Melbourne Renegades Specialist Coach Merv Hughes has this morning thrown his support behind the team’s decision to alter its list selection strategy after a disappointing return on the batsman-friendly Etihad Stadium wicket in BBL|01.
Hughes believes the introduction of additional slow bowlers in the form of Muthiah Muralidaran, Aaron O’Brien, James Muirhead, Fawad Ahmed and part-timer Marlon Samuels will pay dividends for the Renegades in the second KFC T20 Big Bash League season.
“Take nothing away from our pace attack,” Hughes said.
“Darren Pattinson is an experienced campaigner [and Jayde] Herrick’s been in really good form over the last 12 months so I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do.
“[However], last year the wicket wasn’t quick bowler friendly for us. To get here on our home ground we’ve got a cricket side that suits where we play.”
Hughes said while the Renegades went down in a Duckworth Lewis-driven result when they last met the Stars on a rain-soaked MCG, he was confident of his team's chances during the BIG Melbourne Derby next Friday 7 December.
“It’s going to be huge,” Hughes said.
“Both teams could lay claim that they could have won last year and from a Renegades point of view I thought we were in a pretty good position. For it to be rained out was very disappointing when we could have played here [Etihad Stadium] and had a result.”
Hughes delivered a glowing assessment of the Renegades’ batting line-up, which will be headed by newly-appointed skipper Aaron Finch.
“He’s been in ripping form in domestic one-dayers with 150 and 140 and that’s a short form of the game so I’m really excited at the prospect of what Finchy’s going to do,” Hughes said.
“Daniel Harris has come over [from Adelaide] and he’s been in pretty good form … [and] du Plessis will play the first game when Samuels isn’t here.
“Samuels showed what he can do in the T20 World Cup and he was a little bit unknown but he just got the job done. If he’s not the coolest bloke playing international cricket at this stage I’ll go heave.”
The Renegades will open the KFC T20 Big Bash League season with the BIG Melbourne Derby against the Stars next Friday 7 December.
Spectators on the night will also enjoy a mind-blowing freestyle moto x stunt show. The daredevil Renegades Freestyle Moto X Team has been hand-picked from the world’s best freestyle riders to provide an extreme edge to the season-opening clash at Etihad Stadium.
Featuring riders including Crusty Demons Joel Balchin, Rhys Hillier and Adam Gropey, and Metal Mulisha FMX rider Robbie Adelberg, it promises to be a three-hour adrenalin blast.