Back super Stars to outshine their Bash rivals
Melbourne franchise could prosper
Thunder v Sixers
BT Sport 2, 8.30am
Melbourne Stars were pipped by Sydney Thunder in a thrilling Big Bash final last season but the Stars are equipped to go one better this time around.
Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright and David Hussey form a vastly experienced batting core and Glenn Maxwell, Peter Handscomb and James Faulkner are terrific Twenty20 talents.
The Stars beat league winners Adelaide Strikers in last season’s semi-finals, thanks to Pietersen’s half-century and the excellence of spinners Michael Beer and Adam Zampa, before running into the inspired Thunder opener Usman Khawaja in the final.
Khawaja and his fellow Australia Test players will be available intermittently but the Stars should be required to chop and change their line-up less frequently than most rivals.
The Thunder kick off the tournament against Sydney Sixers this morning and most firms are struggling to split the city rivals.
A fit-again Pat Cummins is an exciting prospect for the Thunder. The paceman took 15 wickets in six Matador Cup matches for New South Wales and eight scalps in three ODIs against New Zealand this month.
Melbourne Stars to win Big Bash
2pts 9-2 general
P Cummins top Thunder wicket-taker
2pts 3-1 general