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News

Zampa, Stoinis, Boult key for Stars in Maxwell's absence

Adam Zampa will captain Stars with Glenn Maxwell likely absent for the entire BBL

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
12-Dec-2022
Captain Adam Zampa
Coach David Hussey
Squad Trent Boult (New Zealand), Joe Burns, Hilton Cartwright, Joe Clarke (England), Brody Couch, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sam Elliott, Liam Hatcher, Clint Hinchliffe, Campbell Kellaway, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell, Cam McClure, Tom O'Connell, Tom Rogers, Marcus Stoinis, Beau Webster, Luke Wood (England), Adam Zampa
In Trent Boult, Campbell Kellaway, Cam McClure, Luke Wood, Tom Rogers
Out Andre Russell, Billy Stanlake, Syed Faridoun, Qais Ahmad, Peter Nevill, Sam Rainbird, Haris Rauf

What happened in the draft

Stars had a very productive draft and have not lost any of the players they initially drafted. They secured one of the biggest names available in Trent Boult after making a bid on Rashid Khan. But they will lose Boult to the ILT20 in the UAE midway through the tournament. They then retained Joe Clarke who had an excellent season for them last year. Clarke is likely to be available for the full season and gives them a badly needed wicketkeeping option given they do not have another specialist keeper in the squad. They also added another skillful left-arm quick with vast T20 experience in Luke Wood. The Lancashire and Trent Rockets left-arm seamer was part of England's World Cup-winning squad but didn't play in the tournament. He did make his ODI debut against Australia in Adelaide just after the World Cup.

Last season: Sixth

Stars were affected by Covid more than any other team last season. They were bowled out for 61 on the opening night of the season against Sydney Sixers but the worst was yet to come. Their season was completely derailed when nearly the entire squad and coaching staff contracted Covid-19 at the same time. They were forced to field a team nearly fully comprising of ring-ins against Perth Scorchers just after New Year, with a stand-in coaching staff also required after David Hussey and his colleagues were also forced into quarantine. They lost back-to-back games against Scorchers and Melbourne Renegades, who won just three games for the season which all but ended their finals hopes. They fielded 26 players for the season, including a host of players plucked from grade cricket at short notice. They will hope for a complete reset this year.

International impact

The Stars don't have any players away on international duty but their biggest superstar, and longtime captain, Glenn Maxwell is set to miss the entire season after breaking his leg in November. Boult is available for Stars first eight games. The last game he is available for is against Sydney Sixers on January 6. Wood and Clarke are available for the entire season. Australia don't have any limited-overs commitments during the BBL with Zampa and Stoinis available all season.

Key player

Marcus Stoinis looms as the most important player for Stars this season. He played just eight games last summer due to a combination of Covid and a side strain that he suffered in the 2021 T20 World Cup. The last time Stars made the final in 2019-20 Stoinis made a BBL record 705 runs in 17 games with a hundred and six half-centuries. In two seasons since he has only passed 50 three times despite taking his game to another level in international T20 cricket. The injury to Maxwell also means the Stars lose a valuable bowling option who bats in the top six, which changes the balance of the side. Stoinis' bowling experience will be needed in all three phases.

Young player to watch

There aren't a lot of young players that jump out as potential starters on the Stars list but one player to keep an eye on could be Campbell Kellaway. The 20-year-old just made 81 in his second Sheffield Shield game for Victoria and followed that with an unbeaten century for Cricket Australia XI against a South Africa Test attack. He hasn't got a lot of T20 experience even at premier cricket level for his club side Melbourne, but he did smash 72 off 49 in a Victoria premier T20 game last summer. Stars also don't have a lot of left-handers in their batting line-up. He is one that could be given an opportunity.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo