Aussie stars to light up Melbourne Derby
Melbourne Renegades right-hander Tom Cooper wants to open the batting with returning captain Aaron Finch on Saturday night in what would be the club's ninth different combination from 10 matches.
The Stars will regain captain Glenn Maxwell, Adam Zampa, Marcus Stoinis and Pete Handscomb for the Big Bash League derby and have won the past five clashes at Marvel Stadium.
But Cooper was confident his attack could trigger an upset as strike bowler Kane Richardson declared Maxwell and Stoinis were the prized wickets.
Cooper crunched 49 (33) at the top of the order against Sydney Sixers on Wednesday in a surprise move designed to bring the struggling batsman to life in the tournament.
"We hadn't quite found a formula that was working so we thought we'd spice it up and see if we could get me into the tournament," Cooper told the Herald Sun.
"I'd like (to open with Finch). It's nice to bat up there with only two (fielders) out.
"We've been experimenting and trying to find what's working, because it's no secret that our batting hasn't really fired yet."
Cooper opened with Marcus Harris against the Sixers, although Harris jets to Brisbane for Test duty and will be replaced by Finch.
The 5-4 Renegades have posted totals of 9/99 and 91 in losses this season but jumped to second on the ladder with their fifth win, which Cooper said had sparked optimism.
"It's frustrating but also exciting," he said.
"To be sitting in second and not have fired with the bat is exciting.
"Hopefully going into the business end of the tournament we can find a formula that's going to work, and start helping our bowlers out who have been doing an outstanding job."
Cooper averaged just 15 runs in the first eight games but said he never lost faith that slump would end.
"I felt like I couldn't be hitting them much better (in the nets)," he said.
"It's a game where if your first big shot you get away then you're away, but if it goes straight down a fielder's throat or you mishit one and it goes to a fielder you look like you're going no good.
"Not just personally, everyone in the nets has been smacking them. That's the exciting thing.
"I think a few years back I would've (lost confidence). When you do start doubting yourself that's when you sort of find it even harder to get out of a slump.
"In this format you've got to back yourself 100 per cent, take the positive option. You've got to live by that and if you go back into your shell you're waiting to fail."
Richardson jagged 3/26 after missing the past two matches with a hamstring tendoninjury.
"The good thing about a tendon problem is you can't make it worse, so just on the painkillers and I'll be all good," he said.