It all comes down to one game for the Renegades.
If the Renegades can beat the Heat at the Gabba on Friday night, they’ll have done all they can do to make the finals.
However, the return of Brendon McCullum from suspension makes the task that much tougher for the Renegades.
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Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Renegades
Friday January 20, The Gabba
7:40pm EDT, live on Channel 10
Brendon McCullum (c), Nick Buchanan, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Alex Doolan, Sam Heazlett, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Lalor, Jimmy Peirson, Alex Ross, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson, Jack Wildermuth
In: Brendon McCullum, Josh Lalor
Out: Nathan Reardon, Tymal Mills
Aaron Finch (C), Tom Cooper, Callum Ferguson, Andrew Harriott, Marcus Harris, Brad Hogg, Sunil Narine, James Pattinson, Nathan Rimmington, Thisara Perera, Matt Short, Chris Tremain, Cameron White
In: Andrew Harriott
Out: Peter Nevill
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The big change to the Renegades squad is the inclusion of wicket keeper Andrew Harriott.
Harriott, from Northern District Cricket Club and the ACT Comets, comes into the side as an injury replacement for Peter Nevill.
The 24-year-old has been in good form with the bat in grade cricket, and he now gets the opportunity to play in the bright lights of primetime in a season-defining match.
Meanwhile for the Heat, they won’t be able to call on the services of either Tymal Mills or Samuel Badree.
Mills’ short-term contract ended with the Heat’s win at the MCG, while Badree has not been passed fit after his recent hamstring injury.
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After successive games at Etihad Stadium and Adelaide Oval – where the boundaries are long straight and short square – the Renegades will be faced with opposite dimensions at the Gabba.
According to Cameron White, to a certain extent the ground dictates how you play.
“When you bowl from the change room end (at the Gabba), it’s a very short hit straight down to mid-on for the right hander,” White told RSN radio on Thursday morning.
“Rarely will a team bowl full to you there, so you know the ball a lot of the time is going to be between your head and waist to try and get you to hit square of the wicket.
“That’s a tactic you know is going to happen before a ball is bowled.”
The Gabba brought success for the Renegades last season.
For the first match they’d played at the venue in BBL history, the Renegades chased down a target of 181 with three balls to spare – led by Aaron Finch’s 65 off 45 balls.
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The Renegades batted second in that encounter, but have had success in BBL|06 when batting first.
All three victories have come when batting first, while four of the Heat’s five wins have come when chasing.
So if all goes to script at the coin toss, both sides will be able to play to their strengths in the Renegades’ most important match of the summer.