Sydney Thunder will look to end their losing streak, when they clash against the Melbourne Renegades during a Big Bash league (BBL) encounter at the Spotless Stadium in Sydney on Monday.
After a wonderful start to the BBL, Thunder have lost three matches in a row, putting them in a spot of bother. At one point it looked like the Michael Hussey-led Thunder would cruise into the semifinals of the tournament with ease. But their fate had something else in store for them.
Now they need to end this losing streak and seal a win against Renegades, who are also seeking some upward flight.
Renegades are currently placed sixth in the BBL 2015-2016 points table, and will move to fifth, displacing Hobart Hurricanes, if they manage to register a win against the Sydney Thunder. They can also move to the fourth spot if Renegades beat Thunder.
Chris Gayle needs to fire at the top of the order for the Renegades in the absence of Aaron Finch. Although Gayle has played a couple of blistering cameos in this tournament, he needs to convert those knocks into big ones.
While the Renegades will hope for a big innings from Gayle, the Thunder will also bank on a left-hander. Usman Khawaja returned to the Thunder squad after an outstanding run with the bat in the Test series against West Indies. His scores in that series read: 174, 9, 121, 144 and 56. Thunder skipper Hussey praised the left-handed opening batsman ahead of their clash against Renegades on Monday.
"His form this summer has just been incredible," Hussey said about Khawaja to cricket.com.au.
Hussey also emphasised on the fact that the Sydney Thunder cannot afford to lose any more games.
"We want to turn that [form] around pretty quickly and get some momentum. If we can turn it around and get some momentum we'll be in good shape coming into the finals. It's important as a team and as a support staff that we don't panic," Hussey added.
Expected lineups: Sydney Thunder: Michael Hussey (C), Jacques Kallis, Usman Khawaja, Shane Watson, Andre Russell, Ben Rohrer, Andrew McDonald, Chris Green, Chris Hartley, Clint McKay, Fawad Ahmed.
Melbourne Renegades: Chris Gayle, Tom Cooper, Cameron White (C), Dwayne Bravo, Peter Nevill, Aaron Ayre, Tom Beaton, Cameron Gannon, Xavier Doherty, Chris Tremain, Cameron Stevenson.
Where to watch live:
The BBL encounter between Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Renegades is scheduled for a 7:40 pm local time (2:10 pm IST, 9:40 am BST and 8:40 am GMT) start. T20 fans in India can tune into Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD 1.
Fans in Australia, can switch to Fox Sports and Ten Network to catch the live action of Sydney Thunder vs Melbourne Renegades. Sydney Thunder vs Melbourne Renegades can be live streamed online on Tenplay,Bigbash.com.au and cricket.com.au.
Viewers in UK can tune into Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD 1 to catch the live action of Sydney Thunder vs Melbourne Renegades. Watch Sky Sports will stream the match live in UK.