Melbourne-R and Perth-S will get its 2020-21 campaign underway in Australia T20 League. Both sides failed to crack the playoffs last season. With some new signings, both sides would aim to start fresh in this new season.
Match Timings: Dec 12, 1:45 PM IST
Saturday’s second fixture will be played between last season’s weakest sides, Melbourne-R and Perth-S. Australia’s white-ball captain Aaron Finch couldn’t replicate the international form in the domestic T20 season. Finch’s side finished at the bottom last season, winning just three matches out of 14, which was the poorest campaign for them.
The national duties and the ongoing bubble rules will give both sides a headache to find the best XI for a couple of games. James Pattinson will miss the first half due to national duty. Marcus Harris is part of the Australia A squad, and he will miss the opening two games. The spin department will be affected as Imran Tahir, and Mohammed Nabi both are unavailable for this game. The South African player, Rilee Rossouw, will be seen in action. Imad Wasim is in New Zealand for the national T20s, and his absense will put Melbourne in trouble. From Brisbane, they have signed Josh Lalor, James Pattinson, and Jack Prestwidge to boost the pace-attack.
Melbourne-R won the title in 2018-19, and the glory was fully dependent on its bowling. In last season, they put a horror show in this department, conceding runs at an economy of 8.55 and an average of 32.59. This season, Michael Klinger focused more on bowling, especially in the spin. Imad, Tahir, and Nabi’s inclusion will fill the vacuum for sure.
Meanwhile, Perth’s campaign was slightly better than its Saturday-rivals, but it was a poor finish. Mitchell Marsh-led side failed to qualify for the playoffs, and it was its own issue. In the late half of the season, they missed out on adding key points. They have a good pool of quality players this season, and Adam Voges would avoid errors of 2019-20. Perth will miss overseas signings Liam Livingstone, and Jason Roy for the first couple of games as the duo is serving the quarantine period. Colin Munro and Joe Clarke will fulfill their spots in top-order.
Due to the India-Australia Test series, they gonna miss Cameron Green. Chris Jordan and Morne Morkel have been left out of the squad, and Marsh would hope to see some spark from the local players. Josh Inglis has a big responsibility after an excellent outing last season. The wicket-keeper batsman amassed 405 runs last season with a strike-rate of 153.99. His approach against the spin was better last season. Colin Munro and Inglis will start as openers, followed by Marsh, Cameron Bancroft, and Joe Clarke in middle-overs. Ashton Agar was injured in the India series but he might be available for this match.
Bellerive Oval’s surface has good bounce and pacers can take early help from the pitch. It’s a good batting wicket and batsmen require to bat sensibly. Hobart got almost 180 in the first game despite losing early wickets.
Sam Harper (wk), Aaron Finch (c), Shaun Marsh, Rilee Rossouw, Beau Webster, Will Sutherland, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Cameron Boyce, Kane Richardson, Josh Lalor, Jon Holland
Josh Inglis (wk), Colin Munro, Mitchell Marsh (c), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Clarke, Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Fawad Ahmed, Andrew Tye
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 14, Runs: 405, SR: 153.99
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 14, Runs: 382, Wickets: 05
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 9, Runs: 363, SR: 153.99
White-ball series vs India – M: 5, Runs: 284, Avg: 56.8
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 12, Runs: 449, Avg: 37.41