Melbourne Stars v Perth Scorchers

Qasim: “think both batting can be said to be fairly even but scorchers’ bowling is far superior than stars. hoping for a close game, expect a scorcher win.”

Toss: Perth Scorchers choose to bat first. Four debutants in the Stars.

Stars XI: Joe Clarke (wk), Tom Rogers, Charlie Wakim, Glenn Maxwell (c), Hilton Cartwright, Justin Avendano, Tom O’Connell, Qais Ahmad, Xavier Crone, Brody Couch, Haris Rauf. X-factor subs: Lachie Bangs, Pat Rowe

Scorchers XI: Kurtis Patterson, Cameron Bancroft (wk), Colin Munro, Laurie Evans, Ashton Turner (c), Aaron Hardie, Ashton Agar, Andrew Tye, Jason Behrendorff, Peter Hatzoglou, Tymal Mills. X-factor subs: Lance Morris, David Moody.

2.50pm Varun: “even stevens? stars literally have a new team. scorchers sit pretty at the top with only a couple of players out. ” — Stars still have Maxwell. Scorchers are without Mitchell Marsh. And the Stars players have nothing to lose – they have the chance to be expressive and fearless, knowing fully well that nobody will hold it against them if they disappoint. Plus, they have reinforcements in Haris Rauf now. As mentioned below, advantage Scorchers only since they have shown they know how to “pull off” wins consistently, but otherwise, hey its anybody’s game!

Let’s break down the Covid-19 impact for the Melbourne Stars: Stars confirmed seven players and eight support staff returned positive PCR tests on December 31. A further three tested positive on January 1. Their “first” fixture against the Scorchers scheduled for last week has already been postponed. This has forced the Stars to call up as many as six new players to the squad as per the BBL rules. Tasmania Sheffield Shield batter Charlie Wakim and former Sydney Sixers batter Justin Avendano have been added. As have Victoria squad member Xavier Crone, and Victoria premier cricketers Patrick Rowe, Tom Rogers and Lachlan Bangs. One bright spot is that Haris Rauf is available.

2.32pm Hello and welcome to ESPNcricinfo’s coverage of the Big Bash League. The other Melbourne team – The Renegades – could not start their 2022, with their first game of the new year washed out yesterday. The Melbourne team playing today – The Stars – are in a bit of a muddle with 10 players currently Covid-19 positive.

But, the organisers believe “the show must go on” so here we are. It is Melbourne Stars v Perth Scorchers from the Junction Oval, where the Stars desperately need to win against second-placed Scorchers to move up the points table. But it won’t be easy since the Stars are missing too many key players, and have flown in late and new squad members over the last few days to ensure they have more than 11 available for selection.

However, the Stars should not feel too demoralised. The Scorchers, too, are missing two key players due to Covid-19 and the duo of Mitchell Marsh and Josh Inglis are with the Australia Test team. So all in all – fairly even stevens although Scorchers still have a form-based advantage. Sit tight, my name is Sreshth Shah, and more details loading very soon!

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