Are the Stars going to choke again?
NO one in the Sydney Sixers will say it out loud for fear of jinxing their own chances but it is the question on everybody's mind: are the Melbourne Stars about to choke again?
With a side packed with so many match winners, the answer is surely not again, but that's what everyone thought last year and nearly every other Big Bash season before that.
The Stars don't need any reminding about their woeful finals record because everyone else is happy to do that for them.
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In the previous eight seasons of BBL, the Stars have made the playoffs seven times, but have been beaten in five semis and two finals, including last season whey lost 7-19 after having their first title in their grasp.
This is the year that things were meant to change but are the wheels about to fall off again?
They were far and away the best side during the regular season, wrapping up first place with three rounds to go, but have lost their last three matches.
That's raised the same old questions ahead of Friday night's qualifier against the second-placed Sixers at the MCG - even if the Sixers are biting their lips about whether they're expecting another Melbourne meltdown.
"Obviously they haven't played as well as they have done all season in the last three games but when you look at their line-up, there's match winners all down the order and with the ball," Sixers' fast bowler Sean Abbott said.
"So although they're probably not playing their best cricket at the minute, you sort of have to forget about that and play them on their merit on the night and take them for what they are, which is a team that has won most of their games and got themselves into first position and quite a lot of their players are in the team of the tournament.
"From the way they've been playing, I wouldn't worry too much about their performances because they're obviously quite hungry, finishing first and obviously not having won the tournament yet so I think they'll be pretty keen to lift the trophy this year after coming second last year."
Abbott's availability after a long injury lay-off is more bad news for the Stars but great news for the Sixers, who have also just welcomed back Steve Smith, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon.
Abbott was the leading wicket taker in the competition before he was forced out with a side injury but has been passed fit to return and replace Tom Curran as the Sixers' all rounder.
"We both bowl at pretty similar times in the game. One or two in the powerplay, not as many through the middle, then at the death," Abbott said.
"I can get one spot up the order with the bat, now that he's left.
"Spending quite a lot of time with Tommy over the last two seasons has been great. It's sort of been pushing me along to strive for better performances with the bat, really wanting that contest and chance with the bat."