Stars wait on players after BBL nightmare

Glenn Maxwell insists the worst performance in Big Bash history won’t set the tone for the Melbourne Stars’ season.

A woeful Stars outfit were thumped by 152 runs by the Sydney Sixers on Sunday night, as a number of records fell on the opening night of the BBL.

The Sixers’ 4-213 was the highest score they have scored against any opponent, while the Stars’ own total of 61 was the lowest in their history.

The Stars’ score was also the third lowest in Big Bash history, while the defeat was also the biggest of any side.

But Maxwell is adamant it’s not a representation of where their squad is at.

A total of eight players are still due to return to their XI, starting with Marcus Stoinis (side strain) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (personal reasons) against the Thunder on Friday night.

Joe Burns also has a chance of coming back from a knee injury once Stars medical staff see him, as does Liam Hatcher with a back complaint.

Afghan spinner Qais Ahmad is also due to arrive into Australia this week with his first game dependent on quarantine conditions.

AAP has also been told two other internationals – Andre Russell and Pakistan seamer Ahmed Daniyal – could also arrive this week, pending approval and clearance from Cricket Australia.

The absences prompted Peter Nevill to open up top alongside Joe Clarke, while locals Sam Elliott and Brody Couch made their debuts along with Pakistani Syed Faridoun.

“I thought we actually did really well with the inexperienced bowling line-up,” Maxwell said.

“At the last minute it was bits and pieces forming together and scraping for emergencies.

“We have had a lot of injuries, a lot of guys yet to turn up from flights. It’s been a hard start with Stoin injured as well.

“It just put us behind where we would like to be in round one, but you can’t win the tournament in round one.

“We’re glad it’s done now, we can put it behind us and move one from there.”

The Sixers’ balanced squad showed in the win with all bar one of their players having won a competition for them before.

In comparison, the Stars had just five players backing up from their final game of last summer.

“We’ve got plenty of options as well as a solid number seven in Coults (coming back),” Maxwell said.

“It just lengthens our batting line up a bit.

“When you go with so many debutants, a lot of kids playing their first game, your batting line-up looks shorter.

“You realise you have a little bit less options at the death so it makes it a bit tougher to manage your bowlers.”

Meanwhile, the Sixers will sweat on impending labours for two players’ partners ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Hobart in Launceston.

Both Sean Abbott and Dan Christian’s partners are heavily pregnant, with officials unsure if the players will make the trip.

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