ODI stars set for BBL Melbourne derby
Finch a confirmed starter for the Renegades on Saturday night, while Stars could welcome back four key players
15 January 2019, 12:11 PM AEST
Australia’s one-day stars will be available for Saturday night’s blockbuster KFC BBL Melbourne derby at Marvel Stadium.
With the three-match Gillette ODI series against India concluding at the MCG on Friday, Melbourne Renegades have confirmed they will welcome back skipper Aaron Finch in a welcome boost to their batting line-up.
Captain Glenn Maxwell, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa could also feature for Melbourne Stars.
While a final decision has not been made on how many of the national representatives will play, the clash between the fierce rivals is set to benefit from some added star power.
The derby shapes as a crucial fixture, with the Renegades sitting in fifth position with a 4-4 win-loss record and the Stars in last spot at 3-5.
The Stars have lost their past three matches, while the Renegades were hammered by Brisbane Heat in Geelong on Sunday.
"I hope they're available. I know they all want to play," Stars stand-in skipper Nic Maddinson said after Monday night’s loss to tournament favourites Hobart Hurricanes.
"I know when they left, they were pretty keen to get back for that next game straight after the one-dayer but it obviously depends on that team and who's released.
"Speaking to them the last couple of days, they all want to get back here and be playing for us."
Finch and Handscomb were part of Australia’s squad for the Domain Test series against India but have been overlooked for the coming two-match series against Sri Lanka, which starts at the Gabba in Brisbane on January 24.
Both impressed in their only appearances of BBL|08 so far, with Finch making 42 against the Hurricanes on January 7 and Handscomb punching out a matchwinning 70 against Sydney Sixers on December 27.
Allrounder Stoinis made an unbeaten 78 at the top of the order to lead his team to a seven-wicket victory when the two Melbourne teams last met on New Year’s Day. Maxwell is yet to post a half-century in BBL|08 but has been a consistent performer, while Zampa has five wickets from as many games.
Saturday night’s match will start at 6:45pm AEDT.