We are all set for the start of the 11th edition of the Big Bash League (BBL) and defending champions Sydney Sixers face Melbourne Stars in the season opener. Over the years, Sydney Sixers have been arguably one of the best teams in the history of the competition. They have won the last two editions and have in all, won three titles, which is the joint-most in the BBL’s 10-season history. On the other hand, Melbourne Stars are one of the only two teams to have never won a single BBL title so far. They have reached the knockouts as many as eight times which includes three finals, but they just haven’t been able to get over the line.
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|Josh Philippe||c Hilton Cartwright b Sam Rainbird||83||47||8||3||176.6|
|James Vince||c Adam Zampa b Glenn Maxwell||44||29||6||0||151.72|
|Moises Henriques||not out||76||38||8||3||200|
|Daniel Christian||c Hilton Cartwright b Brody Couch||5||5||1||0||100|
|Tom Curran||c Nick Larkin b Brody Couch||0||1||0||0||0|
|Total||(20 Ov, RR: 10.64)||213/4|
|Joe Clarke||c Hayden Kerr b Steve O’Keefe||1||2||0||0||50|
|Peter Nevill||c Steve O’Keefe b Hayden Kerr||18||14||2||0||128.57|
|Nick Larkin||lbw Steve O’Keefe||0||2||0||0||0|
|Glenn Maxwell||b Sean Abbott||4||9||0||0||44.44|
|Hilton Cartwright||c James Vince b Hayden Kerr||10||9||0||1||111.11|
|Beau Webster||c Josh Philippe b Sean Abbott||2||4||0||0||50|
|Sam Elliott||c Sean Abbott b Steve O’Keefe||2||7||0||0||28.57|
|Sam Rainbird||c Josh Philippe b Sean Abbott||0||2||0||0||0|
|Adam Zampa||st Josh Philippe b Steve O’Keefe||1||3||0||0||33.33|
|Brody Couch||c Daniel Christian b Tom Curran||8||10||1||0||80|
|Syed Faridoun||not out||6||5||1||0||120|
|Total||(11.1 Ov, RR: 5.49)||61/10|
As far as the head to head record is concerned, Sydney Sixers are ahead and have a 9-7 advantage over the Melbourne Stars. In addition, Sydney Sixers have beaten Melbourne Stars in each of their previous five encounters.
Wins: Sydney Sixers 9, Melbourne Stars 7
Last 5 matches: Sydney Sixers 5, Melbourne Stars 0
Since the start of the 2016-17 season of the BBL, Sydney Sixers have dominated against Melbourne Stars. Sydney Sixers have won eight games out of the 11 that these two teams have played in the last four years. Moreover, Sydney Sixers seem have a better all-round squad and hence, they will start this game as favourites.
Moises Henriques will lead the Sydney Sixers and Chris Jordan is likely to make his debut for them. James Vince and Tom Curran are the other international players in the squad. Ben Dwarshuis is not available for selection as he is currently recovering from a side strain. Glenn Maxwell is going to lead the Melbourne Stars. Joe Clarke and Pakistan chinaman spinner Syed Faridoun are the internationals in their squad.
Sydney Sixers have a solid top four with the consistent Josh Philippe alongside the eye-catching James Vince at the top with Daniel Hughes and Moises Henriques completing the top four. Jordan Silk and Dan Christian will be the finishers. The bowling seems pretty decent as they have some international experience in the likes of Chris Jordan, Tom Curran and Sean Abbott. Lloyd Pope and Steve O’Keefe form a good spin pair as well.
On the other hand, Melbourne Stars will bank on their experienced and superstar pros like skipper Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis. Those two are going to be critical with the bat. Joe Clarke could bring some X-factor into the batting line-up. Adam Zampa who was superb in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will be a central figure in that bowling line-up which doesn’t really boast of any big names as such.
Game changers for Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Stars
Glenn Maxwell is an obvious punt as the game-changer. He was in magnificent form in the IPL 2021 and even played a good hand in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final. Josh Philippe has been consistent at the top of the order and he will be another one to watch out for.
Adam Zampa has been in terrific form with the ball. He returned with 13 wickets in seven games and had an economy rate of 5.81 in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
Glenn Maxwell could be a big contender given his form. Marcus Stoinis bats at the top in the BBL and has the knack of getting big runs and he could be one of the picks. Josh Philippe is in fine form and has been on the rise. He can be a significant contender for the player of the match as well.
Josh Philippe was the third-highest run-getter in the 2020-21 edition of the BBL. He amassed 508 runs while striking at 149.41. In BBL cricket, the Western Australian stumper has scored 1306 runs at an average of 32.65 and a strike-rate of 142.42.
Marcus Stoinis bats at the top of the order in the BBL and he has been very successful doing that for the Melbourne Stars. He has scored 1380 runs at an average of 40.2 and a strike-rate of 131.2 while opening the batting in the BBL.