Defending champions Melbourne Renegades begin their BBL 2019-20 campaign on Thursday as they host Sydney Thunder in Geelong. While this is the season opener for the Renegades, Sydney Thunder has already started their campaign on the right note. A win at the Gabba against a formidable Brisbane Heat side has set the tone for the Thunder. However, they face a different proposition in Melbourne Renegades, who have made a few key additions to their roster.
While Thunder relies on the greater balance within its side, Renegades will bank on their experience and star power in this much-awaited clash. With both sides looking to get one over the other, another exciting contest beckons. Here are a few tips to help you pick your Dream11 team for REN vs THU.
Squads to choose from:
Aaron Finch (C), Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Tom Cooper, Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Harry Gurney, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Shaun Marsh, Joe Mennie, Mohammad Nabi, Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Beau Webster, Jack Wildermuth, Richard Gleeson.
Callum Ferguson (C), Jono Cook, Oliver Davies, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales, Usman Khawaja, Jay Lenton, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Morris, Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain
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Playing XI Updates:
The Renegades have stuck with same core group of players that won them last year's BBL although a couple of key additions have been made. Shaun Marsh will turn up in the Melbourne Renegades' jersey this year as he is set to feature alongside Aaron Finch. While Sam Harper is likely to open the batting, Tom Cooper should play as the floater in the middle order. Daniel Christian's prowess with bat and ball adds to the balance of the side. Two overseas pacers in Harry Gurney and Richard Gleeson are set to feature alongside Kane Richardson while Cameron Boyce plays as the lone spinner. One of Jack Wildermuth or Will Sutherland should complete the side for this game.
Possible XI: Finch(C), Harper(WK), Marsh, Cooper, Christian, Webster, Richardson, Sutherland/Wildermuth, Gurney, Gleeson and Boyce.
The Thunder should remain largely unchanged after a brilliant start to their BBL 2019-20 campaign. Chris Morris will be available from the next game with McAndrew likely to fill in till then. While the top trio of Khawaja, Hales and Ferguson is a formidable one, their fragile middle order will be under the scanner although Ross did get some runs in the previous game. Their bowling unit is a spin heavy one with globetrotter, Chris Green being crucial to their fortunes.
Possible XI: Khawaja, Hales, Ferguson (C), Gilkes(WK), Ross, McAndrew, Green, Sams, Cook, Tremain and Nair.
Melbourne Renegades vs Sydney Thunder, Match 3
19th December 2019, 1:40 PM IST
Simonds Stadium, Geelong.
Another decent batting track awaits the two sides with 170 being par at the venue. While the pacers and spinners should get some assistance, the batsmen will be able to play their natural game without much difficulty. The weather is absolutely fine for this game which paves the way for a good game of cricket on Thursday.
Fantasy Tips and Suggestions:
Wicket-keeper: While Matt Gilkes' form is quite decent, he is overlooked for Sam Harper for the wicket-keeper slot. The youngster scored a century in a practice game against Melbourne Stars and is set to open the batting as well. He looks good for a big score at the top of the order with his selection also boding well for the balance of the fantasy side in terms of credits.
Batsmen: Former Perth Scorchers' star, Shaun Marsh is a great pick considering his penchant for big runs. Along with the south-paw, the Thunder duo of Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson is also a must-have in the fantasy side. As for the final batting pick, one of Tom Cooper or the Australian limited-overs captain, Aaron Finch would suffice.
Allrounders: Aussie veteran, Daniel Christian should be one of the first names on the fantasy team sheet considering his vast experience and all-round prowess. Christian, who played a huge role in the Renegades' title run last season, is in decent form in 2019 as well. While Christian occupies one spot, Daniel Sams gets the nod for the second and final spot. The all-rounder is the Thunders' designated death bowler and is capable of clearing the boundary at will in the death overs, making him a good pick in the side.
Bowlers: Kane Richardson is a must-have pick in the side for obvious reasons. The Renegades pacer picked 24 wickets last season as he stood out as the leading wicket-taker in BBL 2018-19. He would love to continue in the same vein along with the likes of Richard Gleeson and Harry Gurney. While Chris Green is a handy option to have given his batting and fielding ability in addition to his off-spin, Arjun Nair is also a worth-while pick. Nair picked a couple of wickets in the first game which should give him the confidence to put in another good performance. Another viable option would be Chris Tremain, who featured for Melbourne Renegades last season with his incisive swing bowling being a sight to behold.
Captain: Usman Khawaja showed glimpses of what he is capable of in the first game against Brisbane Heat. He does look to be in good touch which makes him a dependable candidate for captaincy. Along with the Thunder opener, the Renegades duo of Shaun Marsh and Daniel Christian are also good picks to back with the multiplier options.
Fantasy Suggestion #1: Sam Harper, Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Callum Ferguson, Daniel Sams, Daniel Christian, Kane Richardson, Harry Gurney, Chris Green and Arjun Nair. Captain: Shaun Marsh, Vice-Captain: Usman Khawaja
Fantasy Suggestion #2: Sam Harper, Tom Cooper, Shaun Marsh, Callum Ferguson, Usman Khawaja, Daniel Christian, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Richard Gleeson, Chris Tremain and Chris Green. Captain: Usman Khawaja, Vice-Captain: Daniel Christian