BIG Bash finals floppers Melbourne have put the heat on Hobart by declaring all the pressure is on the hosts but star slugger D’Arcy Short has dismissed the talk as mind games.
The Stars have the worst finals record in the BBL, having featured in the semi-finals on six occasions but only once progressing to the final – in BBL|05 – where they lost to Perth.
This includes going through the roster season undefeated in the third edition of the tournament only to crash to Hobart at the MCG.
However earlier this week skipper Glenn Maxwell attempted to put the blowtorch on the Hurricanes by saying the men in purple would feel the weight of expectation to perform ahead of Thursday night’s showdown at Blundstone Arena.
Perth (twice) is the only team to reach the final as minor premier, and the Scorchers’ triumph two seasons ago remains the sole time the dominant home and away outfit has won the title.
But despite history stacked against them, the Hurricanes will not deviate from the blistering style of cricket which set their campaign up with a 9-1 start.
“Obviously it is a knockout so we need to win but it is definitely just another game,” Short said.
“It has been a pretty similar week, we trained [Tuesday] and are going through our processes and will be ready.
“I think they [the Stars] are just trying to play mind games, obviously we did finish on top and there is still that pressure but we will just go about our plans and hopefully take that confidence into the game.
“It is always good to know you are playing a final at home and have the crowd support behind you.
“We are all excited to play here.”
Melbourne stormed into the top four by annihilating the Sydney Sixers last Sunday, and armed with national talent Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb, Maxwell and Adam Zampa, as well as imports Dwayne Bravo and Sandeep Lamichhane, are stacked with explosive match winners.
The Hurricanes are bracing for the visitors to target a rocketing start in their batting powerplay, but despite recent struggles with the ball Short is hopeful some subtle tweaks will prove the difference.
“It is something we identified, a lot of the games we have lost they [opposition teams] have come hard at us in the first six and we haven’t been able to tie it down.
“We are working towards that and I think we have a plan for tomorrow night to try and stop that.”
The Hurricanes resisted the temptation to name Test captain Tim Paine for his first match of the tournament, with the return of James Faulkner from injury for Tom Rogers the only chance to the 13-man squad.