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Harry's high hopes for bigger BBL|09

30 August 2019

Harry Nielsen in action for the Strikers

Newly-signed Striker Harry Nielsen wants to cement a spot as a specialist batsman in Adelaide’s starting XI in KFC BBL|09.

The 24-year-old committed to a two-year deal with Adelaide after serving as a replacement player for captain Travis Head and fellow wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey over the past two seasons.

Nielsen played the last three matches of BBL|08 alongside Carey, blasting an unbeaten 44 from just 29 balls against the Perth Scorchers in the final match of the season, to stake his claim for a permanent spot in the Strikers’ middle order.

“I am looking to play every game as a batter,” Nielsen said of his goals heading into BBL|09.

“Obviously with Alex (Carey) being in and out depending on what his summer looks like, I am ready to wicketkeep when he’s not there. But my goal is to play every game as a batter.

“I played three or four with Alex in the team and I think that went pretty well.

“But most importantly, winning some games and having success as a team is the main thing.”

Nielsen had an incredible introduction to the Big Bash stage.

He made his BBL debut in Adelaide’s nerve-wracking semi-final victory over the Melbourne Renegades in the club’s run to the BBL|07 title.

The experience left Nielsen wanting more.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” he said.

“Obviously being a semi-final, it was a full house and I don’t actually remember too much of the night, but I do remember the last ball – Ben Laughlin bowling to Kieron Pollard.

“Benny was running in and it (the crowd) was so loud. It was deafening, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how loud it was. Pollard missed it, I luckily caught it and ran up and took the bails off.

“A pretty special game and a pretty special night.”

🔒💙

A post shared by Harry Nielsen (@hnielsen4) on

The Strikers slumped to seventh spot last season but have maintained faith in the majority of the squad, which has remained largely unchanged since the club’s historic BBL|07 Championship.

Experienced batsman Cameron White looms as a key addition with an international replacement for the departing Colin Ingram yet to be announced.

Nielsen said continuity in the group would hold the Strikers in good stead heading into the new season.

“That’s what is really good about this group is that it’s been similar for three, four or five years now,” he said.

“Everyone gets along really well and enjoys each other’s company on and off the field which I think is really important.

“Twenty20 is such a fickle game that it doesn’t take a lot to turn it around. If you start well and get a couple of wins early on in the season, you get that momentum and hopefully you can carry that on throughout the season.

“Cameron White - a senior batsman like that is almost like having another coach around the group and is really exciting and hopefully our players can step up, play some good cricket early on and take that momentum into the season.

“If we all play well there’s definitely a chance for success which I am really excited about.”

The Strikers begin their BBL|09 campaign away to the Sydney Thunder on Saturday, 21 December.