Blog by: Vignesh
When Australia’s version of IPL, Big Bash League started, everyone expected the star-studded Sydney Sixers to reach the final, win the tournament and thereby, get a chance to defend their Champions League T20 crown.
But a week into the tournament, the side from eastern suburbs of Sydney struggled to outclass other teams. Instead, both the teams from Melbourne – Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades looked favourites for the final showdown. Melbourne Renegades, who finished way ahead of other teams in the league stage, were seen as overwhelming favourites to clinch their maiden BBL crown.
But in the semis, their fairytale run was halted by underdogs Brisbane Heat courtesy a swashbuckling century at the top by Heat’ opener Luke Pomersbach.
In the summit clash, the Heat got the better of Perth Scorchers who defeated Melbourne Stars in the other semifinals. Some tight bowling from their Caribbean import Kemar Roach and spinner Nathan Hauritz made the difference in the outcome of the tournament.
With that, Brisbane Heat sans the services of their star players Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, Thisara Perera, Dale Steyn and Daniel Vettori became the surprise winners of BBL and hence qualified for Champions League T20 from Australia.
Unlike BBL, CLT20 is a different ball game as top teams across the world take part in the tournament. What can be expected from the team from Queensland in CLT20?
Captain: James Hopes
Coach: Stuart Law
Batsmen: Joe Burns, Peter Forrest, Dom Michael, Chris Lynn, Alex Kemp.
All Rounders: Daniel Christian, James Hopes, Chris Sabburg.
Bowlers: Ben Cutting, Nathan Hauritz, Kemar Roach, Alister McDermott, Matthew Gale, Cameron Gannon.
Wicket Keeper: Chris Hartley.
- Experienced line up that has many veterans.
- Dan Christian and James Hopes pose a major threat to the opposition.
- Kemar Roach’s ability to fire with the new ball.
- They are a good fielding unit.
- Hauritz along with Christian, Hopes and Roach has been used to the Indian conditions in the past.
- Apart from those four players, others are new to Indian conditions.
- Fall of some early wickets will dent their entire innings.
- The team will hard to fight against teams like Trinidad, Chennai and Titans.
- Weak Middle order.
- Unavailability of some star players including their BBL hero Pomersbach.
- No proper support for Roach and Hauritz.
Daniel Christian, the genuine all rounder from South Australia has been the trump card for Brisbane Heat for the past two seasons. This time, too, their chances in the tournament lie in the shoulders of Dan Christian. He has been a part of this tournament in the past and he is familiar to the Indian conditions following his stint in the IPL. His presence in the slog overs can yield some important runs for his side and he is a type of bowler who has the ability to provide some important breakthroughs.
Players to watch out for:
Given the conditions in India assist the spinners, Nathan Hauritz has his job cut out in the tournament. He has been Heat goto bowler in the Big Bash League and is expected to be so in the Champions League T20 too. He is an experienced campaigner who is no stranger to Indian Conditions. He may be also used as an Opening bowler to choke the run flow. He is also an amazing fielder too.
In the IPL, Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma proved that T20 can be a bowler’s game. A fast bowler bowling with a tight line and length preventing the batsman to free his arms will be successful even in the shorter format of the game. This was well exhibited by Steyn and co. and if Heat’ pacer Kemar Roach follows Steyn gun’s footsteps, he will be successful too. Roach has the right ingredients needed for a speedster. He will spearhead the Heat bowling attack. Early breakthroughs from him will put the opposition under pressure. He is also capable of using the long handle to maximum effect in the death overs.
Possible Playing XI: Peter Forrest, James Hopes, Joe Burns, Chris Lynn, Dan Christian, Dom Micheal, Alex Kemp, Chris Hartley, Kemar Roach, Nathan Hauritz, Alastair McDermott.
Brisbane Heat Schedule:
Sunday 22 September v Trinidad & Tobago in Ranchi
Tuesday 24 September v Titans in Hyderabad
Saturday 28 September v Chennai Super Kings in Hyderabad
Monday 30 September v Qualifier in Hyderabad
The Heat will depart for India on Sunday September 15. The only question is that with this team can Brisbane Heat cause yet another upset and win the tournament?