The 10th edition of the KFC Big Bash League will commence on Thursday (December 10) as the Hobart Hurricanes take on defending champions Sydney Sixers in the opening fixture at the Blundstone Arena in Hobart.
The visitors look a more settled side, with a slew of all-rounders in their ranks and Moises Henriques at the helm. While the Sixers have James Vince and Josh Philippe to start the innings with a flourish, they have the firepower of Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite and Daniel Christian to strike lusty blows at the death.
In the bowling department, they can avail the services of speedster trio Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird and Ben Dwarshius, along with leg-spinner Lloyd Pope and left-arm orthodox bowling all-rounder Steve O’Keefe.
The Hurricanes too look a formidable side under the leadership of in-form skipper Matthew Wade, who smashed 58 and 80 in the last two T20Is against India. But they will be dearly missing the services of Dawid Malan (quarantine until Dec 18), Keemo Paul (available from Dec 25) and Sandeep Lamichhane (available from early January).
While they have the batting strength in D’Arcy Short, Wade, Peter Handscomb and Colin Ingram, the Hurricanes’ bowling line-up seems a bit inexperienced. James Faulkner continues to be a bankable option, but the likes of Scott Boland, Riley Meredith and Nathan Ellis will not be much of a threat against a star-studded Sixers line-up.
Nonetheless, the beginning of a season means that both teams will start afresh and without any sort of momentum to fall back on. While the Sixers’ all-rounders would be looking to plunder runs at the death, the Hurricanes’ batsmen would aim to maximise the powerplay overs to make a match of the opening BBL 2020-21 fixture.
Check the Big bash live score, click here.
Date: December 10, 2020 (Thursday)
Time: 1:45 PM IST / 7:15 PM Local Time
Venue: Blundstone Arena, Hobart
It will be a chilly morning in Hobart with temperatures hovering between 10 and 13 degrees Celsius. There are no signs of rain and all 40 overs are expected to be completed without any interruption.
The start of the season means that the pitch in Hobart will be fresh and hard. While the batsmen will enjoy the ball coming on to the bat and then hitting through the line, fast bowlers will get some purchase off the wicket early on. The significance of the dew factor is not known yet, so the captain winning the toss should elect to bat first and put around 170 runs on the board.
Hobart Hurricanes predicted XI: D’Arcy Short, Macalister Wright, Colin Ingram, Peter Handscomb (C & wk), Mitchell Owen, James Faulkner, Johan Botha, Nathan Ellis, Scott Boland, Riley Meredith, Will Parker.
Sydney Sixers predicted XI: Josh Philippe (wk), Daniel Hughes (c), James Vince, Jordan Silk, Nick Bertus, Carlos Brathwaite, Daniel Christian, Ben Dwarshius, Lawrence Neil-Smith, Steve O’Keefe, Lloyd Pope.
The Sydney Sixers will go into the opening fixture as favourites. With all three overseas stars available to start – as compared to just one for the Hobart Hurricanes – the Moises Henriques-led outfit look the stronger side on paper.
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