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HomeBBLSydney Thunder vs Melbourne Stars Preview + Dream11

Sydney Thunder vs Melbourne Stars Preview + Dream11



Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

Sydney Thunder vs Melbourne Stars Preview + Dream11

Two sides who are looking to improve on last season’s efforts go head-to-head in Canberra. While conditions will be nothing like yesterday’s Sydney Storm, some rain is expected in the nation’s capital. Hopefully, viewers should still be treated to an exciting clash between two sides with good players on paper.

Sydney Thunder have largely disappointed in BBL, despite winning the tournament in BBL05. Their title success in 2015/16 was the only time they qualified for the tour four, constantly hampered by reliance on one or two players such as Chris Gayle, Usman Khawaja, Eoin Morgan or Shane Watson. With Shane Bond the coach, and a talented Thunder squad this season, can the Thunder kick off a promising season in positive fashion?

Melbourne Stars have qualified for the finals six times, but unlike the Thunder, have never won the tournament. Last season was by far the Stars’ worst, finishing last. However, they possess a squad that can see them be the most improved on last season, containing the likes of Dwayne Bravo, Glenn Maxwell and Nepalese sensation Sandeep Lamichhane. Will it be the Stars that will win the battle of the green tonight?

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Key to a Sydney Thunder win

Sydney Thunder possess two players central to England’s ODI resurgence since 2015. Jos Buttler has announced himself as arguably the best keeper-batsman in limited overs cricket, and Joe Root has had a magnificent last few years in ODI Cricket. These two will be key in helping set up a strong platform for Thunder, in conjunction with the likes of Shane Watson and Callum Ferguson. Will the Thunder put together a cohesive batting display – something that has been a rarity in recent years?

Also, the Manuka Oval track in Canberra is one of the slower ones in Australia, and the Thunder possess a battery of spinners who can take advantage. Fawad Ahmed has been a key performer, and will be key again, so too Chris Green and Arjun Nair who will be tasked with providing economical overs. While the seam attack looks a touch light this season, Gurinder Sandhu and Daniel Sams have showed promise in this competition before, and they will be key in picking up wickets in all three stages of the innings.

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Key to a Melbourne Stars win

Melbourne Stars’ aging squad caught up with them a little last season. However, the additions of Sandeep Lamichhane and Dwayne Bravo can rejuvenate them, and will be looking for an immediate impact from these two.

On the batting front, Ben Dunk, leading run scorer twice in BBL, was poor last season, and will be key to a good night for the Stars in Canberra. With an in-form Nick Larkin likely to get a Stars debut, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis, the Stars have enough on paper to pick up a strong total.

However, what can the Stars deliver with the ball? Sydney Thunder possess arguably a top order heavy batting line up, so early and regular wickets for the Stars will be crucial. Adam Zampa showed very encouraging signs for Australia against India recently, Sandeep Lamichhane is a spin sensation, and both will need to be supported well by the likes of Scott Boland, who has dominated Shield Cricket so far this season. Also, can the allrounders – Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Dwayne Bravo – chip in with effective overs?

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Predicted Playing XIs

Sydney Thunder have named their 13-man squad. One of Sam Rainbird, Jono Cook and academy bowler Nathan McAndrew could get a look in.

Sydney Thunder: 1. Jos Buttler (wk), 2. Shane Watson (c), 3. Joe Root, 4. Callum Ferguson, 5. Jason Sangha, 6. Arjun Nair, 7. Nathan McAndrew/Sam Rainbird, 8. Chris Green, 9. Daniel Sams, 10. Gurinder Sandhu, 11. Fawad Ahmed

Melbourne Stars have also named their 13-man squad. Five players could make their club debuts – Nick Larkin, Dwayne Bravo, Travis Dean, Sandeep Lamichhane and Lance Morris.

Melbourne Stars: 1. Nick Larkin, 2. Ben Dunk (wk), 3. Glenn Maxwell (c), 4. Evan Gulbis, 5. Dwayne Bravo, 6. Marcus Stoinis, 7. Adam Zampa, 8. Sandeep Lamichhane, 9. Michael Beer, 10. Scott Boland, 11. Jackson Coleman


Plenty of talent on display for Dream11. Below is my side with a few pointers.

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Sydney Thunder vs Melbourne Stars Preview + Dream11: Dream11Team
  • Jos Buttler is my keeper. All class.
  • Joe Root and Shane Watson are two of the Thunder’s best batsmen. Watson is my skipper.
  • Nick Larkin has been in magnificent form for NSW, and offers good value.
  • Glenn Maxwell and Dwayne Bravo are the two Melbourne Stars allrounders in my side. With spin to play a role on what could be a slowish surface, I’ve decided to leave Marcus Stoinis out.
  • Spin-trio Sandeep Lamichhane, Adam Zampa and Fawad Ahmed make my side, so too the promising pacer Daniel Sams.

Stats and Facts

  • Head-to-Head: Matches 8, Sydney Thunder 5, Melbourne Stars 3
  • Shane Watson was fifth-highest run scorer in BBL07 (331).
  • Melbourne Stars finished last in BBL07 – the first time they have missed the finals.


Promises to be an exciting clash, provided the weather holds. Despite my prediction that Melbourne Stars will improve this season, I back Sydney Thunder to do well in Canberra.

Sydney Thunder to win.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. I recently partnered with the awesome team at 

Hope you enjoy my cricket tips on the OnlineCricStore Blog!

Sydney Thunder vs Melbourne Stars Preview + Dream11

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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