A profound look into the signings, team news and players availability of the Melbourne Stars for the 2020 Big Bash League along with a fantasy cheat sheet providing the fantasy potential of the Melbourne Stars players.
Coach: D Hussey
Captain: G Maxwell
BBL 09 Finish: Runners Up
Melbourne Stars (BBL 10) – Off-Season Signings/Trades
The perennial bridesmaids of the Big Bash will start this season in the hope of winning the elusive title which has always evaded them even after getting close to it several times. Stars won’t be able to avail the services of Lamichhane and H Rauf this season with the former moving to the Hurricanes and the latter pulled out due to national duty. They’ve replaced them with Zahir Khan and Dilbar Hussain both a downgrade compared to Lamichhane and Rauf. Other key signings include the next big thing from West-Indies, N Pooran who will be available for six games during the middle of the tournament. A Fletcher was the last-minute signing after J Bairstow pulled out due to a late England test call-up and will be available for the whole tournament. Regarding the local signings, the tall lanky pacer B Stanlake has made a move from the Strikers to join the Stars and they’ve also invested in the talented young batsman W Pucouski.
Melbourne Stars (BBL 10) – Talking Points
The Powerplay Slow Down
Melbourne Stars are one of the slowest starters with the bat in BBL history and last year was nothing different with them scoring at a rate of 6.4 runs per over while losing a wicket every 22 balls which meant they not only scored slow but were also vulnerable in doing so. The only team to lose the same amount of wickets in the Powerplay as them was Brisbane Heat but it is understandable since they were scoring at a terrific rate of 9.2 runs per over. Stars tried to solve this issue by signing J Bairstow a quick scorer up the order but they are now stuck with A Fletcher a big downgrade from Bairstow. The introduction of Power Surge will come across as a blessing in disguise for them with the two Powerplay overs being utilized well in the 10-20 phase than it might’ve been the old way.
Problems at the Death
Melbourne Stars success last season was primarily build on their exceptional bowling in all phases especially at the death where they were the best out of all the teams conceding runs at a rate of 9 runs per over only. The chief contributor to this success was Haris Rauf who impressed everyone with a mixture of pace, yorker and slower balls. In his absence, the death bowling options look pretty dull with D Hussey seeming to trust Rauf’s replacement Dilbar Hussain up to the task. While Dilbar has some good slower ball variations, he’s still pretty raw and inexperienced to execute such a role. How he manages to thrive at the death will likely decide Stars fortunes this year.
Melbourne Stars (BBL 10) – Fantasy Cheat Sheet
G Maxwell – G Maxwell’s batting form this IPL was that of a guy who has seen a cricket bat for the first time in his life with him failing to clear the ropes even once through the whole tournament. But his batting form witnessed a stark turnaround in the bilaterals against India as he played the midwicket slogs, reverse sweep, switch hits and all those funky shots judiciously batting in a way like he’s born to do it. It augurs well for him in the Big Bash with his off-spin adding additional value.
— Melbourne Stars (@StarsBBL) November 30, 2020
M Stoinis – Stoinis comes into this year’s Big Bash on the back of a stellar IPL season where he dominated both with bat and ball. But a side strain endured during the bilateral series has restricted him from bowling and he’ll play as a specialist batsman for the Stars at least for the first half of the season.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 12, 2020
A Zampa – He did quite well in the limited chances he got in the IPL and came back strongly after getting mauled by H Pandya in the bilateral series against India. Australian batsmen are usually vulnerable against leggies and Zampa’s quality will result in him bagging wickets for fun.
Melbourne Stars (BBL 10) – Value for Money Picks
Nathan Coulter-Nile – He wasn’t great in the IPL but wasn’t bad either and he’s all set to play the whole tournament for the Stars which makes him a value pick.
A Fletcher – Similar to NCN, he’s available for the whole season and is more likely to keep wickets which adds to his fantasy value. But whether he can deliver with the bat in the pace and bouncy Australian tracks is a big question mark.
Melbourne Stars (BBL 10) – Risky Ones
H Cartwright, B Dunk, & N Maddinson– All three of them are in contention for a single spot and it seems unclear as to who’s the front-runner for that spot.
N Pooran – There’s a lot of things that go against N Pooran this BBL, a). his availability which is a grand total of 6 matches, b). his troubles against pace and bounce and c). he will lose out on wicket-keeping points.
ALSO READ: Brisbane Heat Fantasy Team Preview
Melbourne Stars (BBL 10) – Differential Picks
D Hussain – He seems to be the designated death bowler for the Stars and his slower ones are capable of gaining him wickets in the Big Bash League 2020.
Zahir Khan – The chinaman from Afghanisthan will partner A Zampa in the middle-overs to form a potent spin bowling pair. He can turn the ball both ways but his control remains an issue. He had a decent CPL this year and should perform well.
B Stanlake – The last two seasons hasn’t gone his way with injuries and poor form hampering his performances. A switch from Strikers to Stars might bring in new fortunes for the tall pacer who seemed to have added some slower balls to his artillery.
Melbourne Stars (BBL 10) – Cheapies
The likes of J Coleman, N Larkin, W Pucovski, C Hinchcliffe and S Gotchwill surely get their chances at some point in the tournament and are easier to acquire due to their credentials.