All-time meetings: Melbourne Stars W9, Melbourne Renegades W4
Last meeting: Melbourne Stars beat Melbourne Renegades by 23 runs
THE TEAM NEWS
Coach: Stephen Fleming
Captain: Glenn Maxwell
Melbourne Stars bounced back from two opening defeats against Sydney Thunder and Hobart Hurricanes to beat the Sydney Sixers last time out as they overcame 130/9 with 5.1 overs to spare thanks to Peter Handscombe’s superb 70 from 35 balls.
They will be without the Australian international however for this match as he has rejoined the national team squad ahead of the fourth test with India which is a blow to the Stars while Jackson Coleman misses out for personal reasons so Seb Gotch and Jonathan Merlo come into the 13-man squad.
Coleman will be a loss after his three wickets against the Sixers but their spin duo of Zampa and Lamichhane are in fine form so the bowling department should still be strong but they do need some of their batsmen to step up once again in Handscombe absence.
Coach: Andrew McDonald
Captain: Tom Cooper
The Renegades won their opening two matches but were brought crashing back down to earth in a below-par performance against the Sixers last time out as they could only muster 99/9 with Mackenzie Harper only scoring more than 13 with the bat and they lost by 33 runs.
They are without regular keeper Tim Ludeman for this match so Sam Harper will take over with the gloves and with Jake Fraser-McGurk also dropping out of the squad, it will be bowlers Andrew Fekete and Jon Holland coming into the 13-man squad
The bowling unit has been in fine form in the opening three matches but the batting has been poor with the only exception so far being the 94-run matchwinning partnership between Nabi and Christian against the Strikers as they have otherwise been underperforming and that has to improve.
The Melbourne derby helps kick off 2019 in style and this promises to be an excellent game. Neither team has been particularly impressive so far and both have plenty of improvement to make. The bowling attacks have been quality so far but it is the batting of both teams that leaves plenty to be desired. The top order for both sides has let them down and it has been the middle orders that have been key. The Stars needed Handscombe to lead them to victory last time out but they are without him once again and otherwise they have shown little form with the bat. Unless Maxwell and company can fire, the marginal edge goes to the greater depth in the Renegades line-up here.