January 8: Melbourne Stars v Sydney Thunder in Melbourne
Our XI: Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Nic Larkin, Callum Ferguson, Usman Khawaja, Chris Morris, Daniel Sams, Adam Zampa, Chris Green, Nathan McAndrew, Nathan Coulter-Nile
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about a late injury (or other relevant) updates.
Captain: Marcus Stoinis
The Stars opener has averaged 70.25 in his first six games of the season, scoring three half-centuries. He’s in form, and will look to make a statement, having been served a fine for his misdemeanour against the Melbourne Renegades.
Vice-captain: Chris Morris
Morris gives you four overs, including two at the death, and has taken at least two wickets in each of his first four games this season. A handy lower middle-order batsman too.
Has the knack of breaking partnerships with the ball, and can do almost everything with the bat. Maxwell has lost a bit of form after a fiery start to the season, but will be looking to find his touch as the business end approaches.
Has 12 wickets in his first six BBL games this season, at an average of 13.5. Sams is quick, accurate and full of confidence. Offers a bit with the bat too.
One of the highest run-scorers of the season, Ferguson averages 62 after six games, including three half-centuries. The experienced batsman has been the lynchpin in his side, and his 24 fours are also the most by any batsman this season.
Nathan McAndrew: The Stars haven’t seen much of the right-arm medium-fast bowler. His economy of 6.56 is the best among the Thunder bowlers so far and he could be your differential for this match.
Nic Larkin: Having been drafted into the Stars XI just three games ago, Larkin enters the match having scored 65 in his last outing. Incidentally, that performance was against the Thunder as well.
Point to note
Choose your captain and vice-captain after seeing the toss. The Stars’ average first-innings total this season has been 165 while Thunder’s average first-innings total has been 157.75.