2017-18 Big Bash League – Brisbane Heat vs Melbourne Stars Preview

19th Dec 2017 by TSZ

When? Wednesday, 20th December

Where? The Gabba

Weather? Warm temperatures of 28c expected in Brisbane for this game

What channel is it on? Channel TEN in Australia & BT Sport 2 in the UK

Are tickets still available? http://www.brisbaneheat.com.au/tickets

Where can I stream the match? BT Sport subscribers can stream the match online via the BT Sport website

HEAD-TO-HEAD
Last five meetings: Brisbane Heat W4, Melbourne Stars W1
All-time meetings: Brisbane Heat W4, Melbourne Stars W2

BRISBANE HEAT

Coach: Daniel Vettori

Captain: Brendon McCullum

  • There is plenty of expectation in Brisbane coming into the new BBL season and they will be hoping to go one better than last season when they lost in the semi-finals to the Sydney Sixers in an enthralling Super Over.
  • Star six-hitter Chris Lynn has been passed fit after shoulder surgery and they will be looking to him to spearhead their batting with more sensational knocks which has been a highlight of the Big Bash in recent years.
  • Kiwi legend Brendan McCullum returns for his seventh season in Brisbane and he will skipper the side that will be missing all-rounder Cameron Valente for this opening game due to injury and a 13-man squad that features three newcomers in Shadab Khan, Brendan Doggett and Jack Prestwidge.

MELBOURNE STARS

Coach: Stephen Fleming

Captain: John Hastings

  • The Stars are one of just two teams along with the Scorchers to have reached the semi-finals in every edition of the Big Bash so far but they have only reached the final once and have never won the trophy so that has to be their aim this time around.
  • Their squad is littered with star players but they are only missing one current international as Peter Handscomb is with Australia, though they can still name one of the strongest teams in the competition for this opening match.
  • They made a marquee signing in the off-season, bringing last season’s top run-scorer Ben Dunk to the team and he joins a fearsome batting line-up that already features Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright, James Faulkner, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis.

PREDICTION
Brisbane Heat have had something of a psychological edge over the Melbourne Stars in recent seasons winning their last three meetings, but the Stars have an outstanding squad for this year’s competition. Heat will rely on Chris Lynn and Brendan McCullum for some big hitting, but the Stars have quality in all areas of the team. Strangely enough, Heat struggled on home turf last season while the Stars produced their best form on their travels so look for the Melbourne side to make a statement in their opening match.

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