Reinforced Hurricanes eye win against mercurial Stars

Akshay Saraswat

Akshay Saraswat

Author| Jan 1, 12:40 PM

Image: Twitter/Stars
Image: Twitter/Stars

The match between Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Stars is a crucial contest for both teams. Both teams have been inconsistent in the season so far and are looking to get some momentum going as the tournment enters into a more tense stage. 

Stars, under the captaincy of Glenn Maxwell, are facing a slight wobble mid-tournament. Losing their last match to Sydney Thunder by a big margin would not have done them any good. But with the nature of T20 cricket being very fickle, and plenty of match-winning players in their squad, Stars can easily get back into winning form. 

For Hurricanes, a season that started brilliantly is now throwing some problems at them. From being at the top of the table, the team has now come down to third. But they are still doing better than most other teams and need to keep the ship steady to book their place in the play-offs. 

Maxwell's Stars Need Boost

With Glenn Maxwell and Nicholas Pooran in great form, scoring big runs shouldn't be a problem for the Stars. But there are some problems with the top order. Andre Fletcher hasn't got going in this season. His partner Marcus Stoinis has been hitting the ball well but hasn't gone on. 

Even Hilton Cartwright and Nicholas Maddinson have been underwhelming. But the lack of runs from these batsmen have been compensated for, to some extent, by Maxwell, Pooran, and Ben Dunk's batting. 

Like many other teams, the Stars have benefitted enormously from leg-spin. Adam Zampa has shown his match-winning abilities in this season already. However, the ban on him would leave a big hole in the team. 

Nathan Coulter-Nile and Billy Stanlake are capable bowlers with varying styles. The former relies on swing while the latter uses extra bounce. The nature of the pitch would decide who gets the preference. 

Hurricanes Looking Solid

Hobart Hurricanes scored a victory in their last match by the slimmest margin - 1 run. But their overall performance in that match and the season, so far, hasn't been bad. There had been some issues with the batting line-up but they have been sorted out due to the arrival of Dawid Malan, world's premier batsmen in T20Is. 

The shifting of Ben McDermott to the opening slot has re-inforced the top order. D'Arcy Short is always a big threat at the top of the innings. McDermott, Short, and Malan will be the power center of the batting order. Colin Ingram and Tim David could help lift the score late in the innings. 

The bowling of Hurricanes has got a big boost due to the arrival of Sandeep Lamichhane. The spinner from Nepal has been an impact player in T20 leagues around the world. With spinners like Mujeeb and Rashid proving to be trump cards for their respective teams, Sandeep's arrival is very important. 

Faulkner's absence would leave a big void. But Scott Boland has been impressive. Riley Meredith has genuine pace but hasn't fully capitalised on it. Much was expected of Nathan Ellis and Keemo Paul but both have been disappointing till now. 

Stars vs Hurricanes: Match Details

Venue: Blundstone Arena, Hobart

Date and Time: January 2, 11:35 AM IST, 5:05 PM Local, 6:05 AM GMT

Broadcaster: Sony Sports Network, Sony LIV

Pitch Report

Hobart will be hosting a BBL match after a gap this season. In the previous matches, the pitch looked good for batting. But when the conditions were favourable, seamers also came into action. With many matches having been played so far, one wonders whether the pitches will show signs of wear and tear. The weather may also play a part in determining the nature of the contest. 

Weather and Bat Flip

Clouds are expected to hang around on the day of the match. This could help the swing bowlers in both the teams. If the skies are fully overcast, the temptation to bowl first will be there for the captain who wins the bat flip.

Probable XIs

Stars: Sam Billings, Ben Dunk (Wk), Hilton Cartwright, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell (C), Nicholas Pooran, Nick Maddinson, Liam Hatcher, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Billy Stanlake, Zahir Khan

Hurricanes: D'Arcy Short, Ben McDermott (Wk), Dawid Malan, Peter Handscomb (C), Colin Ingram, Tim David, Johan Botha, Nathan Ellis, Riley Meredith, Scott Boland, Sandeep Lamichhane

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  • Sam Billings
  • Ben Dunk
  • Hilton Cartwright
  • Glenn Maxwell
  • Nicholas Pooran
  • Nathan Coulter-Nile
  • Billy Stanlake
  • Dawid Malan
  • Peter Handscomb
  • Colin Ingram
  • Johan Botha
  • Scott Boland
  • Sandeep Lamichhane
  • HBH
  • MLS
  • BBL 2020-21

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