Melbourne Stars will take on Adelaide Strikers in the Match No. 40 of Big Bash League 2020-21 at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Friday (January 15).
Strikers are placed at the 4th spot (20 pts) in the BBL points table with 5 wins and 5 losses, while Stars are languishing at 7th place (16 pts), with three wins and 5 losses out of nine contests.
It’s been a tough journey for Stars, who started their campaign by winning two back to back games against Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder, respectively. But later failed to continue their winning run. Strikers have also seen ups and downs during their journey this season but they have learned from their losses to keep themselves in the top four so far.
Strikers have dominated Stars in the last five encounters, even in the previous game, the former downed the latter by 5 wickets.
Overall matches - 12 | Stars - 5 wins | Strikers - 7 wins
Last five games: Stars – 1 win | Strikers - 4 wins
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
Pitch, conditions and team combination
Melbourne Cricket Ground will be hosting the first match of the season. Since January 2020, it has hosted 7 BBL matches and batsmen here have scored at an average of 25.3 and a run-rate of 7.9. Meanwhile, the bowers have picked a wicket every 18.5 deliveries.
The pitch has supported both spinners and pacer at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Since January 2020, MCG has staged seven matches and spinners here have taken 38 wickets at a strike rate of 18.5 in 117 overs, while pacers have taken 43 wickets at a strike rate of 21.7 in 155.2 overs. So it would be ideal to pick both pacers and spinners in the team.
Marcus Stoinis is the top run-scorer for Melbourne Stars with 277 runs at a strike rate of 160.1, hitting 26 fours and 14 sixes. He has batted at the average 39.57, which is the highest among all the batters of both the teams. The allrounder has now declared himself fit to resume bowling as he did not bowl this BBL season due to side strain injury he suffered while bowling for Australia against India in an ODI match in November 2020. So in the upcoming match, he can contribute with both bat and ball to help you earn points.
Phil Salt has been inconsistent but has scored some idea figures to help Adelaide Strikers register victory three times this season. In the 10 innings, he scored 221 runs at an average of 22.1 with the help of 21 fours and 8 sixes.
Wes Agar has proved his mettle for Strikers on many occasions. He has taken 17 wickets in 10 innings at a strike rate of 13.4. In both the teams, he is the highest wicket-taker (4 wickets) in the Powerplay (over 1 to 4) this season, striking a wicket in every 12 delivery. Against Renegades he grabbed three wickets to help Strikers restrict the opponents to 111 runs, while in the last match against Stars he took two wickets, removing both the openers, at an economy rate of 4.8.
Adam Zampa initially proved costly when it comes to economy rate but in recent games, it seemed that the leg spinner caught the rhythm as he not only grabbed wickets but also bowled economically. Against Brisbane Heat, he conceded seven runs taking two wickets, while in the last match against Strikers, he took two crucial wickets after dismissing Alex Carey and Jake Weatherald. As the pitch at Melbourne Cricket Ground has supported spinners on many occasions so Zampa could be an ideal pick for the upcoming match.