The last season’s runner-ups Melbourne-S will start its campaign in Australia T20 League 2020-21 against newly-formed Brisbane.
Match Timings: Dec 11, 1:45 PM IST
The second clash of Australia T20 League 2020-21 will be played between Maxwell’s Melbourne and Chris Lynn’s Brisbane. Melbourne-S lost the final last year against Sydney-S in a rain-affected clash. Its knock-out horror continued in 2019-20 as well. David Hussey would hope to take the trophy home this season. The bubble impact will harm the Green Outfit as well. The last season’s one of the leading wicket-takers, Haris Rauf, will miss out this season, and another Pakistani pacer, Dilbar Hussain, will replace him. After a solid stint with Punjab in Indian T20 League, Nicholas Pooran is available for the first six games. Afghan international Zahir Khan will be available till mid-January, and West Indies batsman Andre Fletcher will also join the squad for the league-stage. This season, they also released Lamichhane and Handscomb, so Maxwell needs to form the best team combination. The best part is that the skipper is in good form after a fabulous white-ball series against India. Last season’s top-scorer, Marcus Stoinis, is injured, and his availability is in doubt.
David Hussey’s side has a good pool of T20 hitters. Stoinis and Nic Maddinson will open, followed by Pooran and Maxwell in middle-overs. They can also try Fletcher as the second overseas player. Coulter-Nile and Dilbar Hussain will have a big responsibility in the pace-attack in the absence of Haris Rauf. Melbourne has also signed Billy Stanlake from Adelaide, and Maxwell can try him as the third seamer. Zahir Khan and Adam Zampa are two good spin options, but Hussey would go with one spinner only as Maxwell can also bowl in the powerplay. In another scenario, they can also pick Zahir Khan to drop a pacer if Stoinis is available on Friday.
Meanwhile, Brisbane had a woeful season last year, finishing seventh in the table with six wins out of 14. They missed the qualification at the last moment when they lost to Melbourne-R in its final outing. ABD was available last season in six games, and this time, he has opted himself out. Ahead of the new season, they suffered a big blow as Tom Banton has withdrawn himself from the entire season. English all-rounder Lewis Gregory will be available, but he would miss the first couple of games due to serving the quarantine period. Dan Lawrence will be a big boost to Brisbane, but the new signing, Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s availability is in doubt as he was tested positive for Covid-19. Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, and Mitchell Swepson will also be out of the playing XI due to Test duty.
Manuka Oval has offered spin in the previous IND-AUS T20, so we expect slight dryness on the pitch. It's a good batting wicket, and any score above 170 would be a competitive one. Chasing would be an ideal call after winning the toss.
Marcus Stoinis, Andre Fletcher, Hilton Cartwright, Glenn Maxwell (c), Nick Larkin, Ben Dunk (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint Hinchliffe, Adam Zampa, Billy Stanlake, Dilbar Hussain
Chris Lynn (c), Max Bryant, Sam Heazlett, Daniel Lawrence, Tom Cooper, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Simon Milenko, Jack Wood, Xavier Bartlett, Ben Laughlin, Matthew Kuhnemann
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 17, Runs: 705, Avg: 54.23
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 17, Runs: 398, SR: 124.36
White-ball series vs. India – M: 6, Runs: 245, Avg: 49
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 14, Runs: 387, SR: 148.84
A compact T20 player