Shane Watson
Watson returns from injury layoff to skipper Thunder Reuters

Match: Sydney Thunder v Brisbane Heat

Date: 28 December, Wednesday

Time: 4:10pm SGT/1:40pm IST/8:10am GMT

Competition: Big Bash League 2016/17

Venue: Spotless Stadium, Sydney

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

Live streaming: Sky Go, Hotstar

Overview

Sydney Thunder could not have had a worse start to their title defence as the defending champions were crushed in the two games they have played so far in the season.

In the Sydney derby, which was also the tournament opener against the Sixers, the Thunder were defeated by a humiliating nine-wicket margin. Moises Henriques and Jason Roy made sure the Sixers chased a 160-run target with 12 balls to spare.

Thunder also fell short of 49 runs in their second against heavyweights Melbourne Renegades. The problem so far for them has been their inconsistent batting. Only opening batsman Ryan Gibson, with a 53 and 39 so far, has been solid. Twenty20 specialist Andre Russell's lack of form, with both the bat and the ball, is hurting the Thunder.

However, the hosts would be boosted by the return of Shane Watson, who missed the first two games due to injury. The skipper, apart from his batting ability, will also provide enough support to struggling pacers Clint McKay and Pat Cummins.

On the other hand, Brisbane Heat are coming into Wednesday's match after a week's gap following their 10-run win over Adelaide Strikers on the road. Brendon McCullum's side also posted the highest score of the season (206), thanks to the pyrotechnics of the skipper (21-ball 42) and South Australia youngster Alex Ross (36-ball 64).

Samuel Badree showed why he was among the top-rated T20 bowlers with a four-over spell, conceding only 22 runs and bowling a maiden as well. Even the likes of Ben Dunk and Kieron Pollard found it difficult to get going against the leg-spinner in the match, where more than 400 runs were scored. Ben Cutting will also have an important role to play with the ball in the absence of experienced T20 bowlers for the Heat.

TV Schedule

Singapore: Star Cricket

India: Star Sports

US: Willow TV

UK: Sky Sports 2

Australia: Network 10

South Africa: Supersport

Team News

Thunder

Squad: Watson (c),Rohrer, White, Morgan, Russell, Fawad, Cummins, Doran (wk), Gibson, Green, McKay, Patterson, Fawad, McDermot

Heat

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