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New BBL rules under microscope in opener

Sydney Sixers batsman Jordan Silk is expecting a boundary blitz when contentious new power-play rules are introduced in the Big Bash League opener.

The defending champions meet the Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena on Thursday night.

In one of the season’s three rule changes, which have been slammed by some past players, the six-over power play has been trimmed to four overs.

The batting side is now required to nominate two overs of fielding restrictions from the 11th over onwards.

“That’s probably been hot on everyone’s lips, when do you take it (the power play),” Silk told reporters on Wednesday.

“There’s going to be constant debate about when you take those two overs. What we’ve seen so far in the practice games is there’s a lot of boundaries.

“We’re not sure when we’re going to take it … it’s just being flexible, every game will have a different set of scenarios.”

The Sixers have Australian stars Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon on their books but they won’t be available until the end of the tournament, while Sean Abbott is also missing on international duty.

Silk says the side has taken lessons from last year after winning five matches straight to take out the title.

“You can’t panic at any stage. I think that’s one thing we did really well last year,” he said.

“We’re really keen to get out of the blocks and then hopefully see some familiar faces in our line-up.”

The Hurricanes, who were knocked out in the first round of the finals last season, could field as many as six club debutants.

One-time Test player and former Melbourne Stars batsman Peter Handscomb and South African import Colin Ingram are among the fresh faces in the 14-man squad.

Handscomb has been temporarily handed the reins in the absence of Matthew Wade.

Hobart’s batting stocks for the opener have taken a hit with Ben McDermott, who was slated to bat at No.3, called up for Australia A’s pink-ball tour game against India starting Friday.

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