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Prajakta Pawar in Ahmedabad

Scorchers look forward to Indian conditions

Team trained in Darwin to prepare for CLT20

The new look Perth Scorchers squad is set to stake a claim on the Champions League Twenty20 title under the captaincy of Simon Katich and guidance of coach Justin Langer this season.

Speaking about his team while addressing the media in Ahmedabad, the Scorchers skipper said, “We have got a completely different squad to last year (CLT20 2012). There is no doubt that we are going into this tournament as underdogs, but that is something that we are used to even in the Big Bash (League) back home. (Last) two years I think we have been written off in both seasons. But I think it is testament to the guys in our squad that we don’t pay too much attention to any of that stuff and everyone just gets on with training hard and preparing as well as they can and knowing their role within the team.”

The team from Australia has a healthy mix of experienced campaigners and youth. Katich added, “We have got a lot of young guys looking forward to not only the challenge of playing in India, but showing what they can do. It is an exciting time for them in their careers. We also have got a few older heads in the squad like Brad Hogg, Michael Beer and Adam Voges – the sort of guys who have played international cricket.”

Discussing the challenges that Indian conditions present, Katich said, “The boys have been preparing back home pre-season. There have been a few guys like Adam Voges, who has been in England playing one-dayers. There are few guys obviously who had different preparations, but the bulk of the squad had been in Darwin preparing. It is probably the most ideal place – as close to Indian conditions as you get with the humidity and I guess the preparation of wickets. And we will use the next four-five days as best as we can in these conditions.”

Elaborating on this point, coach Langer said, “The truth is any Australian team coming to India is always going to be challenging.”

“Certainly in my career as player, it was the toughest place to play cricket and when we won the Test series here in 2004, it was the highlight of my Test career.” He added, “We are looking forward to the young kids for whom it is going to be an incredible experience and as Simon said the best we could do was go to Darwin on the way to India where it is hot, though not as hot as here in Ahmedabad and some of the other places that we are we are going to travel to.”

The Scorchers also mentioned that the enthusiasm and the experience of someone like Hogg would add immensely to the team. “He will bring the experience of IPL cricket and playing in India. But what Brad Hogg brings is incredible energy and enthusiasm. At 42, he is the fittest guy in the squad; he trains very hard, but his energy and enthusiasm for any team is contagious. So from that point, yes he will help as a senior player who has been here before. His energy and enthusiasm is very important in any good team,” Langer said.

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