Perth Scorchers coach Justin Langer hopes one of his spinners will do an Eric Hollies on Sachin Tendulkar when they play Mumbai Indians in the last Group A fixture on Wednesday. Hollies, a legspinner from England, is best remembered as the man who bowled Don Bradman for a duck in his final Test innings, leaving him four runs short of an average of 100 in Tests.
"I hope we have a Hollies in our team tomorrow when we bowl to Sachin. Hollies - wasn't that the name?" Langer told journalists on the eve of their last match. "Well, I love watching Sachin bat and wish he never gets out. But tomorrow, I wouldn't like him to score too many runs. Even at this age of 40, he batted in the nets for two hours the other day. That was incredible."
"I would like my boys to take up the challenge of playing against superstars. This is an inexperienced side and they will learn a lot from this trip. Look at Otago Volts. They have come here three times and now it's showing results."
Tendulkar is now 26 runs short of completing 50,000 runs in first-class, List A and Twenty20 matches.
Langer also spoke of Harbhajan Singh, another international player for Mumbai who they would have to be wary of.
"They have to face a trouble-maker like Harbhajan," he said. "Well, please don't make a controversy when I term Harbhajan as a trouble-maker. I mean he is a guy who would always like to have a competition or two with us over the years."
Scorchers lie at the bottom of the points table in their group without a win against their name. While their first match was washed out, they lost their other two matches, against Otago Volts and Rajasthan Royals. They were the first to crash out of the Champions League from their group and were soon followed by the Lions. Langer stated that even though it was no excuse, the absence of several players, due to injury and some of them opting for IPL franchises, could have affected their performances.
"We didn't have the Marsh brothers - Shaun and Mitch - due to injury," he said. "We didn't have Pat Cummins, while Nathan Coultier-Nile and Mitchell Johnson decided to play for Mumbai Indians. So we had a side that was very thin on experience. But that's no excuse.
"The first match was washed out and we played poorly in the next two matches. If we hadn't dropped a couple of crucial catches, the matches could have swung in our favour. We packed our sides with four spinners and then found out that Jaipur track had a lot of pace and bounce. We didn't have Cummins and that became a factor,"