Short 'confident' in Strikers depth to replace exiting players

The Adelaide Strikers were in "dire straights" at one stage this season but with the form of its captain they feel ready for finals success

Adelaide Strikers captain Matt Short has expressed “disappointment” in his side losing multiple players ahead of the finals but the in-form batter is still feeling "pretty confident" as his side prepares to face Perth Scorchers in the Knockout final.

Short was announced the KFC BBL|13 captain of the year, as voted by the coaches, on Thursday morning for his competition-leading 509-run campaign.

Heading into the do-or-die clash on Saturday, Short said his side will have the depth to cover the loss of Jamie Overton, Chris Lynn and Adam Hose.

"We have lost some quality players too which is disappointing but I’m sure we got the depth to fill those spots," Short said on Thursday after also expressing relief at the fact the in-form Laurie Evans was gone for the Scorchers.

"I’m really looking forward to seeing what those guys (coming in) can do."

Short remained tight-lipped on who would replace the departing players in the XI but mentioned James Bazley, Wes Agar and Brendan Doggett as potential options to replace Overton.

He also said Ben Manenti and Tom Kelly would be a chance of coming into the side to cover the exit of Lynn and Hose.

Speaking about his own season, which saw him finish as the top-scoring Strikers player in six of nine games this campaign, Short said he wasn't exactly sure what sparked the form.

"I haven't really changed anything, it's just going out there and enjoying my time at the top of the order," he said.

"I haven't really found any extra pressures with the captaincy or anything like that, more just sort of building on my form last year and the last couple of years."

Short admitted his side had exceeded expectations this season by making finals after a slow start and expressed his pleasure at his side’s ability to turnaround its season after starting with a 1-1-4 record.

"To be honest probably not (we didn't think we would be here)," he said.

"We definitely made it pretty hard for ourselves, I think we needed to win the last four in a row (to make finals).

"But it’s a huge credit to the lads, it was pretty dire straits there, I think we were sitting at the bottom of the ladder at some stage.

"It’s awesome to be able to turn it around and get in this position."

The Strikers finished with a 5-4 record and a draw to qualify for finals in fourth spot on the ladder.

Short makes most of first-ball life to extend golden run

Short said he was determined to bring his regular season form into the finals for the Strikers.

"It's all well and good to be able to do it throughout the round games but now we're in the top four, it's probably more important now to get it done in the finals and really give the boys a chance of winning," he said.

The captain was also pleased by the strong batting contributions of D'Arcy Short (231 runs) and Jake Weatherald (138 runs from two innings) who had been rejuvenated this season courtesy of Tasmania. 

D'Arcy Short departed the Hobart Hurricanes at the end of last campaign while Weatherald changed state sides from South Australia to Tasmania, with both moves seeming to have helped the pair find form this Big Bash campaign.

KFC BBL|13 Finals Schedule

The Qualifier: Brisbane Heat v Sydney Sixers. January 19, 7.40pm AEDT, Carrara Stadium, Gold Coast 

The Knockout: Perth Scorchers v Adelaide Strikers. January 20, 7.40pm AEDT, Optus Stadium  

The Challenger: Loser of the Qualifier v winner of the Knockout. January 22, time, venue TBC

The Final: Winner of the Qualifier v winner of the Challenger. January 24, time, venue TBC