A couple of days of break later, the Big Bash League will see the Melbourne Renegades looking to extend their stay in the tournament when they take on the hapless Sydney Thunder tonight. Join us for live scores from 7.40pm AEDT.
At around this stage last season, the Renegades were all but through to the semi-finals of the competition while the Thunder were in a situation no different.
Aaron Finch’s batting had fired the Renegades to four wins from their five games while the Thunder were on their way to winning nothing in the competition.
Now, the Renegades are on only four points and in a dire need of at least two wins from their remaining three matches while the Thunder have quickly reached that stage where all they can do is to go out there and have fun. And try to win at least one.
The Renegades will be bolstered for this game by the return of Finch and James Pattinson, both of whom have been released by Cricket Australia to play this one before they move back to the Australian ODI team for their second match against England.
And with the Renegades playing their last couple of games around the same time when Australia take on England in their second and third ODI, there is every chance they will lose the duo yet again and for games against the Sixers and the Strikers.
What does that translate into?
The team from Melbourne need to win this one without fail to keep themselves in the hunt for a place in the last-four and expect them to come out all guns blazing.
Unfortunately for the Thunder, the board hasn’t sanctioned the release of either Michael Clarke or David Warner, leaving the team quite short on star power. The lack of experience in both, their batting and bowling, has been shown up and captain Michael Hussey’s solo efforts have gone unrewarded.
Well, there is something to cheer for the Thunder fans though. Swashbuckling Sri Lankan opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan has been brought into the 13-man squad and while a late fitness test will decide on his selection in the XI, his presence could act as a confidence-trigger.
The signs, however, haven’t been great from the Thunder, who, after running their opponents close in their opening four games, have been brushed aside with a lot of disdain in their next two.
The question is whether the Renegades can push their opponents’ losing streak to 20 games or if Hussey, Dilshan, Dirk Nannes and co. will pull one back for the Thunder.
Join us for the Melbourne Renegades vs Sydney Thunder match in the Big Bash League 2013-14 on Tuesday and you can follow the live score of this game from 7.40pm AEDT and post your comments below.