The Hobart Hurricanes travel to Melbourne tomorrow for a must win match against the Melbourne Renegades at Etihad Stadium on Thursday night. The Hurricanes have not played at Etihad Stadium since BBL01 and will be looking to keep their finals chances alive with a win on the road.
Pace-duo Sam Rainbird and Jake Reed join the side in anticipation of a seam-friendly Etihad wicket with Shaun Tait and Clive Rose missing out for the must-win match against the 5th placed Renegades.
Both Rainbird and Reed have been yet to feature in BBL|06, however skipper Tim Paine was quick to praise the new additions whilst rubbishing claims against Tait’s recent performances, stating the Wild Thing was still a match-winner in his own right.
“Both Sam and Jake have been bowling really well at training. Reedy’s probably someone who’s similar to Taity - he’s getting better and better and bowled really quickly this morning. They’re two guys we definitely think will suit the Etihad wicket.
“Obviously Taity’s been a bit sore in his elbow and the ball hasn’t been coming out as well as he’d like but we know that he’s quality when he’s fit and firing.
“We know Taity at his absolute best is still a match-winner - we saw that in Sydney in the first game where he took 3 wickets in 8 balls – so it’s just up to us now to manage him, make sure when he’s playing he’s fresh and 100% fit because when he is, he’s still as good as they get.”
Paine also assuaged comments about Rose’s omission, labeling the Etihad pitch and the aggressive Renegades top-order as reasons for change in this must-win fixture.
“Clive is unlucky but we’re going to play against a team who are very good against spin, Paine said.
“They’ve got two opening batters who go pretty hard against left-arm orthodox in Finch and Ryan, so it’s more a match-up situation against the Renegades.
“He certainly hasn’t done anything wrong and he’ll be someone who’s right in the mix for selection against the Scorchers.”
The door remains open for international marquee Kumar Sangakkara to make his return after being omitted from Sunday’s loss to the Thunder.
Skipper Paine said that Sangakkara was gracious upon his omission and, as a proven player of spin bowling, could be in line for a recall in the middle order to combat the likes of Sunil Narine and Brad Hogg.
“He’s been fantastic, “ Paine said.
“Sanga took his omission exceptionally well and that just shows the character of the man and why he’s so popular amongst our group.
“The Renegades have some really good spin-bowlers and Kumar has shown over the years that he’s a quality player of spin.
“He’s played against their spinners and and they’re tricky players to pick, so his experience could be used in the middle order. We could see McDermott and Sanga in the same team.”
Paine was upfront about the Hurricanes previous top-order troubles but expressed confidence in the lower order and the side’s ability to make finals.
“I think overall our batting has been pretty good.
“We know we need to address those bad starts that we’ve had but having said that, it’s T20 cricket, these things can happen and we’ve also got full confidence in those guys coming behind us down the order to handle the pressure really well.
“It’s not ideal where we’re sitting on the ladder, but that’s the nature of the beast with T20 cricket.
“We haven’t been able to put two good games together but we’re right in the mix, so we’ve got to take the positives from the past few games and stay upbeat and be ready for the next game.
“We’ll go to Etihad with a real confidence and back ourselves in and if we get off to a good start and grab some momentum, we’re well and truly in the competition.”
The match hits off at 7.40pm on Thursday night and will be Live on WIN TV and Channel 10.
Hobart Hurricanes vs Melbourne Renegades
Thursday July 12th, Etihad Stadium
Tim PAINE (C)
Dan CHRISTIAN (VC)
Cameron BOYCE (DVC)
In: Sam RAINBIRD
Out: Clive ROSE (Omitted)
Shaun TAIT (Omitted)