Power-packed Melbourne Renegades challenge awaits Sydney Thunder

Will Aaron Finch make up for the loss of Chris Gayle?
Will Aaron Finch make up for the loss of Chris Gayle?
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Third Match, Melbourne Renegades v Sydney Thunder
22nd December, Docklands, 19:40 local | 08:40 GMT

After losing their opening encounter to Sydney Sixers, the defending champions Sydney Thunder will be hoping to gather some momentum when they take on Melbourne Renegades in the upcoming Big Bash League 2016-17 campaign.

After a promising start from Ryan Gibson and partly from Eoin Morgan, Sydney Thunder collapsed from 71 for one and were restricted to 159 for eight in the 20 overs which didn't prove enough as Sydney Sixers coasted to a nine-wicket win.

They will be hoping for a better contribution from their stand-in skipper Ben Rohrer and their ace all-rounder Andre Russell, if they are to outmuscle Melbourne Renegades, who have a well balanced squad up their ranks.

The Renegades will dearly miss the services of Chris Gayle, who was their leading run-scorer last season. They decided against picking him for this season after his controversial comment but they still have Aaron Finch as their skipper, who will enjoy the support of Cameron White, Callum Ferguson, Peter Nevill and Tom Cooper.

Dwyane Bravo will lend a lot of balance to the side while the addition of Sunil Narine, Brad Hogg and James Pattinson (though will miss the clash on Thursday due to hamstring strain) will add a lot of power to their bowling department.

Face to Face:

In their only encounter last season, Sydney Thunder posted 173 batting first riding on 62 each from Usman Khawaja and Shane Watson. However, Melbourne Renegades had a tense chase which they completed in the 20th over with useful contributions from White and Bravo.

Players to Watch:

Aaron Finch:

He played just five matches last season and scored 246 runs at an average of 49 and strike-rate of 143. Having previously captained Australia in the T20 format and some experience of leading Indian Premier League teams will greatly aid his campaign for Melbourne Renegades this season.

Eoin Morgan:

England's limited overs captain can match anyone on his day. Even though he is not in best of form, he can win matches on his own with his destructive play.

Squads from:

Melbourne Renegades:

Aaron Finch (c), Cameron White, Peter Nevill, Nathan Rimmington, Callum Ferguson, Tom Cooper, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine, Xavier Doherty, Matt Short, Marcus Harris, Chris Tremain, Brad Hogg

Sydney Thunder:

Ben Rohrer (c), Fawad Ahmed, Pat Cummins, Jake Doran, Ryan Gibson, Chris Green, Clint McKay, Eoin Morgan, Arjun Nair, Kurtis Patterson, Gurinder Sandhu, Andre Russell, Kerrod White

© Cricket World 2016