Brendon McCullum
Stars will benefit from McCullum's absence for Tuesday's clash Reuters

Match: Melbourne Stars v Brisbane Heat

Date: 17 January, Tuesday

Time: 4:40pm SGT/2:10pm IST/8:40am GMT

Competition: Big Bash League 2016/17

Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground

TV Channel: In Singapore, Star Cricket will provide live TV coverage.

Live Streaming: Hotstar

Overview

Table-toppers Melbourne Stars and Brisbane Heat are well-placed to make the semi-final of the ongoing Big Bash League season. Both teams are tied at eight points each with two games left to play.

However, hosts Stars are looking favourites to clinch today's clash given their overall strength despite the loss of key players to international duty. David Hussey's men ended their two-match losing streak on Saturday by making light work of Perth Scorchers on the road.

Left-arm spinner Michael Beer picked up two wickets upfront along with Ben Hilfenhaus to dent Scorchers progress. Hussey's ploy to use Beer inside the powerplay overs has worked wonders for the team and he will be tempted to do so on Tuesday at the big MCG.

While they have a settled bowling unit, their batters led by England import Kevin Pietersen have been up to the task more often than not in this season. After losing Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner, the likes of Rob Quiney, Luke Wright and Peter Handscomb have stepped up and delivered for the team.

On the other hand, Heat, who have already lost in-form Chris Lynn to international duty, will be without skipper Brendon McCullum as the former New Zealand opener has been suspended for slow over rate during their 27-run loss to Scorchers on 11 January.

A lot will now depend on Joe Burns and Alex Ross as Heat will not want to let go of an opportunity to seal the semi-final spot as early as today.

TV Schedule

India: Star Sports

US: Willow TV

UK: Sky Sports 2

Australia: Network 10

South Africa: Supersport

Middle East: OSN Cricket

Team News

Stars

Squad: Hussey (c), Pietersen, Beer, Gulbis, Harper, Quiney, Handscomb, Stoinis, Wright, Coleman, Boland, Gannon, Bowe, Hilfenhaus

Heat

Squad: McCullum (c), Burns, Doolan, Fekete, Feldman, Ross, Cutting, Badree, Floros, Heazlett, Labuschagne, Lynn, Buchanan, Peirson, Reardon, Steketee, Swepson, Wildermuth