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The weekend in Australia promises to be colorful as the much-awaited series decider between Australia and India is set to take place from Friday. Along with the epic clash, we also have the 40th match of BBL 2020 set to take place between the Melbourne Stars and Adelaide Strikers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The Stars have been on the receiving end in their last two outings and that has dropped them to the 7th spot in the points table, only ahead of the Renegades. The Stars do enjoy the cushion of one match and they will be hoping they can get a win here against the Strikers with the crucial bash point. 

The Strikers on the other side have been having a binary form of the tournament and find themselves placed in the 4th spot with 20 points. A win here could see them leap to the second position on the table and in turn cement their spot at the play-offs.

The previous encounter between the two sides went in favor of the Strikers. The Stars after winning the toss elected to bat first but things did not go according to their plan as a cluster of wickets meant that they were reduced to a below-par score of 149. The Strikers in reply lost their opener Renshaw early but ensured they got over the line with 5 wickets in hand.

Can the Strikers seal their play-offs spot? Or will Glenn Maxwell and Co. manage to bounce back?

Match Toss Time: 18:45 Local (13:15 IST)

Match Start Time: 19:15 Local (13:45 IST)

Match Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne

Weather Report

The conditions are well in favor of cricket. The temperature is expected to be hovering in the 19-15 degree Celsius and the humidity at the peak is likely to touch the 59 percent mark.

Pitch

Melbourne is all set to host their first match of the BBL 2020. The pitch was not used for the league as Cricket Australia wanted to keep the strip fresh for the clash between the Aussies and Indians. 

The pitch is slightly in favor of the batsmen and is expected to remain the same way. Said that the overcast conditions could favor the pacers especially in the initial stages of the innings. The team winning the toss should be looking to bat first.

Team News

Stars, though having the big names on their side, which includes the likes of Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell have not managed to make a mark this season. They will also be concerned with the form of their opener-Andre Fletcher, the West Indian is yet to make any significant contribution and he will have to step it up. 

Nick Larkin has been finding the going tough and he is likely to be replaced by the experienced wicket-keeper batsman Ben Dunk.

Strikers will have to overcome a huge setback as they will have to play the remainder of the tournament without their prime player- Rashid Khan. The star Afghani has left the country to join the Afghanistan team for their International campaign. 

He is very difficult to be replaced as his essence and variation to the side is close to none. He is likely to be replaced by the Australian all-rounder Matthew Short.

Probable Playing Xl

Melbourne Stars (STA): Andre Fletcher, Marcus Stoinis, Nick Larkin/ Ben Dunk, Glenn Maxwell (c), Nic Maddinson, Hilton Cartwright, Seb Gotch (wk), Adam Zampa, Sam Rainbird, Liam Hatcher, Haris Rauf

Adelaide Strikers (STR): Matt Renshaw, Philip Salt, Alex Carey (c & wk), Jonathan Wells, Jake Weatherald, Ryan Gibson, Matthew Renshaw, Daniel Worrall, Danny Briggs, Wes Agar, Harry Conway

STA vs STR Fantasy Team

STA vs STR Fantasy team BBL
Cricwizz Fantasy Team

Alex Carey, Jake Weatherald, Philip Salt, Nic Maddison, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Renshaw, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa, Liam Hatcher, Wes Agar

Captain Picks: Marcus Stoinis (STA), Wes Agar (STR)

 Marcus Stoinis BBL
 Marcus Stoinis (STA)

Vice-captain Picks: Alex Carey (STR), Glenn Maxwell (STA)

Alex Carey BBL
Alex Carey (STR)

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