2019-20 Big Bash League – Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder taking place? Tuesday 17th December, 2019 – 08:10 (UK)

Where is Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder taking place? Brisbane Cricket Ground, Brisbane

What is the expected weather for Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder? 29c with cloud but no rain forecast

What television channel is Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder on in the UK? BT Sport have the rights to BBL09 matches so it is worth checking their schedule

Where can I stream Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder in the UK? If televised, BT Sport subscribers will be able to stream the match live via the BT Sport website & app

Where can I get tickets for Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder? Visit the official BBL website for ticket information

What was the outcome in the last meeting? No result

THE TEAM NEWS

BRISBANE HEAT

  • Brisbane Heat paid the price for their slow start to BBL|08 as even a strong end to the group stage saw them fall short of the top four spots and a play-off place so they will be looking to make a much better start this time around and reach the knockout phase.
  • With Brendan McCullum now retired, they have brought in England and Somerset big-hitting opener Tom Banton for the opening eight matches until Ab de Villiers arrives for the second half of the tournament so there is plenty of expectation around both.
  • They have also brought in Ben Laughlin from Adelaide Strikers who will give their toothless bowling attack a much-improved look about them this season while they may be able to count upon James Pattinson for more than they would have expected, though he is currently with the Australian Test team.
  • They are without a couple of key men in Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne who are away with Australia but the strength in depth of their batting ranks will ensure they can still field an excellent line-up for this opening game which will be spearheaded by Chris Lynn once again.

SYDNEY THUNDER

  • Sydney Thunder come into this new BBL campaign determined to improve on last season’s disappointing sixth-place finish and other than their victorious 2015/16 season, sixth is the highest they have finished in the other seven editions so they have plenty of room for improvement.
  • The squad has undergone something of an overhaul since the last edition as former skipper Shane Watson has retired from BBL action, leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed has departed for Perth Scorchers and England duo Jos Buttler and Joe Root have not been re-signed for this edition.
  • Big-hitting English opener Alex Hales arrives to give them a focal point at the top of the order alongside Usman Khawaja. Chris Morris is another overseas recruit and he is a key addition with bat and ball while they bring Alex Ross from Brisbane and Chris Tremain from the Renegades to bolster the squad.
  • They will be desperate for Hales to hit the ground running here as he comes directly from playing in the Mzansi Super League, especially as Chris Morris is unavailable for this opening game, but there will be a heavy reliance on new skipper Callum Ferguson with the bat and Chris Green with his spin to get them off to a good start at the Gabba.

THE PREDICTION

So much depends on which of the teams hit the ground running in these opening matches of the Big Bash League but it is difficult not to get excited by Brisbane Heat’s batting line-up for this tournament. The arrival of Banton will give them another big-hitter at the top of the order while talented young hitter Max Bryant will be even more dangerous with another season under his belt. The bowling unit is much-improved with Ben Laughlin in it but, as proved last season, they will struggle to be competitive if the bowling attack cannot produce the goods. The Thunder look to have marginally less quality for this opening match, especially with Chris Morris missing this first game, but they will be extremely competitive. Their top three batsmen are as good as any in the competition although their bowling attack looks a little light after Sams and Green. There is little to pick between the two teams but home advantage and the greater depth in batting sees us marginally favour the Heat to get off to a winning start.

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