Brisbane Heat preview

IN

Mitchell Johnson (Perth Scorchers)

Shane Watson (Sydney Sixers)

Kemar Roach (West Indies)

Dale Steyn (South Africa)

Chris Gannon (new)

Luke Powersbach (Perth Scorchers)

OUT

Matthew Hayden (RETIRED) – is far too busy focusing on his cric-tainment business and trotting out meaningless gibberish and made up clichés to play cricket. Evidence:   http://www.thehaydenway.com/about/

Michael Nesser (Adelaide Strikers) – Saffer born Aussie all rounder, carbon copy of Hopes and Christian – no room for you!

 

Delisted

Roelof van der  Merwe (South Africa)– rarely does getting yourself arrested for drink driving during a tournament endear you to the hierarchy of a team. A South African name that rolls off the tongue and a Big Bash career that rolled out the door.

Brendan McCullum (New Zealand) – Hartley is a perfectly capable keeper but Baz Mac’s top order batting may be missed. Will probably bob up as a late replacement somewhere or FIFO for a match or two from NZ.
Ryan Broad
Chris Swan
Michael Gale
Steve Paulsen
Andrew Robinson
Nick Buchanan

 

 

THE PLAYERS

Ben Cutting – A fast bowler who was in such good form last season that he was 12th man for a Test. This season has been a different story with Cutting in horrendous one day form, conceding over 100 runs in a Ryobi Cup match against Victoria in October. He was dropped for Queensland’s next limited overs appointment.  Predicting big runs from his bowling if he does play. Can hit a long ball.

Alister McDermott – Fiery bloodnut fastbowler, son of Craig, and it looks like he will be a mainstay of the Heat attack. Can bowl a heavy ball. Brings a lot of sunscreen to the dressingroom. Also created a revolutionary fielding practice technique known as “The Ali McD fielding training method” which features teammates throwing cricket equipment at a player as he completes a series of catches. What started innocently enough with the odd forearm gaurd, glove or protective box thrown at the player quickly escalated to helmets, stumps and bats being thrown at the fielder and the whole practice had to be stopped when team joker Chris Lynn tried to throw a bowling machine at Ali McD while he did his catches.

Mitchell Johnson – left arm erratic fast bowler. Where to start? Moved from Queensland to WA to play domestic cricket because his girlfriend (now wife) is based in Perth. He has now signed for Brisbane Heat so he will be back in Queensland over the festive period. Confused? I am – it all makes about as much sense as most of his bowling plans – scattergun! “Midge” as Heat Coach Boof Lehman was calling him recently is currently not in the Australian Test or T20 squads but I’m tipping will play in the Australian ODI team so will miss the pointy end of the BBL season. Johnson is generously listed as an All-rounder on the BBL website – clearly they must have read this recently: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/cricket/i-want-to-open-batting-mitchell-johnson/story-e6frey50-1225790231927

MJ is a divisive figure in cricket discussion circles but is mainly a figure of scorn and hatred in all 7 states and territories of Australia for bowling scattergun rubbish, being mentally fragile, being a selectors pet and doing SFA outside of a purple patch of two series v South Africa in 2008/09.

Ryan Harris – injury afflicted fast bowler who will be busy playing Test cricket if he can get fully fit. Will be a definite starter if available and is known for his ability to bowl a very heavy ball that hits the bat incredibly hard. Should have cut The Weapon as his fitness coach years ago….

Nathan Hauritz – right arm off spinner who turns it slightly more than a doorknob and possibly less than Mark Waugh. He is back in Queensland after moving to NSW to get more opportunities to play for Australia – it worked.  Will be the team’s main spinner but probably give way to Vettori when he’s available.

Daniel Vettori –  behind a  magnificent face rug and a set of specs is the slow left arm orthodox spinner and unconventional lower order batsmen, DL Vettori – a name that may be unfamiliar to Australians as he is captain of cricket minnow, New Zealand.  However as the captain of an international side he brings a lot to the dressing room, not just a beard trimmer. Will be in and out of the side as he simultaneously competes in two t20 competitions either side of ‘the dutch’ via FIFO.

Dan Christian – all rounder of note who will be a key part of any Heat success. He continues to be in good form for SA in state cricket and has been in both Australia’s ODI & T20 squads of late. Christian will be keen for a big BBL season to impress the IPL team bosses after he recently lost his $900,000 a season IPL contract. Ouch! Is known amongst the dressing room as the best tweeter – a very important skill as a modern have- bat- will- travel  t20 cricketer.

James Hopes – A fine Queensland stalwart who is another all rounder and skipper of the side. Catfish has missed a few games this season through injury as he pushes into the autumn of his career and is a champion of the low cost haircut  – check out his bongo and tell me it’s not Dimmey’s or DIY. Hopes is a remarkably similar player to Dan Christian – is there really room for both? As captain he is expected to bring a lot to the dressingroom – oranges, sunscreen, insect repellent, bails, new ball, scorebook, the team kit, etc etc

Joe Burns – batsmen. Possibly right handed but could be left handed. Getting rave reviews north of the Tweed River. Notable for his incredible bat speed. Has run 17 6 in the beep test and beat Haydos’ long standing record for most salad rolls eaten during the lunch break at the Gabba – 11.

Chris Lynn – young batsmen who lit up the Sheffield Shield last year but has been dropped from the QLD 4 day team in favour of the younger Joe Burns. Is known as the joker of the Heat squad – some of his crazy antics last year included putting a comb in Coach Lehmann’s toiletries bag for the away trip to Perth, getting Roloef van der Merwe to give him a lift to training on New Year’s Day (resulting in van der Merwe being done for drink driving) and instigating ‘Yie Yie Yippee Yippee Yea’ as the Heat song. As you can see he brings a lot to the dressing room.

Chris Hartley – veteran keeper who keeps on keeping for Queensland. Can provide some very handy lower order runs and in quick time. Not to be underestimated.  Brings a lot to the dressing room –  in particular a very keen dress sense as he is known to eschew the traditional match day wear of team tracksuit for a sharp pair of slacks,  boat shoes and freshly pressed business shirt. A crowd favourite in Brisbane.

Shane Watson – won’t play. Will either be on international duty, injured or rested so he can injure himself in the game after the one he is rested from.  Should dump The Weapon as his fitness coach.

Kemar Roach – Windies pace man with some serious wheels. Had a few stints at Australian domestic t20 since he terrorised Australia batsmen on the Windies 2008 tour. Notably didn’t play in the Windies world t20 victory which meant the entire West Indies pace attack was the modest mediums of Ravi Rampaul & Keiron Pollard. He was probably injured or having a dispute with the board or has simply lost the ability to bowl and has been so incredibly sh1t of late that someone bowling 105km/h dibbly dobblies was a better option. I can’t be bothered finding out which so I’ll go for the most likely option and say it’s a board dispute.

Peter Forrest – top order bat who was in fine form last summer leading to international one day opportunities. Has been seriously sh1t so far this summer: in 6 shield hits he’s made approximately 50 runs at an average of not very much. Cannot seem to see the Forrest for the trees. His mum gave him some advice the other day yelling out, “Run Forrest Run!” But it was just after he’d creamed one straight to point so resulted in a messy two-batsmen-at-one-end run out. File that under ‘Suicide Singles’ thank you very much. Given the dearth of the top order bats in the team and given he is a top order bat I’ll stick my neck out and say he will bat at the top of the order.

Luke Pomersbach – apparently has been painting houses on the Gold Coast with his former WA teammate Brad Williams. If they were handing out medals for outrunning police through sand dunes whilst drunk he would win gold. Unfortunately cricket isn’t played on sand dunes. He hasn’t got near the Queensland team after moving over from WA where he lost his state contract due to a plethora of indiscretions that make the Marsh brothers look like angels. The final straw was his version of the Ben Cousins triathlon mentioned above. And to think Pomersbach played a t20 international for Australia, being plucked from the WACA stands after Brad Hodge hurt his back in the warm up. Another game for Australia Hodge was denied!! Outrage!! But I digress. I don’t follow Brisbane grade cricket so I have no idea what Pomersbach’s form this season is like. He is a batsmen by the way, so will probably play because there is a paucity of bats in the Heat squad. Expect some sort of alcohol fuelled behaviour incident to occur (the Big Bash is over the festive season and “Pomers” has a habit of putting the silly in silly season.)  I’d keep Brad Williams phone number handy if I were Luke.

Dale Steyn – who? Will only play one game – the first. What’s the point? Well where to start – he bowls an incredibly heavy ball that hits the bat incredibly hard and will bring a wealth of international experience to the dressing room for 3 hours.

Chris Gannon – A fast bowler making his way in the interstate game yet to do anything that I have noticed except that replacing the first letter of his surname with the first letter of his first name you get CANNON – intimidating! And imagine who heavy a ball a CANNON can bowl!!

 

THE   SUMMARY

The squad seems to be light on for top order batting & batting in general but quite strong in all rounders and has a plethora of pacemen. They have only signed 17 players so far and one remaining spot is to be awarded to the winner of a cricket-off – a competition amongst grade and country cricketers to find the best available park cricketer to embarrass himself on a grander stage – brilliant!  Let’s hope they unearth a brutal stroke player from the back blocks of Bundaberg who can open the innings!

 

THE XI

  1. James Hopes
  2. Peter Forrest
  3. Dan Christian
  4. Joe Burns
  5. Chris Lynn
  6. Luke Pomersbach
  7. Chris Hartley
  8. Daniel Vettori
  9. Mitchell Johnson
  10. Nathan Hauritz
  11. Kemar Roach
  12. Alister McDermott

 

THE PREDICTION: 5th

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Ross Slater

Blogging about the important things - AFL and cricket

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