Heat hoping 'match-winner' Poonam can spark WBBL bid
India leg-spinner's arrival critical to Brisbane Heat's chances while batting line-up looks in form after dominating Queensland's early club cricket rounds
12 October 2021, 05:46 PM AEST
Brisbane Heat skipper Jess Jonassen believes India leg-spinner Poonam Yadav is the final 'match-winning' piece of the puzzle as the two-time WBBL champions look to continue proving the doubters wrong.
Last season, the Heat overcame the losses of star players Beth Mooney and Sammy-Jo Johnson to make the semi-finals.
While they have maintained a stable core group for Weber WBBL|07, they have lost two key players in the retired Delissa Kimmince and Kiwi allrounder Amelia Kerr, as she takes a break from the game to focus on her mental health.
However, captain Jess Jonassen believes the addition of India star Poonam will be critical to their hopes of again reaching the knockout phase of the season.
"She's quite a challenging bowler, particularly in this T20 format," Jonassen said.
"She's slightly slower than traditional spinners but she's got a very good wrong'un that's very hard to pick.
"Anyone who watched the T20 World Cup in Australia would know what she's capable of, she well and truly won that first game against Australia in Sydney off her own back so we're really excited to have her at the Heat.
"She adds a whole other dynamic for us and I think she's going to be an absolute a match-winner."
While Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra-based players have had to contend with lockdown throughout their preseasons and then quarantine to arrive in Hobart for the start of the tournament, the majority of the Heat's line-up have benefitted from valuable time in the middle over the last month.
And it means the Heat will face some tough decisions when it comes to selecting their best line-up for their opening match against Perth Scorchers, after their best batters tore up the start of the premier season in Queensland.
The hard-hitting Grace Harris (317 runs at 52.83), Laura Kimmince (318 runs at 106) and Mikayla Hinkley (318 runs at 63.5) all look in promising form, but it was young gun Charli Knott who made the biggest statement, amassing 477 runs at 95.5 as a top-order batter for University of Queensland.
Squad: Jess Jonassen* (c), Anneke Bosch (SA), Nadine de Klerk (SA), Poonam Yadav (Ind), Zoe Cooke, Nicola Hancock, Grace Harris, Laura Kimmince, Mikayla Hinkley, Charli Knott, Georgia Prestwidge, Georgia Redmayne, Courtney Sippel, Georgia Voll
* Australia contracted marquee player
In: Anneke Bosch, Ellie Johnston, Poonam Yadav, Zoe Cooke
Out: Delissa Kimmince (retired), Amelia Kerr, Maddy Green, Lilly Mills (Scorchers)
Possible best XI: Georgia Redmayne (wk), Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen (c), Georgia Voll, Laura Kimmince, Charli Knott, Anneke Bosch (SA), Nadine de Klerk (SA), Georgia Prestwidge, Nicola Hancock, Poonam Yadav (Ind)
Player to watch: Georgia Redmayne
X-factor: Laura Kimmince
Last year's result: Semi-finalists
The inside word with Mel Jones: "No Delissa Kimmince, another big loss with both bat and ball is Amelia Kerr - big shoes to fill and that will be the challenge for the Brisbane Heat this year. But what they tend to do is find a way. Poonam Yadav is a massive signing, and I think Jess Jonassen (will be key), not with bat or ball, but her captaincy."
October 17 v Scorchers, Blundstone Arena
October 19 v Scorchers, Blundstone Arena
October 23 v Stars, Invermay Park
October 24 v Strikers, Invermay Park
October 27 v Hurricanes, UTAS Stadium
October 30 v Hurricanes, UTAS Stadium
October 31 v Stars, UTAS Stadium
November 6 v Renegades, Karen Rolton Oval
November 7 v Thunder, Adelaide Oval
November 9 v Sixers, Karen Rolton Oval
November 13 v Sixers, Great Barrier Reef Arena Mackay
November 14 v Strikers, Great Barrier Reef Arena Mackay
November 19 v Thunder, Great Barrier Reef Arena Mackay
November 20 v Renegades, Great Barrier Reef Arena Mackay
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