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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Turner

2023/24 GameDay Squad AUS Cricket Team Preview: Melbourne Stars

2023/24 GameDay Squad AUS Cricket Team Preview: The Stars had a BBL12 to forget as they only had three wins over the tournament. They haven’t made a finals appearance since BBL9, and I don’t think they will this year either. Over the history of the BBL, the Stars are one of two teams that haven’t won a championship, but they have made eight trips to the finals. They have played 139 games, won 68, lost 70 and had 1 no result.

This season the Stars go into the BBL13 with six new faces, and they are Sam Harper, Joel Paris, Scott Boland, Mark Steketee, Haris Rauf and Usama Mir. We have seen the number of matches in the round robin decrease from fourteen to ten for each team this season. For the Stars to reach the finals, I believe the magic number of wins will need to be five. If the Stars are to make the finals it will be off the back of Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis in my opinion. I just don’t think they have the batting depth that other teams do and on paper the other teams seem to have more talent in this area.

The Stars open their season against the Heat on Thursday the 7th of December at the Gabba. Beau Webster and Mark Steketee will both be unavailable as they have been selected in the Prime Minister’s XI squad for the four day match against Pakistan starting on the 6th of December. Haris Rauf is likely to be unavailable as well due to the Pakistan Cricket Board expected to delay the No-Objection Certificate he requires to participate in the BBL. I favor the Heat in this match but if Maxwell can turn it on, the Stars might be unstopped.

Team Preview

Squad (Averages and position rank for BBL12 included)

Joe Burns – Batter Avg 20, Rank 28

Campbell Kellaway – Batter Avg 13, Rank 37

Nick Larkin – Batter, Avg 23, Rank 25

Thomas Rogers – Batter, Avg 35 Rank 13

Nathan Coulter-Nile – All-rounder, Avg 43, Rank 6

Hilton Cartwright – All-rounder, Avg 31, Rank 17

Glenn Maxwell – All-rounder (Did not play in BBL13)

Marcus Stoinis – All-Rounder, Avg 33, Rank 16

Beau Webster – All-rounder, Avg 45, Rank 5

Liam Dawson – All-rounder (Did not play in BBL13)

Sam Harper – Wicketkeeper Avg 35, Rank 5

Scott Boland – Bowler (Did not play in BBL13)

Mark Steketee – Bowler, Avg 35, Rank 19

Brody Couch – Bowler, Avg 43, Rank 10

Joel Paris – Bowler, Avg 28, Rank 28

Haris Rauf – Bowler (Did not play in BBL13)

Usama Mir – Bowler (Did not play in BBL13)

BBL12 stats from matches played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

· Six games played; Stars lost four of them.

· Team winning the toss won one match.

· Chasing team won four matches.

· Average first innings score of 147 (lowest 108 / highest 183)

· Batter GDS average 26 points per match

· All-rounder GDS average 38 points per match

· Bowler GDS average 35 points per match

· Wicketkeeper GDS average 42 points per match

· 73 wickets taken by bowlers, 48 to seam and 25 to spin

Player To Watch – Thomas Rogers (Batter)

Rogers was the pick of the Stars batters in BBL12 and he’s likely to open the batting which is what we like to see for a batter in fantasy. He finished among the top three batters in nine of his fourteen matches in BBL12. Rogers is currently playing for Victoria in the 2023/24 Marsh Cup (Australia’s domestic 50 over competition). His form has been patchy in this competition and he’s averaging 26 runs. His best knocks have been 45 vs Tasmania, 42 vs Queensland and 38 vs NSW. He can be a GDS stud, but he would need to start converting some more of his 30+ run innings into fifties. In BBL12 he made it past 30 runs in five of his innings but only converted one of these good starts into a fifty.

Most Valuable Player – Glenn Maxwell (All-Rounder)

Glenn Maxwell is one of those players every team wants in their side. He can pull off a match winning performance at any stage and we saw this recently in the Cricket World Cup against Afghanistan. He didn’t play in BBL12, but he is the most experienced player in the Stars squad for BBL13. He’s played 100 matches in the BBL and scored a total of 1233 runs (average of 33.84). He has taken 37 wickets at a strike rate of 26.41. He may not fire in every game but I’m the sort of fantasy coach that loves to start players that offer a very high ceiling and Maxwell this in spades.

Biggest Bust Candidate - Joel Paris (Bowler)

Paris is currently playing for Western Australia in the 2023/24 Sheffield Shield (Australia’s domestic first-class competition). He has been in great form in the three matches that he has played and has taken 18 wickets. This includes a 10-wicket bag against South Australia. However, Paris is likely going to be a bowler that I’m not going to play in my squad that often. The main reason is that the Stars have nine bowling options. Who knows which bowlers will bowl their full complement of overs from game to game. In BBL12 Paris bowled four overs in three of his nine matches and the Hurricanes didn’t have the bowling depth that the Stars do. Also, he only finished among the top three bowlers in three of his nine matches in BBL12. Paris will be a risky play in most matches due to the bowling depth of the Stars and he will be my biggest bust candidate.

Predicted Starting XI

1. Thomas Rogers

2. Sam Harper

3. Glenn Maxwell

4. Nick Larkin

5. Marcus Stoinis

6. Hilton Cartwright

7. Liam Dawson

8. Joel Paris

9. Usama Mir

10. Nathan Coulter-Nile

11. Scott Boland


 AUS Cricket Team Preview


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