Heat given 'free licence to play the way we want'
CRICKET: Brisbane Heat leg spinner Samuel Badree says keeping the Adelaide Strikers' big guns quiet will be key to success in their Big Bash League opener at Adelaide Oval tonight.
Australian internationals Travis Head and Ben Dunk and Badree's West Indian teammate Kieron Pollard are some of the big hitters in a Strikers team captained by veteran Brad Hodge.
Badree said it was important that the Heat bowlers stuck to their plans if the team was to get off to a winning start.
"They have got a good team with good depth. Travis Head, obviously, is one that comes to mind, and Ben Dunk - having come across here from Hobart - is another,” Badree said.
"Kieron Pollard, we know how dangerous he can be as well, so they have a number of players who we will be worried about but I guess we have got to plan and execute those plans the best we can.
"They will be difficult, especially playing at home.
"They will be looking to get off to a good start, as will everyone else.
"They have got a pretty good team on paper and we have to come up with some plans to restrict them and then to get as many runs as we can.”
Badree has had a roller-coaster ride since signing for Heat ahead of the 2014-15 Big Bash.
He could not play any part in that tournament because of a shoulder injury but re-signed for last season.
Badree did not get off to the best of starts in that campaign, going wicketless in his first three games, but eventually bounced back to finish as his team's leading wicket-taker, with nine wickets from eight matches.
The Heat will be looking to make the finals for the first time since winning the Big Bash in 2013.
Badree said having batsmen of the quality of Brendon McCullum, Chris Lynn and Alex Ross, a signing from the Strikers, would hold the Heat in good stead but it was important to hit the ground running.
"We are really looking forward to a good start in the competition,” he said.
"Traditionally we have not started well so we are looking to change that.
"I think that's (batting) our strength.
"Brendon has given us free licence to play the way we want to play.
"I am looking forward to Lynny doing the same thing he did last year and with Alex Ross supporting as well.”
Badree said McCullum's leadership style would also be key to a successful tournament and his runs at the top of the order would also be crucial.
"I think the experience that he brings and the freedom that he gives his players brings confidence,” he said.
"That's the mindset he brings to the team and that's going to play an important role going into this tournament.
"Brendon is a class act and if he gets going it's going to be difficult to stop him.
"We are hoping he gives us a good start and bats deep into the innings.
"We know how difficult it can be to restrain him, so I think he's key for us and the start he gives us at the top of the innings.”