in the country. This is as good an opportunity for the Stars to turn things around as any.
The Wolf is happy to back the underdogs in this one.
Top Melbourne Stars Batsman
The big stage often gets the best out of the top players even if they are not in the best of touch. That is exactly what the Wolf is hoping for Ben Dunk who is just too good of a player to continue missing out. He has 11 runs to his name from three matches and has faced a total of 15 deliveries. If he can get through the first couple of overs, Dunk could easily make a packed MCG sing his name.
Top Melbourne Renegades Batsman
Cameron White is showing that experience is a major asset to have in T20 as he goes about playing inning after inning full of authority. He has not put a foot wrong and played risk-free cricket to amass 182 runs at an average of 91.00 (thanks to two not-outs) at a strike rate of 118.18. He also has 5 sixes to his name which is more than anyone else on the Renegades side.
Top Melbourne Stars Bowler
Which is the bowler that the Melbourne Stars will turn to when they are under attack from the Renegades big hitters? The Wolf thinks it is going to Adam Zampa. He had a poor last game and only has 1 wicket from three matches so far but has traditionally done very well in difficult situations. Zampa to Finch early in the game could be a key moment. Leg spinners have done very well in this tournament so far and the Wolf thinks its time that Adam Zampa joins the party.
Top Melbourne Renegades Bowler
There is no other bowler in the world that has the T20 experience that Dwayne Bravo has. He bowls exclusively in situations when the batsmen have no option but to go hard at him and this gives him a massive advantage. The Wolf thinks Bravo has come back extremely fit after his injury and is currently bowling with a lot of intelligence. He will bowl slower balls and the batsmen will get out to them. There does not seem to be any other way at the moment.