Teal coloured clothing will swamp the Gabba starting December, as the Brisbane Heat begin their KFC Twenty20 Big Bash League campaign for 2012/2013.
With Matthew Hayden retired, and the team missing out on BBL|01 finals by a very small margin, the Heat will be seeking redemption as the revamped tournament begins on December 7.
Here’s a look at players who could give us a whole lot of entertainment:
Players to watch:
Ryan Harris: “Ryno” might be injury prone, but when he is on song, he is like a raging bull in a china shop. Limited starts with the Heat in BBL|01 due to international commitments, but hewill be looking to step up and take charge of the pace attack. Experience will be key to help mentor the young ones. Bouncy Gabba wicket will have batsmen on the back foot when they face up to the 181cm hulk.
Dale Steyn: Will play one game with the Heat against the Hobart Hurricanes. Only 179cm but defies his height with awkward bounce and great pace bowling. Has lost some speed but makes up for it in aggression and accuracy. Is certain to boost crowd numbers for the Hurricanes game and put some spark into BBL|02. 117 Twenty20 wickets says a lot about hisexperience.
James Hopes: The all-rounder only saw action in one match in BBL|01, a knee injury keeping him sidelined for a fair chunk of the summer. Great medium pacer and extremely handy with the bat, he will be a very big contributor in the batting order. Australian experience gives him the edge and knowledge to help others and himself to further expand his game. Will be hoping to stay fully fit for the Heat’s BBL|02 campaign. A “never say die” player
Chris Lynn: Hitter. That is the best word to describe Lynn. First real taste of Twenty20 cricket was in the 2012 Indian Premier League playing for the Deccan Chargers, and has spent time in the Cricket Australia Centre of Excellence familiarisation programme. Will be looking to improve on BBL|01 numbers, and be yet another piece of the puzzle for the Heat’s conquest for the BBL|02 title.
Dan Christian: Heat coach Darren Lehmann is very happy to have Christian back in the line-up. So he should be. The exciting all-rounder has plenty of international experience, but needs to hit form. There’s a lot to like. Christian can bowl wily medium pacers and is very handy as a middle-to-lower-order hitter.
Peter Forrest: Given the chance Forrest was given in the Australian team last season, the talented batsman will want to give everything he can for the Heat, and possibly put himself back on the selectors’s radar. 66 on ODI debut, and a century in just his third match showcases form under pressure. With Hayden not in the Heat squad for BBL|02, Forrest will play a major role in bolstering the batting line-up.
Biggest X Factor: Mitchell Johnson. Out of luck with the Aussie selectors, the left arm quick has found renewed form with the ball (and even with the bat) at the start of this domestic season. Will be looking to knock on the selectors door. For now, though, the paceman will be looking to exploit the Gabba bounciness to its limits.
Saddle up for BBL|02 as a stronger, faster and improved Heat side vie for bragging rights come January.
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