While Stars are already grieving over the loss of three of the main players, Strikers themselves have problems of their own with the inclusion of Peter Siddle and Billy Stanlake in the Australian ODI squads.
While the stakes for this match are reasonably high, a returning Travis Head will hope to one over his counterpart, Nic Maddinson.
Squads to pick from
Wes Agar, Alex Carey, Michael Cormack, David Grant, Travis Head, Colin Ingram, Rashid Khan, Ben Laughlin, Jake Lehmann, Michael Neser, Liam O'Connor, Peter Siddle, Matt Short, Billy Stanlake, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald, Jon Wells, Nick Winter, Harry Nielsen.
Melbourne Stars Squad:
Michael Beer, Jackson Bird, Scott Boland, Liam Bowe, Dwayne Bravo, Jackson Coleman, Travis Dean, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Sandeep Lamichhane, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jonathan Merlo, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa, Lando Norris
Playing XI Updates:
Adelaide Strikers: The bowling unit looks relatively weak without Billy Stanlake and Peter Siddle in their midst. Although Ben Laughlin returns to the side, Wes Agar should be drafted into the side in Stanlake's place while there's a chance of Liam O'Connor continuing to keep his place as well. Travis Head is back for the Strikers and should slot in for Cameron Valente in the side. The onus will be on Rashid Khan and Ben Laughlin to lead a depleted Strikers bowling unit. Harry Nielsen will keep wickets instead of Alex Carey
Possible XI: Head(C), Weatherald, Ingram, Short, Wells, Nielsen(WK), Neser, Rashid, O'Connor, Wes Agar, Laughlin.
Melbourne Stars: The Stars were rocked by the departure of their three marquee players and that was evident in their loss to the Perth Scorchers. While the batting order might remain the same, Lance Morris might come in for either of Michael Beer or Liam Bowe with the youngster able to clock good speeds consistently.
Possible XI: Dunk, Larkin, Maddinson(C), Gotch(WK), Bravo, Gulbis, Merlo, Plunkett, Boland, Morris and Beer.
Fantasy Tips and Suggestions:
Wicket-keeper: With Alex Carey out for national duty, the selection of the wicket-keeper becomes a tricky one. Seb Gotch should be preferred over Harry Nielsen with the Stars keeper batting higher up the order when compared to Nielsen.
Batsmen: Travis Head and Nic Maddinson would want to lead the side from the front with sizeable scores. Both of them are invaluable picks for any fantasy team and should join the likes of Colin Ingram, Ben Dunk and an in-form, Jake Weatherald. Weatherald has been the Strikers best batsman so far in the season and would hope to put in another good performance against the Stars
All-rounders: Dwayne Bravo is an obvious choice with his expertise in the death overs. Matthew Short and Evan Gulbis are possible options to look into with their skill-sets at the top of the order.
Bowlers: Rashid Khan, Ben Laughlin, Liam Plunkett and Scott Boland are the ideal set of bowlers to have in the fantasy sides. With the lack of tearaway bowlers in either side, the aforementioned bowlers are set to take centre stage and try and wrestle back momentum at the expense of the other.
Captain: Travis Head is an obvious choice for captain although the likes of Ben Dunk and Rashid Khan could also be clever picks to choose as captain.
Fantasy Suggestion #1: Seb Gotch(WK), Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Jake Weatherald, Ben Dunk, Dwayne Bravo, Matthew Short, Rashid Khan, Ben Laughlin, Liam Plunkett and Scott Boland. Captain: Travis Head
Fantasy Suggestion #2: Seb Gotch (WK), Travis Head, Colin Ingram, Nic Maddinson, Nick Larkin, Dwayne Bravo, Michael Neser, Rashid Khan, Ben Laughlin, Scott Boland and Liam Plunkett. Captain: Rashid KhanPublished 10 Jan 2019, 14:16 IST