The 17th match of the Big Bash League 2018-19 pits two former champions, Sydney Thunder and the Perth Scorchers against each other in what promises to be a closely contested game between the two. Both teams haven't had the best matches over the past week and would be eager to start off the new year on a high. With the batting might of Sydney Thunder and the bowling prowess of the Scorchers locking horns, fantasy players are sure to have a great match on hand.
Squads to pick from
Fawad Ahmed, Jos Buttler, Pat Cummins, Callum Ferguson, Ryan Gibson, Chris Green, Liam Hatcher, Usman Khawaja, Jay Lenton, Nathan McAndrew, Arjun Nair, Kurtis Patterson, Sam Rainbird, Joe Root, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Sangha, Shane Watson
Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Michael Klinger, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Joel Paris, Usman Qadir, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman, David Willey
Playing XI Updates:
Sydney Thunder: The Thunders' players have performed in patches with Daniel Sams and Jos Buttler being the standout performers. Overseas recruit, Joe Root is yet to fire for them and would be badly needed if they are to negotiate a world-class bowling attack consisting of Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye. Arjun Nair should make way for Gurinder Sandhu with three spinners already present and doing well in the side.
Possible XI: Watson (C), Buttler (WK), Ferguson, Root, Sangha, Sams, Green, Jono Cook, Rainbird, Fawad, Sandhu.
Perth Scorchers: Perth Scorchers have been utterly brilliant with the ball and it is their batting that has let them down on a few crucial junctures. The Scorchers haven't come up with a fixed batting order which is causing a few problems. Cameron Bancroft should be of better use at the top of the order, alongside Klinger who has had woes of his own. No changes are expected from the Scorchers in terms of players.
Possible XI: Bancroft (WK), Klinger, Bosisto, Turner (C), Cartwright, Agar, Willey, Jhye Richardson, Coulter-Nile, Behrendorff, and Tye.
Wicketkeeper: Jos Buttler has had scores of 20, 63, 89 and 23 so far this BBL season and has been one of the top performers for the Thunder. He should be the prime candidate although incumbent keeper, Bancroft is also a good option to go for.
Batsmen: Michael Klinger's lack of form has been detrimental to the Scorchers' fortunes invariably. The veteran has been out of form since his brief stint for Paarl Rock but never can he be written off. Joe Root got a start against the Strikers before miscuing a full-length ball to deep midwicket and would be hungry for runs. Callum Ferguson and Ashton Turner have had decent BBL seasons so far and would be looking to contribute more towards the team's fortunes.
All-rounders- Daniel Sams has been exceptional with bat and ball this season and is by arguably the best all-rounder so far in the BBL. His ability to bowl at the death is crucial with the left-armer picking up eight wickets in four matches. Ashton Agar had a decent outing against the Strikers top-scoring with the bat and finishing the match as the Scorchers' best with the ball. Both of them are key picks to look out for.
Bowlers- Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff have been great with great with the new ball and have already wrecked havoc in this year's BBL. Two of the three options would suffice although Andrew Tye is also due for a few wickets. Fawad Ahmed has had a brilliant last couple of months and would be banking on his experience to help Thunder to a victory. Jono Cook has been good with the ball, picking up key wickets and is a good option to opt for.
Captain- Jos Buttler has to be the most popular choice of 'em all. One of the most destructive batsmen in the format, Buttler has the ability to change the complexion of any match in a jiffy and that's what makes him a star attraction for all fantasy players. You could back your guts too with bold picks of Shane Watson, Andrew Tye, Michael Klinger or even Joe Root.
Fantasy Suggestion #1- Buttler (WK), Root, Ferguson, Klinger, Turner, Sams, Agar, Coulter-Nile, Behrendorff, Fawad and Jono Cook. Captain- Jos Buttler
Fantasy Suggestion #2- Bancroft (WK), Sangha, Root, Watson, Klinger, Cartwright, Sams, Willey, Tye, Behrendorff and Fawad Ahmed. Captain- Shane Watson