Just three years ago, Melbourne Renegades were the best team in the competition and celebrated their first-ever title triumph. Then no one knows what hit them that they finished the next two campaigns dead last.
Two straight seasons of sub-par results mean that changes were imminent, and it’s exactly what happened in the summer. Off went coach Michael Klinger and in came David Saker, while Nic Maddinson was imported from the other Melbourne side and he immediately took over the captaincy role, although he won’t be available for this match as he is currently with the Australia A side. Kane Richardson will lead in his absence as Aaron Finch is out injured.
Among foreign recruits are Afghanistan’s Zahir Khan, England’s Reece Topley, and India’s Unmukt Chand, giving the Renegades a better squad than the one they had finished last with last year.
Adelaide Strikers were a paragon of mediocrity last year. They did just enough in round-robin stages to make the playoffs where they got bounced in the very first game.
They’ve not made wholesale changes and why would they? They weren’t all bad, after all. Much of their focus in the off-season was to retain their squad, to which they’ve added George Garton and a few others. Michael Neser, however, has left them.
Vice-captain Alex Carey won’t be a part of the squad as he is currently away on national duty for the Ashes. That weakened an already weak batting unit. Their bowling unit, though, packs quite a punch and may, at some point, feature a rare leg-spin duo.