Warriors coach Justin Langer says he expects pace pair Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Coulter-Nile to bolster their attack at the back-end of the forthcoming Matador One-Day Cup.
Johnson was set to miss the Bangladesh Test series after Cricket Australia decided the spearhead of Australia’s attack needed to rest ahead of a packed international schedule, while Coulter-Nile is making his way back from an injured hamstring, picked up during the recent ODI series against England.
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The Warriors, who won last year’s edition of the tournament, have already been strengthened considerably with the return of Shaun and Mitchell Marsh, Cameron Bancroft and captain Adam Voges.
"Rarely do you get the opportunity to see all Australian players playing in domestic cricket,” Langer told WA Cricket.
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"I think it’s a great thing. It’s going to be a really tough competition. It’s going to be great to see that competitiveness.
"We’re waiting on Nathan Coulter-Nile and Mitchell Johnson at the back end of the tournament, which is exciting.
"To see Adam Voges, the Marsh boys and Cameron Bancroft playing in Western Australian colours is very exciting.”
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Langer enjoyed a sensational season in 2014-15, with the Perth Scorchers taking out the KFC Big Bash League and the Warriors making the final of the Sheffield Shield in addition to the Matador Cup success.
The Warriors mentor is under no illusions however, just how difficult it will be to defend their title.
"There’s no doubt there’s going to be some tough teams,” he said. "Steve Smith goes to New South Wales, the Vics are going to be very strong, all round it’s going to be a very tough tournament.”
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Langer also expressed his disappointment for the players forced to make way for the return of the Test stars – Will Bosisto, Tom Beaton, Marcus Harris and Jonathan Wells.
Bosisto will now captain the Cricket Australia XI, while Harris is set to open the batting for the new side.
"It’s been really hard,” he added. "Some of the guys have had a huge pre-season and miss out on the opportunity but that’s the business we’re in.”
WA’s title defence begins on Monday against South Australia at Hurstville Oval from 9am AEST.