Maxwell may open Stars’ bid for seven
A SHUFFLE to the Melbourne Stars’ top order could see superstar Glenn Maxwell open the batting in tonight’s Big Bash League blockbuster.
The Sunday Herald Sun understands Maxwell was last night in the frame to form a new opening combination with Englishman Luke Wright, as the Stars shoot for a seventh consecutive win against Melbourne Renegades.
Stars’ Boxing Day hero Robert Quiney has been ruled out with a tight hamstring and will be replace in the starting XI by Kevin Pietersen, who jetted into town this week.
Melbourne Renegades yesterday drafted powerful allrounder Trent Lawford into its squad and he looks set to debut in tonight’s MCG clash.
Lawford has been playing in New Zealand’s Super Smash Twenty20 tournament and was set to touch down in Melbourne last night.
The 28-year-old has played for Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Sixers, but enters with only eight Twenty20 matches to his name.
The fan favourite will replace Dwayne Bravo (hamstring) in the Gades’ line-up, but has officially taken Matthew Wade’s position on the club’s 18-man roster, as he is set to spend the entire BBL season in the Australian camp.
The Renegades are scouring the globe to sign an international star to replace Bravo.
Strike weapon James Pattinson (hamstring) will miss his third match and has not played for the Renegades since BBL04.
Injuries to Pattinson, Bravo and Peter Siddle (back) have left the red team’s attack thin for wicket-taking pace options.
Maxwell has traditionally batted below Pietersen at No. 4 in the Stars’ order, but excelled at No. 3 against Hobart Hurricanes on Boxing Day.
After opener Quiney departed for a brutal 75 (43), Maxwell steered the Stars to a comfortable victory.
He punched the winning runs off Stuart Broad to finish unbeaten on 59 (28).
“I do feel comfortable with the way I’m hitting the ball and the way I’m thinking about the game out there,” Maxwell said.
“I felt like I was still in second gear and I was striking at 200. I didn’t really try anything, I just waited for a ball to give me a bit of length and took advantage of it.”
Meanwhile, Maxwell and Pietersen will both wear player microphones during tonight’s broadcast.
The MCG is also expected to use narrower sight screens at tonight’s clash, which will open up extra seating.