Victoria look to shake up New South Wales
New South Wales and Victoria clash on Wednesday in a replay of their Big Bash final earlier this year. NSW had come out on top against the Bushrangers then, and they are the form team going into the Champions League Twenty20 semi-final.
NSW also have two wins in two on a difficult Feroz Shah Kotla track on which their pace attack is likely to prove a handful. Their only hiccup in their cruise to the semi-final was Kieron Pollard's blitz that took away a match they had dominated for most part.
Victoria coach Greg Shipperd said one of his team's goals was to make sure that a well-oiled NSW outfit was taken out of their comfort zone. "They've played game plan A - everything's worked for them,'' he said. ''Our job's to disturb that and see what they've got up their sleeve … and will they panic, won't they panic, how are they going to deal with a really switched-on bowling and fielding unit."
On a sluggish pitch not conducive to stroke-making - Delhi Daredevils were able to comfortably defend 114 on Monday - the batsmen will need to curb their usual Twenty20 instincts. ''It's probably going to be which batting unit comes out and applies the most pressure on difficult batting conditions that's probably going to get over the line,'' a confident Matthew Mott, NSW's coach, said. "We'd like to think that, on this wicket, we've got a bowling attack and batting line-up to mix it with any side, but they're probably next best-qualified side to really revel in these conditions.''
Victoria have lost two of their four matches on the way to the semi-finals, but are among the most dangerous Twenty20 teams around. Their credentials include a hat-trick of titles in the Big Bash before losing out in the final this year.