Best mates vie for BBL bragging rights
Melbourne Stars captain Glenn Maxwell on Saturday declared it was "our time" to finally win the Big Bash League as he plots to lift the trophy in his 50th game in green.
Stars have won their past six matches at Marvel Stadium and Maxwell credited Trent Woodhill's list management for helping convert last summer's wooden spoon into a possible championship.
Stars were "a bit batter heavy" last year and they replaced imports Kevin Pietersen and Luke Wright with mystery spinner Sandeep Lamichhane and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo.
Renegades captain Aaron Finch and Maxwell had breakfast and lunch together in Aberfeldie on Saturday as the best mates vie for BBL bragging rights before flying to India on Monday with Australia's white-ball squad.
Finch and Maxwell used to live together and have become the faces of their BBL clubs.
"We talk about cricket with each other as much as any two blokes," Maxwell said.
"It's just an exciting opportunity - two really close mates going up against each other in a final.
"I do know him really well and that comes from training together a lot and talking through each other's games a lot and being completely honest with each other.
"We've shown our vulnerabilities pretty openly to each other when we have been struggling."
A long-haired Maxwell played six games for Renegades in BBL01 before Shane Warne and former coach Greg Shipperd enticed him to the Stars.
Maxwell said the "outstanding turnaround" from last week's 10-over loss in Brisbane showed him this was their time.
"The way guys kept their heads up when you could quite easily drop your bundle and your whole season disappears," Maxwell said.
"I think this is our time. We've peaked at the right time of the tournament."
Maxwell said underperformers Ben Dunk and Nic Maddinson were potential matchwinners given their recent ball striking.
Finch dismissed Stars' dominant record at his home ground.
"It's quite strange because the dimensions are almost the exact opposite to what they're used to at the MCG," he said.
"But I don't think we've played at our best when we've played here against the Stars, particularly the last couple of games."
Finch admitted his form was "a little bit patchy". The destructive opener was bowled playing a rare switch-hit on Friday night but said that shot had brought him success in England.
"I've been practising it for about five years and maybe just pulled the trigger one ball too early," Finch said.
Stars coach Stephen Fleming called a meeting to discuss their off-key singing of the team song earlier this season.
"The first song or two we sang were pretty poor," Maxwell said.
"We had to find a way to revive it and I feel like we've done that with gusto. We won the next two and there were some slight adaptations to it. The tempo was off."
RENEGADES v STARS
Today, 2.45pm at Marvel Stadium
SAM LANDSBERGER'S CAPTAIN'S CORNER
- AARON FINCH'S NOTES
* Marcus Stoinis has scored 0/110 (92 balls) against Cameron Boyce, Kane Richardson, Dan Christian and Harry Gurney. But Chris Tremain - who hasn't faced the Stars this season - has 1/6 (11 balls) against Stoinis. Get Tremain to target his stumps.
* It is high-risk, high-reward bowling Kane Richardson and Cameron Boyce at Maxwell. Richardson has 2/56 (36) against him has while Boyce has 2/65 (34 balls).
- GLENN MAXWELL'S NOTES
* Adam Zampa has taken 5/17 (25 balls) against the Renegades' top three of Finch, Harris and Harper. Consider bowling the leg-spinner in the powerplay.
* Marcus Stoinis has figures of 2/20 (26 balls) against Cameron White. Stoinis might be the man for White.
GLENN MAXWELL ON WHAT A WIN WOULD MEAN
"Being my first captaincy gig in Australia it would be pretty special. To have the bunch of guys we do and to win it with them and hold up the trophy would be amazing."
AARON FINCH ON HOW THEY'LL TARGET DANGER MAN MARCUS STOINIS
"Get him early. We know once he gets set he can be hard to remove. He can play a lot of different styles, so you just have to back yourself to be hitting the stumps a lot. Make sure if he takes a risk and misses out that you're either hitting the stumps or are in around that front pad area."
Stars lead 11-4 overall
Stars lead 6-1 at Marvel Stadium
BBL GRAND FINAL RECORD
Champion $155,000 for players, $100,000 for club
Runner-up $90,000 for players, $50,000 for club
Player of the final $2500
Sam Landsberger - RENEGADES
"Eddie McGuire's face will turn the Renegades' colour after another Grand Final loss as former Stars Cameron White and Sam Harper lift the BBL trophy."
Mark Waugh (Fox Sports) - STARS
"Two evenly matched teams but I think the Maxwell factor just sways it in favour of the Stars."
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