Brisbane Heat captain James Hopes believes recalled Hobart quick Doug Bollinger may prove the difference in their Big Bash League clash on Saturday night.
The man once dubbed the “bald eagle” has been tipped to ruffle feathers by undefeated defending champions Brisbane Heat in their Big Bash League Twenty20 clash at the Gabba on Saturday night.
Former follically challenged left-arm quick Doug Bollinger has been released from the fourth Test squad to play for the Hobart Hurricanes this weekend – and it has raised the hairs on the back of Heat captain James Hopes’ neck.
Bollinger’s Test cards appeared to be marked permanently after his last appearance in the baggy green, a woeful 2010 Ashes display in Adelaide.
But the now gloriously maned speedster is back to his best this season for NSW, warranting an Ashes Test squad nod.
Not that Hopes needed to be reminded.
“They are going to be four big overs for us to nullify,” he said of Bollinger.
“In the last Shield game we played against him, you could see he had the pace that he had a few years back.
“He is hitting the bat very hard.
“The couple of overs he bowls early and the others at the back end are going to be key to us doing well.”
Still, Hopes will be backing his side after they made a perfect start to their title defence with a three wicket win over Perth last weekend inspired by man of the match Chris Lynn.
The big hitting Lynn’s 53-ball 81 proved the difference as Brisbane sealed victory with two balls to spare at the Gabba.
A first up win was a refreshing change for Brisbane whose lacklustre season starts were typified by their 2012-13 campaign when they came home with a wet sail to seal a last gasp fourth placing before winning the tournament.
“To get off to a winning start is rare,” Hopes said of Brisbane who won only one of their four home games last season.
“We need to defend our home ground.
“If we can win our four home games that will go a long way to us making the semi-finals.”
Hopes said they were “a bowler heavy” in their first game and hinted at injecting former one-day international Peter Forrest into their XI against Hobart.