BBL expert tips and predictions - Brisbane vs Melbourne Stars

Jarnel Dhillon
Jarnel Dhillon
Big Bash predictions
Brisbane Heat vs Melbourne Stars at the Gabba!

Wooden spoon favourites, Melbourne Stars, will be heading over to the Gabba to face Brisbane Heat. Both teams looking to kick off with a winning start! 

News Insights

  • The Gabba will be almost sold out for the season opener
  • Colin Munro potentially leading the Heat 
  • The ‘Big Show’ Glenn Maxwell should be in the Stars lineup
  • Teams look certain to hit plenty of sixes

First of all the hosts, Brisbane Heat are coming into the BBL 13 season off a 5th placed finish last year. They narrowly missed out on a knockout spot by just a point. Colin Munro will be looking to spearhead the batting force of the Heat with his aggressive style of play. Heat will  also have Khawaja and Labuschagne available before they travel to Perth for the first test match against Pakistan. Stars will have Maxwell available and fit for selection after his unbelievable couple of months in India. They will also Scott Boland bowling his perfect line and length on the Gabba track. 

A View on the Teams

Brisbane Heat 

Probable XI:

  • U.Khawaja © 
  • J.Brown 
  • M.Labuschagne 
  • C.Munro 
  • S.Billings 
  • M.Bryant 
  • P.Walter 
  • X.Bartlett 
  • J.Wildermuth 
  • M.Kuhnemann 
  • M.Swepson 

A fair mix of brute force and batters who build an innings in the top 6 of the Heat. Labuschagne will be in at 3 to partner the brutality of Josh Brown and Colin Munro, he will also be used to absorb pressure if early wickets fall in the powerplay.  
It is likely that Khawaja will give Brown and Munro the licence to play their natural game whilst Labuschagne and himself look to play a slightly more patient innings. Billings, Walter and Bryant offer powerful death batting options. Swepson and Kuhnemann will make life difficult against the right-handed batsman, however it is likely the seamers will take the majority of wickets. The seamers should look to make the most of the bouncy nature of the Gabba pitch.  

Melbourne Stars

Probable XI: 

  • T.Rogers 
  • S.Harper 
  • G.Maxwell © 
  • N.Larkin 
  • M.Stoinis 
  • H.Cartwright 
  • L.Dawson 
  • J.Paris 
  • U.Mir 
  • N.Coulter-Nile 
  • S.Boland

The Stars are favourite in the betting markets to finish bottom this season. They managed to win just 3 games from 14 last season, collecting 6 points and finishing bottom by some distance. However, Glenn Maxwell is in some serious form and he will be looking to lead from the front but he will need some help from his teammates. Coulter-Nile and Boland will lead the pace department, while Dawson is the temporary replacement for Imad Wasim until his T10 commitments are completed. Stoinis will have a big job to hold the middle order together and provide powerful death hitting to give the bowling attack extra runs to play with.   

Stats Corner

Stats Corner 

The Ground

  • The average first innings score is 166 at the Gabba 
  • A wicket is lost every 24.61 runs on average 
  • 70% of teams batting first have won the match 

Brisbane Heat 

  • Brisbane average 8.12 run rate across their BBL history, this increases to 8.26 at home. 
  • Brisbane have a 23-32 W/L record at the Gabba 
  • In BBL 12 Brisbane conceded an average of 151 runs per innings 

Melbourne Stars 

  • Historically, struggled at the Gabba with a 3-5 W/L record. 
  • Stars concede 9.25 RPO at the Gabba 
  • Won 15 and Lost 26 in the last 3 BBL seasons 

Player Watch

Josh Brown is certainly a player to look out for on the Brisbane team. He is a no-nonsense batsman that only knows how to play one way, he knocked a ton off 40 balls in a warm up match too! He can be backed for Brisbane Top Batter @ 5.50 with Bet365.

Nathan Coulter-Nile will be leading the Stars pace attack in the opening match, he averages 23.23 in T20s with the ball and strikes at 130 with the bat. He is a very handy player and will be vital if the Stars are looking to push for Top 4 this season. He can be backed for Stars Top Bowler @ 4.40 with PlayUp.

Colin Munro has adopted a new aggressive style of play in recent years, which has proved fairly popular amongst T20 teams across the world. Watch out for his boundary hitting as he should be given full licence to go from ball one with cautious batters at the other end. He can be backed for Brisbane Top Batter @ 4.40 with PlayUp.

Match Predictions:

Both teams have plenty of powerful hitters in their batting lineups, I certainly predict a fair amount of sixes on a new Gabba strip. Keep an eye out for initial assistance to the seamers, especially Scott Boland for the Melbourne Stars. However, the majority of batters should be adapted to the high-bounce as there are not many players from the sub-continent. 

I believe the Heat will get the better of the Stars at home and I would look to back runs if Heat bat (after the new ball becomes soft). Back Heat at 1.80 with PlayUp.

Jarnel is currently based in the West Midlands, UK. He currently operates his day work in the gambling industry. He has plenty of experience in the major sports around the world, however he is our tennis and cricket expert! Jarnel is one of the youngest members in our team. He is an avid football fan and a season ticket holder at Wolverhampton Wanderers.