david Hussey, Melbourne Stars, Sydney Thunder, Shane Watson, BBL, Big Bash League
David Hussey.Reuters

After another loss at the hands of the Perth Scorchers, defending champions Sydney Thunder's chances of retaining their title are all but over. Though mathematically they could still qualify for the semifinals if they win their remaining four games, looking at their current form that looks highly unlikely. The Sydney Thunder take on Melbourne Stars later today at the Sydney Showground Stadium as they continue to look for their first win in the Big Bash League.

Check out the World cricket schedule 2017

The Sydney Thunder have been disappointing throughout the tournament with the bat and the ball and a lot of people believe that the reason for the loss is the absence of Jacques Kallis and Mike Hussey, who were two of their best players from the last season. Along with them they have also missed the services of Usman Khawaja who has been away on international duty with Australia. After Shane Watson missed the first two games due to injury, it was expected that his return would turn things around for the Thunder, but his presence has not seemed to make any difference at all.

The likes of Eoin Morgan and Ryan Gibson, who have shown glimpses of what they are capable of, will really have to be more consistent with the bat for the rest of the tournament. Their captain Shane Watson will also have to put in a better performance for the remainder of the season if the Thunder are to have any chance of defending their title.

Clint McKay, Andre Russell and Pat Cummins will be the pick of the bowlers for the Sydney Thunder as they look to avoid a fifth straight defeat in the Big Bash League. The Thunder have also signed James Vince who will be replacing Eoin Morgan as the Englishman has been called by the England national team.

The Melbourne Stars will fancy their chances of making it into the semifinals having won one and lost one game so far in the competition. In their opening match they defeated the Hobart Hurricanes after they managed to chase down a huge total of 188, but in the match that followed against their local rivals the Melbourne Renegades their batting order collapsed as they lost by 7 runs.

Despite that, the Stars have a lot of positives to look at. Luke Wright has been a consistent performer with the bat so far scoring 48 and 45 runs in their two matches. They also have Glenn Maxwell and David Hussey who can change the course of the match at any time. Also with Kevin Pietersen back into the starting 11, the Melbourne Stars will be full of confidence going into this match. Ben Hilfenhaus will lead the line for the Stars with the ball as he will be looking to build on his 3 wicket haul from the first match.


Sydney Thunders:Shane Watson (c), Fawad Ahmed, Aiden Blizzard, Patrick Cummins, Jake Doran, Ryan Gibson, Chris Green, Chris Hartley, Usman Khawaja, Nathan McAndrew, Alister McDermott, Clint McKay, Eoin Morgan, Arjun Nair, Kurtis Patterson, Ben Rohrer, Andre Russell, Gurinder Sandhu

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

The Big Bash League 2016-17 match between Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Star 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