Tom Banton, Chris Lynn, Max Bryant, Ben Dunk, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Ben Cutting, Sandeep Lamichhane, Adam Zampa, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Brown
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates
Captain: Marcus Stoinis
Stars’ most important player, who dazzled as opener last season, is probably the best pick against a Heat bowling unit that looked bleak after a good start in the first game. He was Stars’ leading run-getter last season and just behind Dwayne Bravo, their leading wicket-taker, so points could be on offer everywhere.
Vice-captain: Tom Banton
We are still on the Banton hype train, and with his 150+ strike rate and his potential to score big, he could be Stars’ worst nightmare. Without Liam Plunkett and Bravo, Banton would be facing less experienced bowlers and he should relish that.
One of the first names in Stars’ team sheet is coming into the season as the top-scoring batsman of the Mzansi Super League. A left-hander opener is a fantasy delight, anyways. He has a strong bond with Stoinis at the top of the order and with a Heat bowling line-up short of confidence, Dunk could be among the runs.
No Plunkett, no Bravo and in comes Nathan Coulter-Nile to bolster the attack for the Stars. With 17 wickets for Western Australia in seven games, Coulter-Nile is hot and will be raring to go in his first full BBL season in a long time.
Maxwell could be a better pick over Chris Lynn mainly because Lynn has a poor record against spinners and Stars have Zampa and Lamichhane in their ranks. Maxwell’s break could work against him but we are giving him the nod based on his experience and T20 prowess.
A new look batting unit for the Heat will need Cutting’s experience in the middle order and with his ability to get among the wickets, he could be among the top point getters for this game. Your second allrounder after Stoinis.
The Heat have the big-hitters, and that’s exactly the challenge 19-year old Lamichhane will be looking forward to. Coming into the season with wickets in the Abu Dhabi T10 and with Nepal, Lamichhane will look at the collapse Heat had in their first game with plenty of hope.