Local pride may be the only thing these two sides have left to play for! A desperately disappointing Big Bash League campaign from both teams has left each with the prospect of finishing in the bottom three for the second consecutive year.
Both can point to excuses – but the reality is, they have been miles off the pace, and failure to compete on a regular basis is a damning indictment of the two teams, which hail from a proud cricketing city.
I am going to back the Stars to come out on top as part of my Melbourne Renegades vs Melbourne Stars betting tips – but it’s hardly a clear cut choice. For more online cricket betting ideas ahead of the action, which begins at 2:35 pm IST on Thursday 13th January at the Marvel Stadium, Melbourne, read my full preview below.
“Not good” is the simplest explanation to the Renegades’ recent form analysis. Another collapse with the bat meant they were thrashed by 45 runs at the hands of the Sydney Sixers on Tuesday.
After folding for 105 chasing 150, Nic Maddinson’s side now averages 117.5 with the bat across 11 innings – nowhere near good enough at a competitive Big Bash level.
Remarkably, despite their horrific recent form, the Renegades are in with a shout to nab the eliminator spot, which would mean they can still lift the title at the end of the campaign.
They will need to show a lot more character with the bat to get anywhere close to winning the trophy for the first time since 2019, though.
I hope they prove my Melbourne Renegades vs Melbourne Starsbetting predictions wrong, but I can’t see it on current form.
The returning Cameron Boyce impressed on his comeback to the side after a month out injured, taking two wickets for 15 runs from four overs to help keep the target score manageable. He looks set to retain his place in the side.
James Pattinson and Mohammad Nabi are no longer available for selection due to injury and personal reasons, respectively.
Player to Watch: Shaun Marsh
He is one of the only players with huge experience under his belt that is stepping up and showing leadership with his all-round performances.
Shaun Marsh hit 39 runs from 35 balls to keep his team in with a shout and was the only player to hit more than 15 runs against the Sixers. Were it not for his runs, the Renegades would have been looking at another score below 100.
On current form, he is a solid bet to finish the Renegades’ top batter – you can back him with Betway at 3.20.
Renegades’ Likely XI
Sam Harper, Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Nic Maddinson, Mackenzie Harvey, Cameron Boyce, Will Sutherland, Kane Richardson, Josh Lalor, Zak Evans, Zahir Khan.
Melbourne Stars’ Recent Form
The Stars have a few more excuses up their sleeves – they were rocked by a rabid Covid-19 outbreak 10 days ago which displaced all of their senior stars.
Adam Zampa, Joe Burns, and Joe Clarke are all back following periods in isolation, adding to Glenn Maxwell’s presence in the starting line-up – though it’s fair to say we haven’t seen the best from the exciting middle-order batsman.
The returning players had a positive effect to help them scrape past the bottom-placed Adelaide Strikers in their penultimate match, though they were demolished by the Scorchers last time out.
They have won four of their ten matches – though failure to nab the bonus points on offer means they lie second from bottom on 14 points.
I think they will have enough under the bonnet to steer past the Renegades!
The Stars may have the luxury of naming an unchanged line-up for one of the first times this season – early team news suggests they will be able to name an unchanged eleven.
Player to Watch: Shaun Marsh
The Englishman can count himself as one of the breakout stars of the Big Bash League – bagging four half centuries and over 300 runs in nine BBL matches, averaging 33.66 for the season.
When you consider he’s also got two ducks to his name, those stats start to feel slightly more impressive.