Author : A Smith | Created : 2022-08-24 13:54:00
The Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Sixers will face-off in the first game of BBL07 at Simonds Stadium in Geelong on Saturday night.
Aaron Finch has won the toss and elected to bat in the first BBL07 match at Geelong's Simonds Stadium.
The Renegades captain, who was a part of Australia's World Cup campaign, said that he expected it to be a good wicket with some pace and carry.
"It's been an up-and-down few months but it's great to be back on home soil playing for your state," Finch told cricket.com.au after winning the toss.
"We love playing here – we're always well supported and there are plenty of people coming through every year."
The pitch is on the slower side and the outfield is quick. The pitch is on the faster side and the outfield is slow. The pitch is good. The pitch is bad. The wicket looks good, but it's hard to score runs off of it because of how dry it gets when you try to hit through cover or drive down straight mid-on's throat!
Renegades spinner Jack Wildermuth, who bowled well on Saturday to take 2-32, said they have a good record of chasing at the Simonds Stadium and that they are looking forward to the challenge.
"We've gotten close in some games, but we haven't got over the line yet," he said. "It's just about putting together a solid partnership at the top and taking it from there."
Steve Smith, who is playing his first BBL game in over three years, said he was happy with batting first too.
"It's good to get some momentum early," he said. "You've got that little bit of extra time to rotate your bowlers and let them have a rest and win the game."
The Sixers have made one change to their squad, with Sam Billings coming in for Johan Botha.
Billings is a wicketkeeper-batsman who has been brought in for his ability to bat at the top of the order and also keep wicket. The 25 year old averages 34.58 from 53 matches, including three centuries and 12 fifties. He was also part of England's Twenty20 World Cup squad last year but did not play any games. Billings is a talented fielder as well, having taken eight catches in his last two limited overs matches for Surrey against Worcestershire and Somerset respectively earlier this month alone! He's an exciting player who loves batting on big stages so we're sure he'll be looking forward to playing in front of such large crowds at Sydney Cricket Ground during BBL|08!
You can find the Renegades' full squad and information here.
The Renegades have no changes to their 13-man squad from last season's final loss to the Thunder.
Carlos Brathwaite is one of the most powerful batsman in world cricket at the moment. He has been phenomenal for the West Indies in ODIs and T20Is, scoring runs at a strike rate of around 175-180. This season he was among the top run-scorers in both BBL and IPL - smashing 174 runs off 54 balls against Hobart Hurricanes on Friday night.
Brathwaite is quite capable with the bat but has also shown that he can be handy with his bowling too. So far this season, he's taken three wickets from four matches while conceding 8 runs per over which isn't bad considering how many runs he's scored himself! He will definitely add value to any team but if you have him, then you may have to watch out for his international duties (he'll be leaving Perth soon).
The Geelong match is the first of the BBL07 season and a big crowd is expected.
The game will be played at Simonds Stadium, a new venue for the series. The stadium has a capacity of approximately 20,000 and will host its first ever cricket match later this week.
The last time cricket was played there was in 2011 when it hosted an international one day match between Australia and South Africa.
It will also play host to both men's and women's matches during this year's World Cup which gets underway next month in England and Wales
The Renegades will be looking to start their campaign with a bang, but the Sixers are at home and won't be easy to beat. The Sixers have been one of the best teams over the past couple of seasons and should be confident about their chances in this one