The Sydney Sixers play the Brisbane Heat in the opening game of the first edition of the Big Bash League. The match will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
named a solid squad to begin with but injury issues have robbed them of some of its sheen. There is no Shane Watson for this game while Patrick Cummins is ruled out of the entire tournament.
There is another worry for the Sixers and it is to do with the lack of clarity around the availability of their captain Brad Haddin. Haddin is the national wicket-keeper and is under pressure to retain his place in the Australian squad after some poor batting in recent times. Coach Trevor Bayliss will have a problem deciding on the captain in case of Haddin’s absence.
The Brisbane Heats
have no major injury concerns barring the absence of overseas player Daniel Vettori. Vettori may have to skip the entire tournament thanks to his hamstring injury that occurred during the recently concluded tour of Australia. Nathan Hauritz should lead the spin bowling attack in Vettori’s absence.
With James Hopes as captain of the side and Darren Lehmann as coach, the combination can be expected to dole out a gritty performance in the middle. Matthew Hayden’s return to cricket will be keenly followed although it may not be easy for him to get going immediately.
Brendon McCullum will open the innings for Brisbane and if he gets going with the bat, the Heats should get off to a flier. His battle at the top of the innings against Sixers’ pace bowler Brett Lee could be the highlight of the game.