Big guns back to reach for the Stars
THE Melbourne Stars begin the second half of the Big Bash season next Saturday when all their international players should return to help get a floundering campaign back on track.
Following Friday night’s one-day international against India at the MCG, Stars captain Glenn Maxwell, batsmen Marcus Stoinis and Peter Handscomb, as well as spinner Adam Zampa are expected to be released for BBL duties.
But before that there’s one more chance for the green team to get a much-needed win against the Hobart Hurricanes at the MCG.
With the names set to return, tonight’s clash is probably Stars opener Evan Gulbis’ last hit at the top of the order and he aims to make it count.
The must-win clash against the ladder-leading Hurricanes will be Gulbis’ third as an opener, and the green team’s third game in just six days.
The first two were losses, played without the bevy of guns who officials hope will turn out for the second local derby of the season against the Renegades on Saturday, despite the tight turnaround.
Gulbis will likely resume his place in the Stars middle-order, despite back-to-back innings of 37, having not batted in the two previous matches.
The all-rounder also put on two consecutive 50-run partnerships with Ben Dunk, the team’s only half-century opening stands of the season.
But the recent problem for the Stars has been the batting has fallen off a cliff after the first two wickets. Fill-in skipper Nic Maddinson has made scores of two and five in his first two games for the Stars.
Knowing how much his team needs him, and how much better it is to open, Gulbis is going to let fly against the Hurricanes tonight.
“It’s good fun. It’s nice having two fielders out every time you bat rather than five,” he said. “I’m enjoying that role but I assume someone will take that role in the near future. I’ll certainly be trying to make the most of it while I can.”
The Stars raced to a 3-1 record through the opening four rounds, but now at the half-way mark have slipped to 3-4.