February 6: BBL Challenger - Melbourne Stars v Sydney Thunder, Melbourne

Our XI: Peter Handscomb, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson, Usman Khawaja, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Sams, Chris Morris, Glenn Maxwell, Haris Rauf, Adam Zampa, Jonathan Cook

Captain: Alex Hales

Four fifties and a 47 in his last five BBL games makes Hales the most in-form player going around and an easy choice for captain coming into the game.

Vice-captain: Haris Rauf

Haris Rauf could write a love letter to the MCG when he retires. His hat-trick in the league stage was instrumental in beating the Thunder, and his strike rate this season is the best among bowlers who have bowled at least 25 overs. Need someone special to get your team out of a four-game losing streak? Rauf might be the man.

Hot picks

Marcus Stoinis: Three games without a significant knock, and Stoinis - the leading scorer this season - will have to step up and make things happen for the Stars. He's still value for your money and he smashed a fifty the first time the two teams met this season, so don't ignore him.

Daniel Sams: Thirty wickets in the season at an average of 14.00 is no joke. With a three-for in the last game, Sams comes into the game full of confidence and by looking at the Stars' last two batting collapses (98 and 115), Sams could even be your captain or vice-captain. And he can bat too.

Callum Ferguson: Cometh the crunch game, and you'd back Ferguson to come good. He's not been hot of late, without a 50 in his last ten innings, but he's still only behind Hales on the Thunder's leading run-scorers' list. His big-match experience also cannot be ignored.

Value picks

Jonathan Cook: He was outstanding in the knockout game against the Adelaide Strikers, returning 2 for 16 in his four overs, and was the star of the show against the Hobart Hurricanes in the Eliminator with 4 for 21 in his four overs.

Peter Handscomb: The Stars are searching for their batting heroes with Stoinis and Maxwell not showing up recently, and Handscomb, who has been batting at No. 4, might have a significant role to play in the game.

Point to note

The teams batting first have won the last two games here with the Stars collapsing in the chase both times. So, if the Thunder bat first, you can pick a captain from them and consider Sams as vice-captain. The average first-innings score at the MCG in six matches played in 2020 is 162, so if the batsmen get a good start, expect a high-ish scoring game.