BBL|04 Melbourne Stars Preview

In

Michael Beer (Perth Scorchers)

Luke Feldman (Sydney Thunder)

Kevin Peitersen (Melbourne Stars)

Tom Triffit (Perth Scorchers)

 

Out

Brad Hodge (Adelaide Strikers)

Matthew Wade (Melbourne Renegades)

James Muirhead (Perth Scorcehers)

Mohammed Hafeez (Pakistan)

Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)

The Internationals

Kevin Pietersen (England)

Luke Wright (England)

KP is pointing at you!
KP is pointing at you!

The XI

1. Cameron White *

2. Luke Wright

3. Kevin Peitersen

4. Glenn Maxwell

5. Dave Hussey

6. James Faulkner

7. Tom Triffit +

8. John Hastings

9. Scott Boland

10. Michael Beer

11. Jackson Bird

The Squad

Luke Feldman – injured in last Shield match. Not sure when he will be available.

Marcus Stoinis – I’m hearing he has broken a finger no word on a replacement player as yet

Peter Handscomb – injured a finger and will be out for 3 weeks replaced by Tom Triffit from the Supplementary list.

Alex Keath

Clint McKay

Rob Quiney

Clive Rose

Daniel Worrall

The Analysis

Glenn Maxwell and probably Cameron White will be called up for ODI duty at the back end of the season, but it really shouldn’t cause too much concern for the Stars given the depth and quality of their squad.

The Stars went all out in October announcing the signing Alex Keath, Marcus Stoinis and James Muirhead to multi year deals. In November they then traded 22 year old Muirhead to Perth Scorchers in return for 31 year old Michael Beer. It’s been a topsy turvey year for Muirhead – selected to play for T20 Australia in January, World T20 in March, sign an extension at your club in October then be traded out in November. Bizzare.

The Stars have moved smartly on their internationals, and selected two English players, Luke Wright and Kevin Peitersen who are out of favour with the national  set up and therefore will be available for the entire tournament. Luke Wright is a proven BBL performer add to that the Big Cheese, sorry, Big Dog, KP and it equals ego time at the MCG. Kevin is a winner so he will want to win the BBL, the World Cup will pale in comparison for Kevin, because Kevin is all about Kevin. Good luck! The loss of Brad Hodge probably won’t even be felt with a middle order of KP, Glen Maxwell and Dave Hussey.

The squad is full of Australian representatives. Look for James Faulkner to be given extra responsibilities as the number one allrounder, and the back ups outside the XI are pretty handy too – Rob Quiney and Clint McKay for example.

A Player to watch in BBL|04: James Faulkner
A Player to watch in BBL|04: James Faulkner

Clive Rose is a handy back up spin option to Michael Beer. Jackson Bird is on the return form injury and Queensland Luke Feldman joins the sqaud – on his 4th BBL team in just 4 seasons: Hurricanes, Sixers, Thunder and now Stars – joins the squad.

I expect Dave Hussey to play the sinker role as perfected by Simon Katich – ie sinking down the order so that he doesn’t bat and giving more oportunities to young bucks like Faulkner and Marcus Stoinis when he recovers from his broken finger

The wicket keeping position is the only one presenting any issues with Matthew Wade departing and Peter Handscomb a ready made replacement until he broke his finger. Former WA and Tasmanian keeper Tom Triffit has been drafted in as a replacement until Handscombe regains fitness.

The Prediction

With the amount of Australian representatives at their disposals the Stars have been big underachievers in the BBL despite regualrly being pre tournament favourites. This year with regular internationals I’m predicting they will improve but not enough to win the Big Bash.

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