Heat may be down players, but they're still afire
BRISBANE Heat coach Stuart Law may have the big guns missing from his Champions League squad, but that doesn't mean he hasn't got the players to fire in India.
Aussie representative trio Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris, Kiwi Dan Vettori, Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera and last seasons Big Bash League star Luke Pomersbach are all missing from the BBL champions' squad for the lucrative tournament that starts later this week.
Watson, Johnson and Perera will play for their respective Indian Premier League teams in the tournament in which the winning side will pocket $2.5million, while injury has ruled out Harris (hamstring) and Vettori (ankle).
The big-hitting Pomersbach withdrew due to personal reasons.
Law, who took over from the now Australian coach Darren Lehmann last month, left Brisbane with his squad yesterday and said it was far from a mission impossible, despite missing the "big six".
"You go with what you have and a nothing-to-lose attitude in my books," the former Queensland captain and Australian representative said.
"I am not too fussed about it (the missing six) to be honest - we have a good squad with a great blend of youth and experience and we are all looking forward to the challenge.
"The key for us is winning the first game as momentum is important in these tournaments."
The Heat plays Trinidad and Tobago first-up on Sunday.
On the subject of winning, Australian captain Michael Clarke would love to win tonight's fifth and final ODI against England in Southampton to salvage something from a disappointing tour of England.
The series is locked at 1-1 after wicketkeeper Jos Buttler hat-trick, smashed 65 not out off 48 balls to steer England to a three-wicket win, and with only three balls to spare, in Cardiff yesterday.
Earlier, Clint McKay bagged the 34th hat-trick in ODI history, and the fifth by an Australian, after he trapped Kevin Pietersen lbw before having Jonathan Trott and Joe Root held in the slips to leave the hosts reeling at three for eight in the third over of their pursuit of 228.
Bruce Reid (v New Zealand in 1986), Anthony Stuart (v Pakistan in 1997), Brett Lee (v Kenya in 2003), and Dan Christian, who is with the Heat squad for India, (v Sri Lanka in 2012) are the four previous Aussies to have achieved the feat.
But the weather, which denied Australia the chance to win the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford, and possibly the final Test at The Oval, looks set to thwart Clarke again - heavy rain is forecast for most of England today.