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Hardie at home at the top of the order

Perth Scorchers star Aaron Hardie says he is relishing the extra responsibility that has come with a shift up the batting order.

Hardie made 65 not out from 45 balls in last night’s win over the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba, raising the bat for the second time from three innings since moving to number three, with the Scorchers having batting spots to fill following Faf du Plessis and Adam Lyth departing for competitions in South Africa and the UAE respectively.

The 24 year old all rounder said he wasn’t expecting the opportunity in the top order to arise.

“I think the plan was to bat at six for the season and settle in there, expecting Cam Green to come back and bat up the order, but with his injury, needed someone to step up to that number three position,” Hardie told Sports Breakfast.

“You do get more time to bat, you get to choose your matchups as well, if you’re coming in at six and seven, you have to try and hit every ball for six with their best bowlers on.

“Obviously been a really nice last couple of games, had some really good partnerships with Cameron [Bancroft] the first game and then Ingo last night, so it’s been an awesome couple of games.”

Hardie combined with wicketkeeper Josh Inglis (67* from 35 balls) to post the biggest partnership of the BBL season so far with an unbroken 132 runs from 74 balls, saying he believed their partnership was successful because of their contrasting strengths.

“I have been at the other end for a few of his ridiculous reverse ramps this year, so certainly the best seat in the house,” he said.

“The way he came in and just took the game on, he was 14 off three balls, so that certainly takes the pressure off me at the other end.

“For him to be able to run down the wicket and hit balls over cover for six, I think it makes it pretty hard for opposition teams to bowl to him.”

After his friend and state teammate Cameron Green suffered a broken finger during the Test summer, commentators including Ricky Ponting and Kerry O’Keefe flew Hardie’s flag for a national call-up, but the Willetton product said his focus was firmly on state duties.

“I’ve stayed in contact with a few of those Aussie selectors, but more talking about Shield cricket in the early part of the season,” Hardie said.

“I’m pretty happy just playing with the Scorchers at the moment.”

The win over Brisbane put the Scorchers on top of the BBL ladder with a game to spare, with a Sydney double-header against the Thunder on Friday night and the Sixers on Sunday night coming up this weekend.

IMAGE: Getty Images


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