January 4: Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder, Brisbane

Pro Tip: So far in the BBL, 59 wickets having fallen in eight innings at the Gabba, and the per innings wicket figure of 7.375 is the highest of any venue in the tournament this season. So, make sure you have plenty of bowling options.

Our XI: Max Bryant, Lewis Gregory, Jack Wildermuth, Mark Steketee, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson, Sam Billings, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha.

Substitutes: Nathan McAndrew, Joe Denly, Jimmy Peirson, Xavier Bartlett.

Player availability: No major changes expected for either side as of now.

We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Captain: Alex Hales
The second-highest scorer in the BBL last season with 576 runs in 17 games, Hales carried that form to this season too. He has looked in brilliant touch, especially in the last three games, where he scored 151 runs from 69 balls at a strike rate of 218.84, with almost 86% of his runs coming through boundaries.

Vice-captain: Mujeeb Ur Rahman
The Afghanistan spinner produced the Heat's best bowling figures ever recently with 5 for 15 against the Hurricanes. Ever since his debut in the BBL two seasons ago, he has been the most prolific spinner for the Heat, picking up 24 wickets in 23 games, even bettering the likes of Mitchell Swepson (18 wickets in 22 games).

Hot Picks
Lewis Gregory: The England allrounder has been in good form with bat and ball. In his first match, he picked up a three-wicket haul, and he followed that with innings of 29 (27 balls) and 31* (16 balls).

Callum Ferguson: The Thunder skipper has led from the front this season, scoring 208 runs in six games, the most for his side, with three 50-plus scores so far. Last season against the Heat, he smashed a 44-ball unbeaten 73.

Usman Khawaja: Another top order batter from the Thunder who is on a hot streak. He didn't hit the ground running this season, but in his last three matches, he has reeled off scores of: 34 off 18 against the Melbourne Renegades, 37 off 31 against the Melbourne Stars, and then 48* off 34 against the Renegades.

Differential Picks
Jack Wildermuth: The all-rounder has been in good form this season. With the ball, he has picked up six wickets in five games, with a standout economy rate of 5.78. He's been handy with the bat too, as evidenced from innings of 31 off 11 against the Thunder the last time they met, and 22* off 10 against the Sydney Sixers.

Max Bryant: After a poor start to the season, Bryant has come back well with scores of 31, 32 and 40 in his last three games. He has scored 303 runs in 12 games at an average of 30.30 and a strike rate of 146.37 at this venue.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Sam Billings and Jimmy Peirson could be swapped.
  • Nathan McAndrew could replace Usman Khawaja to provide an additional bowling option.