Brisbane Heat v Trinidad & Tobago, CLT20, Ranchi September 21, 2013

Depleted champions aim to fill gaps

Match facts

September 22, 2013
Start time 1600 (1030GMT)

Big Picture

Brisbane Heat and Trinidad & Tobago, the T20 champions of Australia and West Indies, are faced with similar problems at the start of their CLT20 campaign: they have lost the nucleus of their squad to IPL franchises. Both teams have lost three players each. Heat are without Shane Watson (Rajasthan Royals), Mitchell Johnson (Mumbai Indians) and Thisara Perera (Sunrisers Hyderabad), while T&T have lost Kieron Pollard (Mumbai), Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings) and Kevon Cooper (Royals).

The difference between the sides, however, lies in the other players Heat are missing. Luke Pomersbach is unavailable due to family reasons, and Daniel Vettori and Ryan Harris are out with injuries.

T&T have been consistent over the years, qualifying for the CLT20 for the fourth time. They performed best in 2009, when they had Bravo and Pollard and made the final, but even without the pair T&T have six players who were part of the West Indies squad that won the 2012 World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

Without Watson and Pomersbach, however, Heat will face a strong T&T bowling attack, and they might struggle to counter the spin of Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine and Sherwin Ganga on Indian surfaces. Heat's solitary specialist spinner is Nathan Hauritz, who had the backing of his captain James Hopes.

"I am pretty sure that Hauritz can have a good impact in the four overs that he is going to bowl," Hopes said. "He is an experienced bowler. We have more than one spinner."

T&T's squad looks stronger too, with batsmen Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, the captain Denesh Ramdin and fast bowlers Ravi Rampaul, Shannon Gabriel and Rayad Emrit. Rampaul will mark his return to competitive cricket after spending three months recovering from an ankle injury.

"We have experience of Rampaul, Narine and [Darren] Bravo and we can give a good account of ourselves," Ramdin said. "Hopefully, we can have a good tournament."

Players to watch

With his international experience and sheer pace, Kemar Roach will need to give Heat the impetus with the new ball. He has the ability to dismantle batting line-ups with his speed, and his knowledge of bowling on Indian pitches could make him Heat's trump card.

Sunil Narine will be bowling to Australian batsmen on Indian pitches, where he has had tremendous success during the IPL. Not only did he take wickets but he also kept the scoring down. With a T20 economy rate of 5.42, Heat will need to find ways to score against Narine.

Vishal Dikshit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on September 22, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    champions league is merely an ipl with some foreign clubs , 1st thing first , there is not even equal representation from all countries , many champions lose their main players to ipl teams ,and non champions are included in the main phase while sl nz and paks champion teams has to qualify and that too with another ipl team , the format is pathetic

  • Android on September 22, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    ipl teams are too strong for other teams which have average talents and cricketing abilities. it will be calkwalk for ipl teams who are strongest in the world.not fair on other average competition in this year cl.i can see 4 ipl teams playing in semis.other teams just make up numbers and are also-rans.

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    narine today he wiil rock the indian pitches

  • Tahir on September 22, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    It is not an ICC backed tournament and has its own rules very rightly supporting the interests of the investors/sponsors. That is why four teams from india, one each from other countries barring england who dont play IPL etc. In case a team loses players to IPL then they should be allowed to inject best players from their second or third ranking team in CL qualifying tournament.

  • James on September 22, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    @Rhys.C, The IPL pays the players country something like $150,000 US bucks just for a single player to play for them instead of their home franchise, so the boards love it!

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    the charm of this competion is gone once all the main players of other team play for ipl teams , its just becomes a competition with which ipl team will win this , i mean there has to be a system to divide main players equally so there is proper fight within team and this tournament is a griper not just competition between weak teams and ipl teams

  • Rhys on September 22, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    I find it disappointing that players are choosing (or are forced to? I'm not sure) to play for their IPL franchise when a team they are apart of from their own country is competing as well.

  • Michael on September 22, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    This is a great example of why the CLT20 lacks genuine interest.....only the IPL franchise teams will be at full strength and having a distinct advantage over the other sides. Not worth watching at all.

  • ESPN on September 22, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    Go Heat! Even without our stars we will show the world what we are made of!! Lynn, Hopes, McDermott and Christian are all strong players that will surprise a lot of people.

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