MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 06: Marcus Stoinis of the Stars focuses during the Big Bash League match between the Melbourne Stars and the Melbourne Renegades at Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 6, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Having gone deep into the BBL finals in eight of the first nine seasons, including finishing runner-up in BBL|05, the Melbourne Stars will aim to recapture the form which has been missing in their last two campaigns.

In a major blow for the Stars, captain Glenn Maxwell will miss the entire BBL|12 campaign after sustaining a broken leg in a freak accident at a friend's birthday party.

The man nicknamed 'The Big Show' is a critical loss after a blistering BBL|11 tournament, scoring 468 runs at an average of 42.55, including a BBL record 154 runs.

Despite his absence, the stars have solid depth to cover his place, including Hilton Cartwright, Marcus Stoinis, Joe Clarke, Joe Burns, Beau Webster and Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Consistency is going to be key for the Stars in making a push for a ninth finals appearance in twelve seasons.

Key Players

Marcus Stoinis

Marcus Stoinis has been a key player in the Stars' push towards an illusive title. With the 33-year-old back for a tenth season, his contributions are going to be ten-fold.


Glenn Maxwell's absence is a dent in which needs filling, but one Stoinis is more than capable of stepping into. Since his breakout BBL|08 campaign, where he scored 533 runs at an incredible average of 53.30, he has only propelled to greater heights.

The next season, Stoinis finished as the tournament's leading run-scorer with 705 runs, including the-then highest BBL score of 147 not out from only 79 deliveries.

His ability to rapidly get on top of bowling attacks is a feature that only a rare few possess. So look out for the veteran to belt bowlers all around the park once he gets his eye in.

Adam Zampa

The star leg-spinner will lead the Stars this season in Glenn Maxwell's absence. The crafty turner is going to play an important part in slowing down the opposition in the middle overs, which he has done countless times.

Last season, Zampa finished with 10 wickets at an economy rate of 7.44. Since switching to the Stars ahead of the 2015/2016 season, the 30-year-old has been integral to the Melbourne's bowling stocks.

And he isn't alone. With the signature of New Zealand superstar left-arm quick Trent Boult, the continuing development of Brody Couch, the steady pace of Nathan Coulter-Nile, and another spin option in Clint Hinchliffe, the side has a well-rounded variety to make inroads into opposition batsmen.

Zampa is going to be the lynchpin as he was in BBL|09, where he took 20 wickets at 16.20.

Player to Watch

Sam Elliott

The son of classy South Australian and former Australian opening batsman Matthew Elliott, Sam is an upcoming quick who is ready to break out. Despite only playing two games for the Stars in BBL|11, it was more than enough for the team to sign him for BBL|12.

Elliott had an impressive Sheffield Shield debut late last month against Tasmania, finishing with figures of 3/45 from 16 overs. His scalps included Tim Ward, Caleb Jewell, and Stars teammate Beau Webster.

Standing at 190cm, his ability to hit the deck hard and swing the ball both ways is an asset. Now with an opportunity to showcase his bowling prowess this campaign, expect him to feature more predominantly in the Stars' lineup.

Key Matches

Friday, December 16 v Hobart Hurricanes, MCG

Monday, December 26 v Sydney Sixers, SCG

Saturday, December 31 v Adelaide Strikers, Adelaide Oval

Tuesday, January 3 v Melbourne Renegades, MCG

Monday, January 16 v Brisbane Heat, MCG