Old man Hogg poses biggest threat
He's 42 and it has been a year since he played the last of his 142 internationals for Australia but Brad Hogg remains the dangerman tonight for the Otago Volts as they eye their next Champions League group match in India.
The Volts take on Australian Big Bash League finalists the Perth Scorchers in Jaipur, in a game they probably must win if they want to reach the semifinals of the $7.4 million tournament.
The Scorchers head into the game understrength, with key batting brothers Shaun and Mitchell Marsh both injured.
On top of that and they will also be without Alfonso Thomas, who was their leading bowler during the Big Bash League.
Despite this the Simon Katich-captained team still has threats, headed by Hogg.
His left-arm spinners are like gold in the Twenty20 format and that is backed up with his 80 wickets at average of 22.06 runs per wicket and economy rate of 6.73 runs per over in 70 domestic Twenty20 matches.
He bowls with good variations in the limited-overs format and his googly often has batsmen searching for the ball.
Given Hogg's threat the Volts will probably be comfortable showing him respect and targeting some of the other less experienced and less potent attacking weapons.
In the batting department Katich and Adam Voges are the most high-profile and probably the most likely to put the Volts bowling attack under pressure.
The Scorchers do not have fond memories of the Champions League tournament after they were thrust into the headlines last year as news filtered through that they were drinking heavily throughout the tournament in South Africa.
On their return captain Marcus North and coach Lachlan Stevens quit their posts.
They were to open their 2013 Champions League campaign against South African team the Highveld Lions yesterday morning (NZ time) but the game was abandoned without a ball bowled because of rain.
The Volts' first group game against the Mumbai Indians, which was to follow the Scorchers fixture at Ahmedabad, was also abandoned with both teams sharing the competition points.
For the Volts, tonight is very much about maintaining their high standards as they search for their 14th successive Twenty20 win.
Brendon McCullum and Ryan ten Doeschate can be expected to provide the backbone of the innings, with the likes of Hamish Rutherford, Neil Broom and Jimmy Neesham needed for some quickfire knocks even if it is only an innings of 20 or 30.
With the ball it is very much about bowling to the field and the fielding unit backing that up.
There are no world-class strike weapons in the Volts attack but there are plenty of bowlers who can operate with discipline.
The game starts at 10.30pm.
HOW THEY LINE UP
Otago Volts (likely playing XI): Hamish Rutherford, Neil Broom, Brendon McCullum, Ryan ten Doeschate, Jimmy Neesham, Nathan McCullum, Derek de Boorder, Ian Butler, Neil Wagner, Nick Beard, James McMillan.
Perth Scorchers (likely playing XI): Liam Davis, Ashton Agar, Simon Katich (c), Adam Voges, Ashton Turner, Hilton Cartwright, Tom Triffitt, Joel Paris, Jason Behrendorff, Brad Hogg, Michael Beer.
TV coverage: Live Sky Sport 1 tonight at Perth Scorchers at 10.20pm.
The odds (tournament winner): Chennai Super Kings $2.80, Rajasthan Royals $4.50, Sunrisers Hyderabad $7, Otago Volts $9, Trinidad and Tobago $13, Lions $15, Titans $18, Perth Scorchers $20, Brisbane Heat $30. --------------------
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