Brisbane Heat urgently need a win to kickstart their campaign. Paul Krishnamurty says these opponents provide the perfect opportunity...
"Based on a simplistic comparison to last year, we may be in store for a run-fest. The first of six matches at the Metricon Stadium produced a 193/194 thriller...I'd much prefer that Heat line-up to hit a big total."
Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Renegades
Monday, 08:15 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
Last season. Brisbane Heat overcame a poor start to come within one win of a place in the final. They will need to do so again, having lost their first two. However, despite outright odds of 24.023/1, their task is not insurmountable given they were 0/3 last year.
Renegades struggling again with the bat
If they had to pick a side against whom to restore confidence, it would surely be Melbourne Renegades. Wooden-spooners for the last two years and bowled out for 100 in their last match. A side that hit 160 as many times last season as they were bowled out for less than 100 (three times). It is rare, and surprising, to see them trading as favourites for any match.
There is no obvious reason to think their respective prospects have changed. Heat's two defeats were at the hands of strong side - Thunder and Scorchers. No disgrace in that. Renegades are still without their top two batsmen - Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh.
Where the latter do look stronger is in the bowling department. Kane Richardson and Zahir Khan have started the season well, with five wickets apiece. Reece Topley, James Pattinson and Mohammad Nabi add up to a strong unit and threat to any side.
Heat depth can counter Renegades' attack
Heat, however, do have the depth to counter that threat. We haven't seen the explosive best of Chris Lynn yet - key man in last year's turnaround - but Ben Duckett and Sam Heazlett have started well and the middle order is formidable. If a platform is set, Jimmy Peirson, Tom Cooper, Jack Wildurmuth and James Bazley can finish the job.
Based on a simplistic comparison to last year, we may be in store for a run-fest. The first of six matches at the Metricon Stadium produced a 193/194 thriller. Of the six matches played here, three produced a first innings total of 160 or higher. That small sample implies a toss bias, with four from six matches going to the chasing side.
Back the stronger batting line-up
That high-scoring affair saw a remarkable 26 sixes hit, showing what can be done here. The average from the other five matches, however, was a more conventional nine. The 10.5 Total Sixes line won and lost in three matches apiece.
I'd much prefer that Heat line-up to hit a big total (meaning anything in excess of 160) than Renegades. My advice is to try the '25% plan' - place an order at 25% higher than Heat's pre-toss odds, which right now equates to 2.35/4.
In-form Heazlett looks under-rated
11/4 about Chris Lynn to be Top Brisbane Runscorer would be very generous on last season's evidence. He's probably due and backing those odds in each match throughout the season from here would likely yield a profit. He's tied for favouritism with Duckett.
For Renegades, Sam Harper starts favourite. Once again he's top of their list, one run ahead of Mackenzie Harvey. The interesting name here is Unmukt Chand, who may make his debut as opener, at 7/2.
Finally given how well Sam Heazlett has started - 76 runs at an average of 38.0, at 140.74 strike-rate - 20/1 for Man of the Match is a generous offer for somebody who bats low enough to have every chance of a decisive contribution.
Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty
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