Scorchers’ recruits used wisely
FOR the first time in the four-year history of the Big Bash League, Perth Scorchers enter the season as the hunted rather than the hunter, looking to become the first team to defend the trophy.
Despite not boasting the strongest line- ups on paper, the Scorchers have flown somewhat under the radar to host all three Big Bash finals, but didn’t enjoy the taste of victory in the showpiece match until last season when they defeated Hobart Hurricanes by 39 runs.
How they manage the prospect of aiming for back-to-back titles will be intriguing, given pundits and the T20going public have had relatively low levels of expectations of the Scorchers.
One thing the Scorchers have done well since the domestic T20 competition was rebranded the Big Bash is use their two foreign recruit spots wisely (even if 2012/13 South African recruit Albie Morkel was refused clearance to play by Cricket South Africa, and West Indian Dwayne Smith missed his flight to Perth and subsequently never arrived).
Foreign recruits who have arrived include former England T20 captain Paul Collingwood, former South African opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs, South African T20 specialist Alfonso Thomas and Pakistani quick Yasir Arafat.
All four contributed to the team’s success in their time in Perth and there will be similar hopes that this season’s recruit, Englishman Michael Carberry, can continue the franchise’s good run of recruiting players who, while perhaps not the biggest names, have always delivered.
Carberry will be most familiar to Australian audiences for having his bat broken by Ryan Harris last season.
However, the burly left-hander is recognised as one of the most devas- tating short-form players in English domestic cricket; he eviscerated Sussex by scoring 68 off just 36 to propel Hampshire to the final of the 2012 40over domestic competition.
Scorchers fans will be keen to see him open up his big frame and flail opposition attacks in a similar manner in the coming weeks.
He, along with skipper Adam Voges and new recruit Michael Klinger, will carry the bulk of the runscoring burden at the top of the order, especially with brothers Shaun and Mitch Marsh involved with Australia in the Test series against India and likely to miss the bulk of the tournament.
Shaun Marsh is arguably one of the best short-form players in Aus- tralian cricket, while few players possess the hitting power of Mitch Marsh, who can also chip in with his share of overs.
The evergreen Brad Hogg returns for another turn at the age of 43, and young ’keeper Sam Whiteman will be keen to get his season back on track after stagnating somewhat in the Sheffield Shield this season.
The 2013-14 Big Bash final at the WACA.