Lanning itching to kick off Scorchers' campaign
Tired of watching everyone else play, the ultra-competitive Scorchers skipper is ready to launch her team's campaign in Melbourne on Wednesday
22 October 2019, 04:08 PM AEST
As the opening weekend of the Rebel WBBL season played out in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, Perth Scorchers skipper Meg Lanning could only look on in envy as she awaited her turn.
The Scorchers are the only team yet to play a game and will kick off their WBBL|05 campaign against Melbourne Renegades at Junction Oval on Wednesday.
The delayed start gave Lanning and her Scorchers teammates a chance to scope out the competition, but for the ultra-competitive Lanning, time in the middle cannot come soon enough.
"I’m sick of watching everyone else play, so I’m ready to get out there and the squad is as well," Lanning said on Tuesday.
"There was some high-quality cricket played (at the weekend).
"It’s going to be a pretty even competition, so we need to start off well."
Lanning has yet to play in a WBBL final, having missed out in her two seasons with the Melbourne Stars, while she was sidelined through injury when the Scorchers finished runners-up in WBBL|03, before their fifth-placed finish last season.
The Scorchers will have a reshuffle at the top of the order this season after the departure of Australian representative Elyse Villani to the Stars, but they have welcomed back English allrounder Natalie Sciver who’ll strengthen their line-up both with her inventive batting and pace bowling.
She joins fellow England star, wicketkeeper-bat Amy Jones, in the Scorchers marquee ranks, a group rounded out by the Australian-contracted Nicole Bolton.
"(Nat’s) massive for us, she’s very experienced at international level and can contribute in all three facets of the game," Lanning said.
"She’ll be crucial for us, she’s great to have around the group and hopefully she can have a big season.
"We’ve got a good squad together, a good mix of internationals and local players.
"I think we’ve got strength in our batting and bowling, which is crucial so hopefully different people can step up at different times."
Recent international debutante Heather Graham is one player Lanning hopes will find another gear this season.
The allrounder topped the wickets tally in WBBL|04 and toured the West Indies with the Australian squad in September before debuting against Sri Lanka earlier this month.
"(Heather’s) been a great domestic player for a number of years now," Lanning said.
"She’s pretty unassuming but she gets it done with both bat and ball so hopefully it’s another big season for her."
From Melbourne, the Scorchers will travel directly to Brisbane to play the Heat on Saturday.
Their first home game isn’t until November 1, but Lanning believes the time on the road could work in her squad’s favour.
"It brings the squad together," she said. "We’ve got some new faces and there’s nothing like travel to get to know each other better."
Meanwhile Renegades skipper Jess Duffin believes her team can continue their winning momentum after bouncing back in the second of their two matches against the Strikers in Adelaide at the weekend, when England stars Danni Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont laid the foundation for a successful chase.
"It would have been nice coming back with two wins, but to get the split against a good side like the Strikers, I think we’re doing pretty well at the moment and we’ll look to do the same tomorrow," Duffin said.
The Renegades and Scorchers will meet at Junction Oval from 1pm AEDT on Wednesday with live stream coverage on cricket.com.au, the CA Live app and Kayo.