Scorchers prepared for anything: Hardie
Perth Scorchers all-rounder Aaron Hardie is stoked his side are back playing home games in front of the orange faithful.
The Scorchers found themselves in all sorts of trouble at 5 for 49 in their season-opening clash with the Sixers on Saturday before the young gun led the way with 55 from 32 deliveries, helping put a score of 9 for 155 on the board, which proved more than enough as the Sixers were bowled out for 117.
“We certainly weren’t in the best position at that point, but we’ve practised these scenarios before, we’ve all played a lot of Twenty20 cricket now,” Hardie told Sports Breakfast.
“We knew that if we could get to somewhat of a total, we were sort of thinking over the 140 mark, the Perth Scorchers bowlers have won so many games for us over the years, so we knew if we could give [Jhye Richardson] and [Jason Behrendorff] a chance with the new ball, they could defend anything.
“It’s continual discussions all throughout, discussions about when to take the Power Surge and all that sort of stuff. I think Ashton Agar and I certainly had a pretty clear plan when we were out there and glad we could get to a total.”
The Scorchers have a full suite of games at Optus Stadium this season after playing at home just once last year due to pandemic border restrictions, with Hardie believing the unique Perth conditions give his team a strong home ground advantage.
“It certainly makes other teams who’ve had a long flight over and then they get welcomed with Jhye Richardson bowling 145 [km/h] with a lot of bounce, it makes them not enjoy coming to Optus, we certainly feel that when we’re out there bowling to them,” he said.
“I think the pitch was actually pretty good, it’s always a fast outfield there, you sort of look at some of our dismissals early on and you can’t really blame the pitch for some of those ones.”
The run-up to the tournament has not been smooth sailing for the defending champions, with star Mitch Marsh ruled out on the eve of the tournament after ankle surgery and overseas draft picks Laurie Evans, Phil Salt, and Tymal Mills all unable to take part.
“We’ve had lots of setbacks over the last couple of years, so it sort of just feels like another year, to be honest. Nothing ever goes a hundred percent smoothly, especially in the Big Bash,” Hardie said.
“We know we’ve got a lot of local talent. I think blokes who were sitting on the sidelines last year, someone like Matthew Kelly, who when he came in last year and absolutely dominated, I think Tymal Mills not coming over probably just opens up the door for him to come in.
“It certainly wasn’t a disaster of a preseason like some people are labelling it, so we’re pretty confident in the team we’ve got.”
The Scorchers have a busy week in front of them, taking on the Hobart Hurricanes in Launceston today before heading to Melbourne to play the Stars on Friday, coming back to Optus on Boxing Day to take on Adelaide.
IMAGE: The Cricketer.