Scorchers’ re­cruits used wisely

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By STU­ART HOR­TON

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.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

The 2013-14 Big Bash fi­nal at the WACA.

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