2017-18 Big Bash League – Sydney Thunder vs Melbourne Renegades Preview

When? Wednesday, 24th January

Where? Manuka Oval

Weather? Overcast conditions forecast but no rain with temperatures of 24-26c

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

Are tickets still available? http://www.sydneythunder.com.a...

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: Sydney Thunder W1, Melbourne Renegades W4
All-time meetings: Sydney Thunder W1, Melbourne Renegades W5

SYDNEY THUNDER

Coach: Paddy Upton

Captain: Shane Watson

  • The Thunder’s win over the Stars on Saturday has given them a chance of making the semi-finals but they need other results to go their way and to beat the Melbourne Renegades here.
  • They have been dealt two major blows for this match however as their star opening batsman Usman Khawaja has been ruled out with a thumb injury and Callum Ferguson also misses out with a hamstring problem so that weakens their batting order significantly.
  • Aiden Blizzard and Ed Cowan come into the 13-man squad which will now throw even more reliance on Shane Watson and the like of Green, Rohrer and Nair are going to have to step up and contribute more to the batting which looks particularly weak for this game.

MELBOURNE RENEGADES

Coach: David Saker

Captain: Brad Hodge

  • The Renegades were arguably the most impressive side in the competition in the first half of BBL07 but they have now lost their last three matches and are competing with the Thunder and Heat for the final semi-final spot so a win here is crucial.
  • They are hampered by the loss of Cameron White once again to the Australian national team so their batting is affected yet further as they are already missing Aaron Finch and Mohammad Nabi while they have dropped opener Marcus Harris due to his poor form.
  • Jon Holland, Beau Webster, Mackenzie Harvey and Matt Short have been called into the squad as they desperately try to reverse their fortunes and get the much-needed win in a game in which Brad Hodge will captain the side.

PREDICTION
This is a vital game between two of the three sides vying for the final semi-final place. It is simply a must-win match for both teams but they are both hampered by key absentees with Finch, White and Nabi missing for the Renegades and Khawaja and Ferguson out of action for the Thunder. That leaves both batting line-ups looking extremely fragile although the Renegades arguably just edge that department. Thunder have the edge in bowling however which makes this match particularly tough to call and best to just watch and enjoy.