Two former BBL Champions in the Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers square off in the Knockout at the Adelaide Oval. While the Strikers finished in the third place to earn a home game in the BBL Finals, Thunder had to get the better of the Hurricanes on Thursday to make it to the last four. Their previous encounter at the Adelaide Oval saw the Thunder beat the home side by a small margin of three runs.
The Strikers will be looking to avenge the defeat on New Year's Eve as they aim to qualify for the Challenger next week. While the home side are considered to be the favorites for this game, Sydney Thunder's top-heavy side is more than capable of inflicting yet another win upon them. Nevertheless, another riveting clash is on the cards with a lot at stake on Saturday. Here are a few tips to help you pick your Dream11 team for STR vs THU in the Knockout.
STR vs THU Teams:
Travis Head (C), Wes Agar, Harry Conway, Rashid Khan, Alex Carey, Michael Neser, Liam O'Connor, Phil Salt, Jake Weatherald, Matt Short, Jono Wells, Billy Stanlake and Peter Siddle.
Callum Ferguson (C), Liam Bowe, Jono Cook, Chris Tremain, Alex Hales, Usman Khawaja, Jay Lenton, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Morris, Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, and Brendan Doggett
Playing 11 Updates:
Although they lost their last league game to the Hurricanes, no changes are expected from the Strikers for this crucial encounter. The Strikers have a very balanced side with a lot of experience in the middle order as well. While their fortunes depend heavily on the trio of Jono Wells, Alex Carey and captain, Travis Head, the form of Phil Salt at the top of the order also bodes well for them. Three Strikers bowlers feature in the top ten leading wicket-taker for the season with Peter Siddle being the standout for the Strikers. With home conditions also favoring them, the Strikers should fancy their chances of a win on Saturday.
Possible XI: Salt, Weatherald, Head(C), Carey(WK), Wells, Short, Neser, Rashid, Stanlake, Siddle and Agar.
The Thunder should remain unchanged after their win in the Eliminator against the Hurricanes. With their backs up against the wall on Thursday, the Thunder put in their best performance of the season as they easily defended 197 in Hobart. While the usual suspects, Alex Hales and Daniel Sams went about their business in the same manner, the performances of Usman Khawaja and Jono Cook is a boost as they look to keep their campaign alive. The onus will be on their top order to pave the way for a win with a decent bowling attack in their ranks. With the pitch expected to help the spinners, the duo of Jono Cook and Arjun Nair will be crucial against the Striker's middle order in the Knockout.
Possible XI: Khawaja, Hales, Ferguson (C), Lenton(WK), Ross, Morris, Sams, Nair, Cook, Tremain and Doggett/Sandhu.
Adelaide Strikers vs Sydney Thunders, The Knockout
1st February 2020, 2:10 PM IST
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Although, the previous game at the Adelaide Oval hosted a run-fest between the Hurricanes and Strikers, a more competitive wicket awaits on Saturday. While the batsmen have enjoyed batting here, the pitch tends to slow down as the game progresses. Teams have preferred to bat first at this venue and should be no different with scoreboard pressure also playing its part in such high-octane games.
STR vs THU Dream11 Tips:
Wicket-keeper: Alex Carey is the obvious pick in the wicketkeeper's section with his counterpart, Jay Lenton batting too deep for anyone's liking. Moreover, Carey has done well this season in the middle order with his ability to play spin and pace equally well serving him nicely. Carey should be backed to add some runs to his tally of 363 runs against a good Thunder bowling attack.
Batsmen: Usman Khawaja and Alex Hales scored the fifties in the previous game with both of them scoring at a strike rate of more than 150. Both Thunder openers are decent options along with their captain, Callum Ferguson, who plays his cricket for the local side, South Australia in the domestic circuit. As from the Strikers roster, Jake Weatherald should get the nod over Phil Salt given his record in knockout games. If an extra Strikers batsman is required, the dependable Jono Wells would be a great pick.
Allrounders: Strikers captain, Travis Head is a must-have in the side owing to superior ability and additional bowling ability. Moreover, Head's record in knockout games is good with southpaw scoring 160 runs in four games. Along with him, the duo of Chris Morris and Daniel Sams also warranty a place in the fantasy side with both of them accounting featuring in the top five leading wicket-takers this season. Given their pinch-hitting prowess, both of them should earn a good number of fantasy points in this game.
Bowlers: Afghan leggie, Rashid Khan is the leading wicket-taker among spinners this year with 18 wickets at an average of 20.67. His batting prowess has also come to the fore with his season-best, 40(18) coming against the Thunder at this very venue. Wes Agar has been the surprise package this year for the Strikers with the lanky pacer picking 16 wickets so far. While he warranties a place in the side, the likes of Chris Tremain and Peter Siddle are also viable options due to their experience.
Captain: Usman Khawaja's record in knockout games is quite astonishing with the Queenslander averaging 114 in three outings. One of his knocks came in BBL 2015-16 against the Strikers itself as he entertained the Adelaide crowd with a sensational hundred. He is a very good multiplier pick along with Travis Head and Alex Carey, who are the lynchpins of the Strikers batting unit. Daniel Sams is a fine pick for the same considering his knack of picking wickets in the middle overs on a regular basis.
Dream11 Team Prediction:
Fantasy Suggestion #1:
Alex Carey, Callum Ferguson, Usman Khawaja, Jake Weatherald, Daniel Sams, Chris Morris, Travis Head, Rashid Khan, Wes Agar, Jono Cook, and Chris Tremain.
Captain: Usman Khawaja, Vice-Captain: Travis Head
Fantasy Suggestion #2:
Alex Carey, Alex Hales, Jake Weatherald, Usman Khawaja, Alex Ross, Travis Head, Daniel Sams, Peter Siddle, Rashid Khan, Wes Agar and Chris Tremain.
Captain: Alex Carey, Vice-Captain: Usman KhawajaPublished 31 Jan 2020, 16:00 IST