|Date||Ground||Home||Big Bash Matches||Away||Live TV||Live Odds|
|Sat 17th Dec||MCG 7:00pm||Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder||Fox Sports 2 6:30pm||Betting|
|Tues 20th Dec||GABBA 6:30pm||Brisbane Heat vs Melbourne Stars||Fox Sports 2 7:00pm||Betting|
|Tues 27th Dec||SCG 7:00pm||Sydney Sixers vs Melbourne Stars||Fox Sports 2 6:30pm||Betting|
|Wed 4th Jan||MCG 7:00pm||Melbourne Stars vs Perth Scorchers||Fox Sports 2 6:30pm||Betting|
|Sat 7th Jan||MCG 7:00pm||Melbourne Stars vs Melbourne Renegades||Fox Sports 2 6:30pm||Betting|
|Mon 9th Jan||Blundstone Arena 7:00pm||Hobart Hurricanes vs Melbourne Stars||Fox Sports 2 6:30pm||Betting|
|Thur 19th Jan||MCG 7:00pm||Melbourne Stars vs Adelaide Strikers||Fox Sports 2 6:30pm||Betting|
When he is at his best, Cameron White is close to the best T20 player in the world. He’s not the biggest man on the planet, but he brings an intimidating aura when he walks out to bat that has bowlers shaking in their boots. The 28-year-old has been in solid T20 form of late at international level. White has scored 39, 28 and 39 in his past three innings and has cemented his spot in the side after a mini lean patch in early 2011. The aggressive right-hander is an excellent leader and tactician. He will lead the Stars superbly, both with the bat and in the field.
You could probably call David Hussey the perfect T20 player. He is an outstanding batsman, who can adapt to certain situations quicker than Usain Bolt can run 100 metres. But the 34-year-old is just as effective with the ball and in the field, taking 44 wickets and 89 catches in his domestic T20 career so far. Hussey’s flexibility across all disciplines makes him a big asset for the Stars and one of the most valuable recruits across the league. He is also incredibly consistent and reliable, so you will always know what you’re going to get with him.
Has there ever been a bigger name in world cricket than Shane Keith Warne? Probably not. Therefore the Stars have struck gold by recruiting the greatest leg spin bowler to ever walk this earth. He may be 42, but Warne is looking fitter than ever and should be in reasonable form after four reasonably successful years with the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. The biggest challenge for Warne will be to overcome the hype and just be himself. He is a brilliant tactician and has adapted to the T20 style well. No doubt all eyes will be on Warne when he takes to the field this summer.
WHERE WILL THEY FINISH?
On paper, the Stars look as solid as any other team in the competition.
There are a fair chunk of players on the Stars’ roster that played in the four Big Bash titles Victoria won over the past six years. Therefore there should be a good chemistry amongst the majority of players when they hit the field.
Their batting line-up is destructive – scaringly destructive. Along with White and Hussey, the Stars have a number of big hitters in George Bailey, Rob Quiney, Adam Voges and Matthew Wade. If any of those players get into some form, watch out!
Perhaps one thing that could work against the Stars is their far from ideal schedule. They have a nicely spread schedule in December, but play three games in nine days in early January, which could prove costly if there are any unwanted injuries.
Melbourne could also be missing a few players to international duties. The Australian Test team will be playing India during the Big Bash League, meaning the in-form combination of Peter Siddle and James Pattinson might not be available for selection. So the likes of Luke Wright and James Faulkner will have to step up to the plate.
Nonetheless, the Stars will be one of the best teams in the league and are a very good chance to feature in the final – maybe win the whole thing.
To Make The Final ($2.85 – Centrebet)
Most Tournament Runs – David Hussey ($5.50 – Sportingbet)