PERTH Scorchers captain Adam Voges says he is confident the reigning Big Bash League champions can again push for finals in the upcoming edition of the competition, starting December 19.
The Scorchers are the competition’s most successful side with three titles and five grand final appearances in six years.
Their worst result was a semi-final finish in 2015-16.
Voges said consistency in the squad and WA’s recent one-day cup win had them tracking well.
“I think we line up very similar to what we have done over the last couple of years and we’ve been a really strong outfit,” he said.
“Our results have shown we’ve performed pretty well in most years in the competition.
“Having said that, the Big Bash is a tough competition and there’s some really good teams.
“I don’t think we’re under any illusion we’re going to have to play incredibly well again but you look at our squad and how it’s shaping up and I’m very confident we’re going to have another good campaign.”
At his disposal will be pace-ace Mitchell Johnson, who starred in 2016-17 with 13 wickets and an incredible 3-3 in the semi-final win over the Melbourne Stars.
While Johnson was unsure where he would fit in among Perth’s numerous bowling options, Voges said he would be a hard man to leave out.
“Mitchell was magnificent last year. He was a little bit nervous to start with but just went from strength to strength every game and probably bowled the best he had all tournament towards the back end of the Big Bash,” he said.
“We had some injury concerns and he stepped up wonderfully well.
“It’s quite exciting when you go through the depth of our fast bowling list.
“I can understand him having a few hesitations in thinking whether he’s getting in the team.
“I think he’ll be pretty hard to leave out, though.
“I thought he was wonderful last year and hopefully if he can give us something similar this year I’m sure he’ll do well.”
Now retired from first class and international cricket, Voges is preparing to watch an Ashes summer from the sidelines.
Three weeks out from the first Test of the series on November 23, Voges said he was excited and not itchy to get back.
“I really enjoyed my time in the Test setup and the WA setup but it’s the younger guys’ turn now to do that and I’m just looking forward to watching them get out there and hopefully play well,” he said.
“I think Australia will win. What that margin looks like, I’ll throw down 3-1.
“That’s just a pretty generic score line. I think Australia will be too strong.
“Having said that, I think the first Test of any series is very crucial so if England can be competitive up in Brisbane I think it will certainly help make a competitive series.
“If Australia win quite comfortably then it could be a big margin.”
Voges is currently suiting up for Melville in the WACA Premier Cricket competition.
He started well, scoring two 50s across two fixtures in his opening weekend.
The scores have trailed off a little since then, but he said he was happy to be back.
“We’re a good side, we’re a good club, we’ve got some good people down here and some good players,” he said.
“If we’re brutally honest we’ve probably underperformed the last couple of years so it’s great to start well.
“There’s a long way to go obviously but I think it’s an exciting time to be around the club at the moment.
“There’s some good player and hopefully we can continue that on.”