Melbourne Stars unfazed by BBL form slump

Anna Harrington

The Melbourne Stars head into Friday night's BBL qualifier against the Sydney Sixers reeling from three consecutive losses, but Marcus Stoinis says the table-toppers aren't concerned by the recent form slump.

The last time the Stars and Sixers played at the MCG, Stoinis hit a superb 147* to help his team cruise to a 44-run victory.

Since then the Stars have lost three of their past five games including a recent loss to the Sixers - winners of their last three matches - by 21 runs in a rain-affected match at the SCG.

"It's all good. I think if you can't be happy when you finish top of the ladder, it's going to be a long career for any individual," said Stoinis, the competition's leading runscorer.

"But obviously losing three in a row - I'd probably be more concerned if we'd won those last three."

The winner of Friday night's game will progress to the BBL final.

The Sixers have been bolstered by the return of star internationals Steve Smith, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood, while the Stars have been criticised for their lack of runs beyond Stoinis and skipper Glenn Maxwell, with Hilton Cartwright injured.

"It's just going to give opportunities to other people," Stoinis said.

"I guess in big games you either get a bit nervous and you try and stay away from failure or you go for it and you look for success - so that's what we'll be looking for."

While the Stars welcome back Haris Rauf, Stoinis is confident his side can cover the loss of Sandeep Lamichhane who is playing an ODI series with Nepal.

The Sixers have been tipped as potential champions given their impressive recent form and inclusions, but Stoinis says he is motivated by people doubting the Stars.

"I love that we're probably the most hated team in the competition - it sits pretty well with me and I'll use that as some energy and motivation," Stoinis said.