Aaron Finch Image courtesy of news.com.au
The Melbourne Renegades will be looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season when they welcome the Adelaide Strikers to Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night. After having a five game unbeaten run broken by the Scorchers at the WACA on the weekend, the Renegades will appreciate a return to Etihad Stadium, where they have already scored three dominant wins this season. The Strikers will be no pushovers however, with two victories from as many outings away from home during the current campaign.
Despite suffering their first defeat against Perth on Saturday night, the Renegades are unlikely to make any changes to the XI that has taken the field in the past four matches. They will be looking for a more significant contribution from top order batsman Daniel Harris and Marlon Samuels however. South Australian Harris has a top score of just 10 from his five visits to the crease this season while hard-hitting Jamaican Samuels has shown only glimpses of his best form in the four matches that he has played. The 31 year-old came into the tournament off the back of a devastating knock of 85 not out from 43 balls in a T20 International for the West Indies against Bangladesh but has only 40 runs to his name in the Big Bash. Aaron Finch remains the leading runscorer in the tournament 229 runs in the opening five matches.
The Adelaide Strikers could field an unchanged lineup for the third straight match despite losing to the Melbourne Stars last time out. With Michael Klinger and Tim Ludeman getting the side off to a good start at the top of the order, it is important that middle order players Callum Ferguson and Nathan Reardon go on with the job. Both have been mentioned as potential candidates to fill the void that Michael Hussey will leave in Australia’s limited overs sides and will want to press their case for selection by scoring runs in this competition.
Spinners have played a big part at Etihad Stadium this season and this fixture brings together arguably the two best slow bowling units in the game. Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan and canny left-armer Aaron O’Brien have led the Renegades attack, while Johan Botha, Cameron Boyce and 39 year-old former Australian spinner Brad Young have been crucial to the Strikers success.
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