Perth Scorchers skipper Simon Katich was curious to know if it rains in these parts at this time of the year. Thankfully, the showers have brought welcome relief to the locals reeling under heat and humidity for the past few days. However, Katich shrugged off the news from the local media officer that it was pouring at the venue of the Champions League T20 matches to be played at Motera on Monday.
The 38-year-old Katich is the captain of the Western Australian team which knows a lot about pace, bounce and big grounds. He was on the radar for the recent Ashes in England before the Australian selectors stuck with Chris Rogers.
Katich, who has played for Kings XI Punjab, New South Wales and Scorchers, scored 23, 43 not out, 34 and 21 for the Perth side in last year’s CL in South Africa.
Scorchers, which faces Highveld Lions in the first match of the day, had a net session on Saturday evening.
The previous day saw the team go through fielding drills as well as a ‘big-hitting’ session at the main ground. Scorchers has not been able to assemble its best squad owing to injuries to Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh and Pat Cummins, while Michael Hussey has opted to play for Chennai Super Kings and Nathan Coulter-Nile for Mumbai Indians.
To make matters worse, Somerset, facing relegation, did not release fast bowler Alfonso Thomas.
However, Scorchers’ senior players — Michael Beer and Marcus North — said they have a close-knit squad, and added that the youngsters would benefit from the opportunities and exposure.
When asked how a team, hit by injuries, could find the right combination, left-arm spinner Beer said: “A majority of the group here have been training together all winter as part of the Western Australian squad. Justin Langer is the coach. It’s great to have someone with so much experience in the team. The main thing he tells us, particularly the young guys, is to go out there without any fear and back yourself.”
Scorchers is not actually concerned with the humidity. “We are in the middle of a summer in Australia though it is certainly not this humid.
“We have been here long enough to get acclimatised to the conditions. I don’t think the humidity is going to play any part in our performance in the next couple of weeks.
“The first thing we noticed here is the small boundaries compared to the one in Australia; it’s almost half of MCG. We have an ambitious group, very driven and look to play entertaining cricket,’’ added North.
Lions’ key batsman Neil McKenzie said Chris Morris would have contributed in the bowling and batting departments, but added that it was a feather in Morris’ cap that he was chosen by Super Kings.
“We would not be here without fancying our chances though all teams have quality. We generally talk of Indian wickets as dustbowls, but during Saturday’s match (at Jaipur), there was swing, seam and bounce. It’s good that we are not playing a sub-continent team in the first match,” said McKenzie.