The new year has been kind for Melbourne Renegades. After finishing 2021 with five straight defeats, the Gades are now unbeaten in their opening two fixtures of 2022, although the first one was abandoned due to rain and they had to share points with Sydney Sixers.
Their last match, however, was clean, with them defeating city rivals Melbourne Stars, who were missing a staggering 12 players due to Covid and clearly appeared a shadow of their usual self.
The Renegades took advantage of the Stars’ weakness and registered a five-wicket win, which was largely the effort of their bowlers, who skittled out the other Melbourne side for a mere 126.
The run chase had a bit of a bump when the Gades slipped from 73-1 to 91-5 but Mackenzie Harvey and James Seymour got their team over the line.
England’s Reece Topley has left for national duty but James Pattinson should be back.
Brisbane Heat saw their rescheduled clash with Sydney Sixers postponed again after more Covid cases in their camp left them without enough players to form a playing squad.
The franchise released a statement to address their scant options but remained confident that they will have enough players for the Renegades fixture.
Fakhar Zaman of Pakistan is likely to be one of those replacements, with other reinforcements being local Melbourne players. The hard-hitting leftie will be asked to carry a batting unit that is missing a dozen names.
With the Heat missing so many players, the side that takes the field would likely be very different from that beat Hobart on Jan 1. Thus, form and strategies largely go out the window with them.