Date & Time: Thursday, December 19, 13:40 IST
Venue: Simonds Stadium, Geelong, Australia
Defending Champs face off Sydney Thunder in their first match of the season
The defending Champions, Melbourne Renegades face-off Sydney Thunder in their first match of this season in Geelong. Sydney Thunder has already won a match against the Heat in the season opener and will be eager to continue the form against the Renegades. On the other hand, the defending Champions hope to live up to the tag and the new additions to the team might aid for the same.
Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja are the top-rated batsmen in the match who have a PPM of 49 and 47 respectively in the format. Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson, and Shaun Marsh are next in the charts who have PPM in the early ’40s in the format.
In the all-rounder list, Danel Sams and Danel Christan lead the way with a PPM of 47 & 45 in 24 and 127 matches respectively. In the bowling, Renegades’ Kane Richardson leads the way with an impressive PPM of 45 in the format. Chris Green, Harry Gurney, and Jonathan Cook are too far away who have PPM in the early ’40s in the format.
The Thunder is likely to stick with the winning combination.
Sydney Thunder possible XI
Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson(c), Matthew Gilkes(w), Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Chris Green, Arjun Nair, Nathan McAndrew, Jonathan Cook, Chris Tremain.
Melbourne Renegades possible XI
Sam Harper(w), Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Tom Cooper, Daniel Christian, Beau Webster/Will Sutherland, Cameron Boyce, Richard Gleeson, Harry Gurney, Kane Richardson, Jack Wildermuth
The Simonds Stadium in Geelong is one of the newest grounds in Australia, only a handful of games are played here over the past few years. In those games, it produced enough assistance for everyone and proved to be sporting enough.
The Renegades skipper is in good form of late since the 50 World Cup in England. He has continued the very form in the recent T20I series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. In the absence of Marcus Harris at the top, he has a big role to play in defending the championship for the Renegades. He has a PPM of close to 50 in the format.
The Thunder opener is the main man at the top in the absence of Shame Waston. In the first match of the season, he may not have converted his good knock into a big one but in today’s match, he can’t repeat the feat, given the volatile nature of remaining ones at the top. He has a PPM of 47 and an MDTA of 1.7 in the format.
He has been in great form in the domestic circuit in the last couple of years irrespective of the format. In the first match, he showed his ability to bowl in crucial overs at the top and in the death. Adding to it, his ability to whack the ball out of the park makes him a worthy pick in today’s match.
He was the second-highest wicket-taker for Renegades in the previous edition, which is one of the reasons for the team’s success in the season. He also has a good record against the Thunder, in the past few encounters. He dismissed Ferguson twice and Ross once.
He is all over the T20 leagues in the past few years and has tasted great success too in the period. He has had a perfect start to the season where he picked a couple of wickets and scored handy runs which is a feature of his ability. In Geelong, he has a crucial role to play, with the surface known to offer enough assistance for bowlers. He has a PPM of 40 and an MDTA of 1.6 in the format.
The England international has looked good in the short time he spent at the crease in the first game. But he failed to convert the good start, just like Khawaja, by going after the bowlers too early. In today’s match, if he can take some time to settle himself into the innings, then he can use his great record against Renegades bowlers to a good effect.