Date & Time: Tuesday, December 17, 13:40 IST
Venue: The Gabba, Brisbane, Australia
Brisbane Heat hosts Sydney Thunder in the BBL9 opener
Australia’s T20 competition, the Big Bash League is successfully into its ninth edition. In the league opener on Tuesday, Brisbane Heat hosts the Sydney Thunder. Both the teams have finished at No.5 and 6 respectively in the previous edition as they fell short by a point to finish in the top 4. So both the teams will seek to cross the hurdle this time around.
The Heat has firepower in their batting with the presence of Chris Lynn, Mark Byant, and Tom Banton. Ben cutting and Matt Renshaw will take the duties in the side. In the bowling unit, they have the impressive Zahir Khan, Mitchell Swepson and Mark Steketee. Ben Laughlin and Josh Lalor will add on to the experience with the ball.
Unlike Heat, the Thunders are loaded with stroke makers. Usman Khawaja, Callum Ferguson, and Alex Hales have to share the batting loads. The side is a blessing with quite a few allrounders to add to the much-needed depth. Daniel Sams, Arjun Nair, and Chris Green slot into the roles. In bowling, Johnathan Cook and Chairs Terrain add variety to the attack.
Brisbane Heat possible XI
Chris Lynn(c), Tom Banton/Sam Heazlett, Max Bryant, Matt Renshaw, Ben Cutting, Josh Lalor, Ben Laughlin, Jimmy Peirson, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Zahir Khan.
Sydney Thunder possible XI
Alex Hales, Usman Khawaja, Callum Ferguson(c), Alex Ross, Jonathan Cook, Matthew Gilkes(w), Arjun Nair, Chris Green, Daniel Sams, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Tremain.
The surface in Brisbane is known to offer good bounce for Pacers and the same allows batsmen to play it through the line. Spinners too have had their fair say at the venue, especially the wrist spinners. So expect a sporting surface, as usual, the Gabba for the season opener.
He has made his career out of playing in various leagues around the world. His experience and his destructive ability with the bat makes him the must-have in today’s match. Adding to it, he is coming off from an explosive outing from the T10 League in Abu Dhabi.
This season is so crucial for him to get into the international mix after being dropped from Tests. He has a good record when it comes to T20s where he has a PPM of 47 and MDTA of 1.7 in 31 matches. He has been the top scorer of the league couple of editions ago which makes him a preferred choice in the fantasy team.
He is one of the existing talents to watch out for in the league. He is in phenomenal form in the recently concluded One Day Cup, where he has shown his wide range of all-round performances. In the T20s, he has an impressive PPM of 47 in the 22 matches played.
He has become a T20 specialist of late by making his presence felt around the world. He has been an integral part of Heat over the seasons and this time around it is no different. His PPM of 45 and MDTA of 1.7 in the format makes him a worthy pick in today’s match.
He may not be a part of the international set up at this moment for England. But the Big Bash gives him a great opportunity to make his case in the shorter format. He is coming into the BBL on the back of a decent MSL. He has a PPM of 42 and an MDTA of 1.7 in the format.