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CLT20 Staff in Johannesburg

Won’t be over-dependent on Watson: Haddin

Sixers’ skipper whole team to contribute; pins hopes on young quicks

Quite expectedly, the one of the first questions shot at Sydney Sixers captain, Brad Haddin when he addressed the media ahead of leading his team in CLT20 2012, was about a certain Mr. Shane Watson.

Haddin, after quickly acknowledging, “Over the last one month he’s been playing a different brand of cricket”, ruled out any idea of the Sixers being a one-man army. “But it’s important for us to not focus on just one player. If we want to go far in this competition, we’ve got to play well as a team. We think we have a very good squad that will play well in these conditions.”

While Watson will take up a lot of the team’s responsibilities, what is really perceived as the strength of this Australian side is their potent pace attack. In Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, they have two young and genuinely fast bowlers who would be a handful on the South African tracks.

“We’re lucky in this tournament to have guys who can really push the radar quite high, in the mid-140s and Pat can get it up to the 150s, which is a different ball game altogether,” Haddin said, hoping the young pacers will benefit from playing in a tournament as big as the CLT20. “I think it’s a great thing for them to be playing in this competition. From my point of view, my message to them will be ‘go out there and bowl fast’.”

Cummins’s recent ascent to the international stage has led to his being earmarked as the future leader of Australia’s pace attack. And the 19-year-old speedster has already some mighty shoes to fill in this competition for his state side, with Brett Lee turning up for his IPL team, the Kolkata Knight Riders. His skipper, however, thinks he’ll be just fine. “You obviously want to have Binga [Lee] in your setup but we’re lucky to have Pat in our team, who is a pretty handy replacement for Binga.”

While the composition of the Sydney Sixers team makes them one of the favourites in South African conditions, Haddin believes this particular squad would’ve done just as well had they been playing in India.

“I’m not too fussed about the venue. I played last year’s CLT20 in India as part of KKR and it was wonderful. We’re lucky that with our squad, it doesn’t really matter where we’re playing. I think we have all bases covered, no matter what the conditions are like,” he said.

Haddin ended the interaction with a demand related to his KKR, Sydney and Australia teammate, Brett Lee.

“And Binga shouldn’t be allowed to play against the Sixers if we come across KKR,” he quipped.

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