Date & Time: Saturday, December 21, 12:40 IST
Venue: Manuka Oval, Canberra, Australia
Strikers takes on the red hot Thunder in the first game of their season
Sydney Thunder is up and running in the season with back to back victories. They only seek to extend their good form as they face off Adelaide Strikers in the first match of Saturday’s doubleheader. On the other hand, it is the first for Strikers in the season. They may have been crowned as the champions in 2017 edition but they did a very poor job at defending their title and ended up finishing at the penultimate position.
Usman Khawaja leads the batting charts in today’s match with a PPM of 47 in the format. Khawaja’s Batting partner, Alex Hales, is next in the list with a PPM of 42 from 97 matches. Jake Weatherald, the Strikers opening batsman is not too far away with a PPM of 40 in the format. Phill Salt and Callum Ferguson are also worthy picks with a PPM of close to 40.
Alongside the openers, the all-rounders from Thunder are the worthy picks in today’s match. Daniel Sams and Chris Morris have a PPM of 47 and 50 in the format.
In the bowling, Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan leads the charts with a PPM of 50 from 171 matches. Chris Green and Johnathan Cook are next in the pecking order with a PPM of 40 in the format. Jonathan Cook and Peter Siddle are also decent picks in today’s match with a PPM of close 40.
The Thunder has drafted in Chris Morris in the 13-men squad for Saturday’s clash. So expect him to take the field in place of Nathan McAndrew.
Sydney Thunder possible XI
Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson(c), Matthew Gilkes(w), Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Chris Morris, Chris Green, Arjun Nair Jonathan Cook, Chris Tremain.
Adelaide Strikers possible XI
Alex Carey(w/c), Philip Salt, Cameron White, Jonathan Wells, Jake Weatherald, Cameron Valente, Matthew Short, Rashid Khan, Harry Conway, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake.
The Surface at Manuka Oval in Canberra has slowed down a touch in the last season where the average score dropped down to 156 from 184. So expect something for everyone in today’s match.
The Thunder’s opening batsman is one to watch out for in the season as he likely to be a key player throughout the season. With a half-century in the last match, he is starting of on the right note. He has a PPM of close to 47 and an MDTA of 1.7 in the format.
He is in great form at the moment, probably his best ever. He has been the top all rounder in the recently clouded One Day Cup. In the opening two matches, he chipped in with a couple of wickets each and we are yet to see his best with the bat.
He plays everywhere and has had a telling impact irrespective of conditions. His wicket-taking ability is one of the reasons why he is extremely sought after in the T20 format. He is the top-rated bowler in the match with a PPPM of 50 in the format.
He is on top of his game of late irrespective of the format he has played for Australia. He was the third-highest run-scorer for strikers in the previous edition. He had also played a crucial role in the side’s phenomenal 2017 season. He has a PPM of 38 and an MDTA of 1.7 in the format.
The middle-order batsman is the top run-scorer for the stickers in the previous edition of the league. His wealth of experience is crucial for the Strikers which is loaded with young talent.