The New Year is set to kick off with a flyer in the Big Bash League as the Melbourne Stars are all set to host their local rivals the Melbourne Renegades at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in what is set to be the clash of the tournament. Last season, this match attracted almost 80,000 fans and a similar crowd is expected this time around as the Stars will be looking to add on their win after defeating Hobart Hurricanes, while the Renegades will be looking to bounce back from their loss against the Perth Scorchers.
In their first win against the Hobart Hurricanes the Melbourne Stars managed to chase down a huge total of 188 and they did so with ease as they won by 7 wickets and with 14 balls remaining. The likes of Rob Quiney, Luke Wright and Glenn Maxwell who scored 75, 48 and 58 runs in their first match will have to put in a similar performance against the Renegades if they are to start the New Year with a win. A big boost for the Melbourne Stars is that they will have their star batsman Kevin Pietersen back who missed the first of the tournament.
However, despite that win against the Hurricanes, the Stars will have to improve their bowling particularly, James Faulkner and Adam Zampa, who were pretty expensive and did not manage to pick up any wickets. The Stars will turn to Ben Hilfenhaus for wickets after the Australian picked up three wickets against the Hurricanes.
The Melbourne Renegades will be looking for a strong response this match after they suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of the Hobart Hurricanes. The Renegades will have to work on their batting as well as their bowling if they are to avoid a defeat on the first day of the New Year.
While their entire top order batsman managed to get off to a good start scoring more than 20 runs each, they were never able to cause any serious problems to the Hurricanes bowlers. To add to their problems Dwayne Bravo will miss this match after he suffered a hamstring injury and had to be stretchered off the field. Trent Lawford will likely take his place in the team.
With Bravo missing, the Renegades will miss out on one of their top bowlers as well going into this match. Sunil Narine will once again have to step up in this match after he was the only bowler against the Hurricanes who managed to pick up two wickets. The likes of Chris Tremain, Nathan Rimmington and Brad Hogg will all have to improve their bowling as the Renegades look to avoid another defeat.
Melbourne Stars: David Hussey (c), Michael Beer, Scott Boland, James Faulkner, Cameron Gannon, Evan Gulbis, Sam Harper, Ben Hilfenhaus, Glenn Maxwell, Kevin Pietersen, Marcus Stoinis, Luke Wright, Adam Zampa
Melbourne Renegades: Aaron Finch (c), Tom Cooper, Callum Ferguson, Marcus Harris, Brad Hogg, Trent Lawford, Sunil Narine, Peter Nevill, Nathan Rimmington, Chris Tremain, Matt Short, Cameron Stevenson, Cameron White
The Big Bash League 2016-17 match between Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades is set to start at 18:10 local (07:10 GMT | 12:40 IST)
Where to watch
India: Star Sports 2/HD2. Live Streaming: Hotstar.com
Australia: TV: Network Ten. Live Streaming: Bigbash.com.au
United Kingdom:Sky Sports 2/HD2. Live Streaming: Watch Sky Sports
USA and Canada:Willow TV
South Africa: Supersport