Left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc is back and ready to fire for the Sydney Sixers tonight.
Left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc is back and ready to fire for the Sydney Sixers tonight. Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images

Sixers forced to dig deep in Big Bash semi

MITCHELL Starc says the Sydney Sixers have enough top players to make up for the loss of missing stars Brad Haddin, Steve Smith and Moises Henriques for tonight's Big Bash League semi-final with Perth Scorchers at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Starc, who has played only two T20 games for Australia after returning from a back problem that forced him out of the Ashes series, said the Sixers had enough depth of talent in the squad to get the job done but was not about to rest on their laurels.

"Both teams have strong bowling attacks and have plenty to prove with the batting," he said.

"Kato (Simon Katich) is in some good form and they have some other young guys who can hit the ball a long way, so we will not take anything for granted.

"We will be going as hard as we can to get into the final."

The Sixers could be boosted by the surprise return of spinner Steve O'Keefe, who was expected to miss out with a shoulder injury, and will also welcome back England star Ravi Bopara.

They also have a strong bowling unit with veteran Brett Lee and Josh Hazlewood to join Starc in the pace attack.

"I think we have got the guys to get the job done," Starc said.

"We have a blend of mix and experience, which will hopefully see us through."

The Scorchers will also get back T20 international Nathan Coulter-Nile for tonight's game but will be without key paceman Yasir Arafat, who has had thumb surgery.

Coulter-Nile will join Jason Behrendorff, Pat Cummins and Alfonso Thomas in a formidable pace attack as the Scorchers look to reach their second consecutive Big Bash final.


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