Big Bash Preview 2018/19: Melbourne Stars
It will be Glenn Maxwell's turn to lead the Stars in BBL 08 | Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images

The Melbourne Stars may have won the wooden spoon last year but they will be hoping for a change in fortunes this time around.

The Stars are one of the few teams still hunting for their first taste of Big Bash success and may feel they have a more than decent chance of being in the running for a finals spot this year.

They've done some smart business this year with the signings of experienced campaigners Dwayne Bravo and Jackson Bird as well as bringing in the exciting young leg-spinner, Sandeep Lamichhane, as their overseas for the first part of BBL 08.

What you need to know

Ground - Melbourne Cricket Ground

Captain - Glenn Maxwell

Coach - Stephen Fleming

Overseas Players - Dwayne Bravo (WI), Sandeep Lamichhane (NEP), Liam Plunkett (ENG, late-season replacement)

Who to look out for

Gun Bat - Marcus Stoinis

With new singings Travis Dean and Bravo alongside new captain Glenn Maxwell there could be a lot of firepower in the Star's batting this year. But it could be Marcus Stoinis who truly holds the key. His 99 last year was the fourth highest score in BBL 07 and his big hitting could be a key asset again this year. His ability to clear the ropes with ease means that if he can fire alongside Maxwell, there could be a lot of big scores for the Stars in this campaign. 

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Mr Reliable - Dwayne Bravo

Having poached the West Indian all-rounder from their cross-city rivals, the Melbourne Renegades, the Stars will be expecting big things from the T20 veteran. With their leading wicket-taker, John Hastings, no longer in the Star's roster, signing the joint leading wicket-taker from BBL 07 seems like the perfect replacement. The West-Indian is dangerous at the back end of both innings whether it's launching sixes or through his perfect death bowling. 

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Overseas Import - Sandeep Lamichhane, Liam Plunkett

The Stars may have taken somewhat of a risk with their overseas singing this year by bringing in the young Nepalese leggie, Lamichhane. The young talent brings with him a very handy mix of variations and a rapidly growing reputation as one of the future stars of world cricket. With 14 wickets in 12 T20 games at an average of 19.9, he could be a starring member of the Star's attack for the first part of the season.

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Their replacement overseas seems a safer bet for Fleming's side. Liam Plunkett is well known for his pace, keeping the runs tight and bowling a heavy length that allows him to pick up regular wickets in the middle overs. He may be a totally different player to Lamichhane, but he can certainly be just as effective in the latter stages of the competition. 

Young Starlet - Liam Bowe

The Stars may have brought in a young leg-spinner as an overseas star this year, but they've got their own homegrown spinning talent in their ranks too. Liam Bowe has picked up six wickets in six games and was nicknamed 'The Wizard' last year as the glasses-wearing leggie gained something of a cult-following last year.