Hobart Hurricanes will take on defending champions Sydney Sixers in the opening match of the 2020 Big Bash League (BBL 2020) at Hobart on Thursday.
Sydney Sixers will be without their skipper Moises Henriques as he will be doing duty for Australia A in the tour match against India starting Friday ahead of the first Test on December 17. Sean Abbott is also set to miss the game as he is also included in Australia A squad. Daniel Christian might lead to Sixers in the absence of Henriques.
They will be without the services of Steve Smith and Josh Hazlewood throughout the season as the two will be doing duty in Australia vs India Test series. They have a few interesting new recruits in Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder, and Mitchell Starc, but only Brathwaite will be available throughout the season.
Hurricanes will be led by the in-form keeper-batsman Mathew Wade, who struck two consecutive fifties in the T20I series against India. They have a few exciting local talents in D'Arcy Short, James Faulkner, and Peter Handscomb, and have boosted their overseas pool by recruiting Colin Ingram of South Africa and Dawid Malan of England and Keemo Paul of West Indies.
Match Toss Time: 18:45 Local (13:15 IST)
Match Start Time: 19:15 Local (13:45 IST)
Match Venue: Bellerive Oval, Hobart
The weather will be cloudy, with temperatures hovering around 7 degrees Celsius to 16 degrees Celsius. Hence, it going to be cold. The good news is that rain is unlikely, and hence, full 40 overs is guaranteed.
Bellerive Oval, Hobart is a high scoring ground, with the team batting first winning all the three T20Is played at this ground. The pitch is likely to be good for batting, while there will be some purchase from the wicket for pacers.
Sixers will miss two of their first XI players in captain Henriques and Abbot as they will be doing duty for Australia A in the tour match against India. It would be tough to replace the two-star players. But that gives Sixers the opportunity to test their bench strength early on in the tournament. They have a bunch of all-rounders in Carlos Brathwaite, Daniel Christian, Jason Holder, and Steve O’Keefe and are spoilt for choices.
The good news for Hurricanes is that their skipper Mathew Wade is in prime form, and the team would look up to him to lead from the front. D’Arcy Short always performs in this tournament and is expected to lead the batting for Hurricanes again this season. The veteran James Faulkner will be leading the bowling attack, and a lot rests on him.
They have made a few smart choices in the overseas department, with Colin Ingram of South Africa, and England star Dawid Malan in their squad. A leg-spinner from Nepal, Sandeep Lamichhane, gives a boost to their spin quota. Overall, the Hurricanes have a good mix of players in all departments.
Possible Playing XI:
Hobart Hurricanes: Matthew Wade (c), D’Arcy Short, Macalister Wright, Colin Ingram, Peter Handscomb (wk), Mitchell Owen, James Faulkner, Nathan Ellis, Scott Boland, Riley Meredith, Will Parker
Sydney Sixers: Josh Philippe (wk), James Vince, Daniel Hughes, Jordan Silk, Carlos Brathwaite, Daniel Christian (c), Steve O’Keefe, Lloyd Pope, Jackson Bird, Ben Dwarshuis, Hayden Kerr
HH vs SS Fantasy Team
D’Arcy Short (HH), Colin Ingram (HH), James Vince (SS), Matthew Wade (HH), Josh Philippe (SS), Carlos Brathwaite (SS), Daniel Christian (SS), Steve O’Keefe (SS), James Faulkner (HH), Scott Boland (HH), Jackson Bird (SS).
Captain picks: Matthew Wade (HH), Carlos Brathwaite (SS)
Vice-Captain picks: D’Arcy Short (HH), James Vince (SS)
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