All-time meetings: Adelaide Strikers W3, Melbourne Stars W4
Last meeting: Adelaide Strikers beat Melbourne Stars by 8 wickets
THE TEAM NEWS
Coach: Jason Gillespie
Captain: Travis Head
The Strikers come into this game level on points with their opponents but behind on net run rate so they know just how crucial this game is to them and they have to bounce back from their six-wicket defeat to the Sixers last time out.
They made several changes to their squad as international call-ups affect them. Alex Carey, Peter Siddle and Billy Stanlake are all with Australia but they can count upon skipper Travis Head for the first time this season and Ben Laughlin returns to the fold after being rested last time due to some soreness.
Wicket-keeper Harry Nielsen comes in behind the stumps to replace Carey and his absence will certainly be noted as it forces them to rejig their batting order too, but the inclusion of Head is huge for them, while the absence of Stanlake is not so great as he has been relatively poor so far in BBL08.
Coach: Stephen Fleming
Captain: Nic Maddinson
After three wins in a row, the Stars were undone by the Scorchers on Wednesday by six wickets and their total of 146/6 was never enough as they struggled without their missing international players.
Dunk and Gulbis stepped up in the absence of Stoinis, Maxwell and Handscombe but they were lacking overall and just could not capitalise on a strong start with their middle order looking particularly weak especially as the returning Nic Maddison looks somewhat out of touch.
They remain without their key men which leaves them thin on the ground in terms of quality and they bring in Lance Morris for Tom O’Connell to the 13-man squad so they continue to look particularly light at the moment.
Both teams are depleted by international absentees and are coming off defeats but it is the Strikers who have the greater depth that should see them cope with the missing players better. The Stars look really short on quality with bat and ball, especially with a middle order that is struggling for runs. The Strikers on the other hand have Travis Head coming back and still have quality players like Rashid Khan to count upon. The two teams are tied on six points but the Stars are going to struggle without their key men so the Strikers have to be favoured.