The Stars, on paper, have a much stronger unit than the Heat.

Marcus Stoinis. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Melbourne Stars were one of the teams to beat in the 2019-20 edition of the Big Bash League. However, the team, led by Glenn Maxwell, went down to the Sydney Sixers in the final and became the runners-up. Their first match this season is against the Brisbane Heat on Friday, December 11, at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.

The Stars already named a 14-man squad for their opening game. On head-to-head count, the Heat are leading the Stars by 8-4, but on paper, the former looks a much stronger unit. The Stars have plenty of international stars in their setup.

The Heat couldn’t qualify for the playoffs last time around and they would be looking to make amends. They have Chris Lynn as their skipper and he has been a vital cog for them over the years. For the time being, the Stars look favourites.

Pitch and Conditions

The venue hasn’t hosted a whole lot of T20s since 2019. Only two T20Is have been played here. Both matches have been fairly high-scoring and the track is expected to be pretty similar even on Friday’s encounter.

Batting first and putting runs on the board can be the way forward. The temperature during game-time would be around the 14 degrees Celsius-mark with the humidity in the mid-50s.

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Average first innings Score

170 (in unaffected T20 matches)

Record of the chasing teams

Won – 1; Lost – 1

Playing Combinations for STA vs HEA

Melbourne Stars

Andre Fletcher (WK), Marcus Stoinis, Ben Dunk, Hilton Cartwright, Glenn Maxwell (C), Nick Larkin, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Billy Stanlake, Clint Hinchcliffe, Adam Zampa, Dilbar Hussain

Bench- Seb Gotch, Tom O’Connell, Liam Hatcher

Brisbane Heat

Chris Lynn (C), Max Bryant, Tom Cooper, Sam Haezlett, Dam Lawrence, Jim Pierson (WK), Xavier Bartlett, Simon Milenko, Ben Laughlin, Matt Kuhnemann, Jack Wood/Connor Sully

Bench- James Bazley, Jack Wood/Connor Sully

Probable Top Performers for STA vs HEA

Marcus Stoinis– Melbourne Stars

Marcus Stoinis has had an incredible career for the Stars. In 60 matches, the right-hander has 1702 runs with a top-score of an unbeaten 147. He opens the batting and gives his team brisk starts on plenty of instances.

Last year, he was the leading run-scorer of the tournament and performed well. Stoinis is also more than handy with the ball, having picked up 34 wickets in his BBL career.

Chris Lynn– Brisbane Heat

Chris Lynn didn’t have the best of times in the IPL. Despite being one of the power-hitters, Mumbai Indians benched him during the IPL. He must be itching to get back on the field.

In 193 T20s, the right-hander has 5234 runs at a strike-rate of 142.88. Last year, he played some jaw-dropping knocks. The 30-year-old last played in a T20 game for the St Kitts and Nevis in the 2020 CPL.

Broadcast Details

Match timings – 7:15 PM local time, 1:45 PM IST

TV – Sony Ten Network

Live Streaming – Sony LIV

The prediction is for Melbourne Stars to win the match.