Revamped Renegades hunt maiden BBL title
MELBOURNE Renegades have set their sights on burying six summers of disappointment by capturing this summer's Big Bash League championship after giving their roster a facelift.
Captain Aaron Finch named six new faces in his 13-man squad to take on Hobart on Thursday and declared he would go after Hurricane imports Tymal Mills (England) and Jofra Archer (West Indies).
The fast bowlers and Sussex teammates are likely to take the new ball when Finch and opening partner Marcus Harris hit the crease at Blundstone Arena.
"We'll try and get after them and really put the foot down from the start," Finch said.
"They're going to be under a lot of pressure coming into the Big Bash for the first time. Especially Mills, who has got a long injury history and he's expected to run in and bowl extremely fast."
Big Bash rivals are privately questioning whether Mills, 25, can get through the 10-match season.
Mills is a T20 specialist after a rare congenital back condition forced him to retire from first-class cricket in 2015.
Finch - who still harbours Test ambitions - said the Renegades had "most definitely" underachieved by qualifying for just one semi-final in six Big Bash seasons.
But after two practice match wins against Brisbane Heat on the weekend and an impressive MCG training session on Tuesday the explosive batsman was confident the tide would turn.
"Making the finals once in six years has been very disappointing," Finch said.
"But we've filled a few holes that we had last year and hopefully a bit more experience will help us get over the line in close ones.
"The expectation is to win it (the title). Every team is going in with the same goal."
A guarded Finch was unwilling to reveal whether part-time bowl Tom Cooper would send down the first over or at what stage Afghan recruit Mohammad Nabi would be deployed in the attack.
Nabi, 32, is unknown to most in Australian domestic cricket, including new teammates Cameron White and Tim Ludeman.
But Finch said the Renegades were "hoping for big things" from the all-rounder.
"I played against him last year in IPL and have seen a lot of his stuff over there," Finch said.
"He's a very crafty off-spinning bowler who can give it a real smack with the bat.
"And he comes highly recommended from Davey Warner and Tom Moody, who were in charge of Sunrisers (Hyderabad) last year.
"They couldn't speak highly enough about him as a player and a guy."
New Hurricanes coach Gary Kirsten (South Africa) only joined his team on Wednesday and Hobart will unleash former Renegades Alex Doolan and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.
Doolan will open the batting with young gun D'Arcy Short.