The Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21 resumes with the Boxing Day double-header. The second game on the day is a marquee clash between the finalists of last season. The defending champs, Sydney Sixers, take on Melbourne Stars at the Carrara Oval.
Both teams are off to a solid start. The Stars are yet to taste defeat after three games. They won two games convincingly while rain washed-off the third. The Sixers moved on from their loss against the Hurricanes in the first game with two massive victories to follow.
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
Ground details & team combination
The Carrara Oval has been a host to six BBL matches in all and these have been in the last two seasons. This will be the first game played here in BBL 10. Hence there isn’t a big enough sample size to take statistical calls based on the venue.
The six games here have seen a top score of 174. In the last game played here in January 2020, the Perth Scorchers defended 149 while restricting the Heat to a mere 109. Hence, the variation in scores is also too much in this small sample.
As is usually the case with most T20 venues, the spinners have been more economical here as compared to their pace counterparts: economy of 7.4 vs 8.1. But, the pacers have been among the wickets more often with 16.9 balls per wicket as compared to 20.4 for the spinners.
In terms of personnel, Glenn Maxwell has really enjoyed this venue. He is the top BBL scorer here with 167 runs at an average of 83.5 in three outings. For the Sixers, Jordan Silk played a decent knock of 46(25) in the only game they have played here.
Among the bowlers, Adam Zampa has the most wickets here – five, at 13.2 balls per wicket.
There could be some interesting match-ups too
Maxwell has been the top-scorer for Stars so far this season and has also been the highest run-getter at this venue as mentioned above. But if there is one bowler he has struggled against, he is Steve O’Keefe. In 18 balls he has faced from the left-arm orthodox O’Keefe, Maxwell has scored just 12 runs and has been dismissed twice.
Also, the battle of the two Caribbean men has been interesting. Andre Fletcher has struggled against his Test skipper, Jason Holder, in T20s. He has scored 29 runs off him in 25 balls with Holder dismissing him thrice in this span.
If you have Marcus Stoinis' knock of 147* runs against the same opposition in the last season at the back of your mind, you will not look anywhere else for the captain of your fantasy XI. Nursing an injury, Stoinis might not bowl, but he can be a destroyer while opening the batting. He already has a knock of 61 runs under his belt this season.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Stoinis could score 11-34 runs in this match.
With a knock of 95 runs under his belt against the Renegades, Josh Philippe must be oozing with confidence. He was one of the finds of the tournament last year and ended up being the third-highest run-getter. Being a wicket-keeper he is sure to fetch you extra points as well. We feel he is an ideal choice for the vice-captain of your fantasy XI.
Our fantasy research centre predicts Philippe can fetch 15-42 points in this match.
It is easy to miss Nicholas Pooran while picking the squad for this game as he has not batted this season. You might even pick one wicket-keeper and move on, not noticing Pooran’s name there. But, that can hurt your chances for he is one of the cleanest strikers of the cricket ball going around. In the IPL this year, he scored 353 runs at an average of 35.3 and a strike-rate of a daunting 169.7 runs which was the most for any player with more than 300 runs.
Our fantasy research centre predicts Pooran can fetch 10-30 points in this match.
If there is a dark horse lurking in there it is Liam Hatcher. Finding his feet in professional cricket, Hatcher has taken five wickets in the two games he has played so far this season. Being a player with eight credits in a match with quite a few expensive players, he is a sure value for money.
Our fantasy research centre predicts Pooran can fetch 0-34 points in this match.