Bash Brothers ready to go for Brisbane Heat
THE Bash Brothers are back.
Chris Lynn is ready to gamble on his shoulder in the Brisbane Heat's Big Bash League opener against the Melbourne Stars at the Gabba on Wednesday night.
Lynn has been racing the clock to prove his fitness since undergoing a shoulder reconstruction in July but he is desperate to take the field eight weeks ahead of schedule.
The 27-year-old has been crowned the player-of-the-tournament for the past two BBL summers and is itching to play alongside fellow "Bash Brother" Brendon McCullum.
Like Sandy and Danny in Grease, Lynn and McCullum's bromance blossomed last summer as they clobbered 632 runs for the Heat.
And now they are ready to do it again as the Heat gun for their second BBL crown.
"I'm really excited to team up with Lynny again," McCullum said.
"He is one of the biggest commodities in the game at the moment and biggest excitement machines going around. He hits the ball miles and wins games single-handedly.
"The 'Brisbane Boss' (Lynn) is really excited to be back playing another Big Bash.
"I lean on him from a captaincy point of view too. He's got a very good cricket brain and is a strong leader in the group."
Lynn thumped 26 sixes in five matches last season and averaged 154.50 in what was becoming a summer for the ages.
His most famous shot was a booming six off "The Wild Thing" Shaun Tait that flew 121m over the Gabba grandstands and into the adjoining practice nets.
'Lynnsanity' had made Brisbane the BBL favourites but he was then called into the Australian set up while shoulder and neck injuries continued to trouble him.
The Heat ended up losing a thrilling semi-final at the Gabba to the Sydney Sixers in a super over after the match was tied.
Coach Dan Vettori has assembled a red-hot squad again but much of Brisbane's success will come down to the all-star duo of Lynn and McCullum.
Lynn said his partnership with McCullum was so devastating because of the friendship they shared.
"We built that partnership last year and the public really got around it," Lynn said.
"It's exciting I get to play around the world with him because we've got so many mutual interests, whether it be trying to whack the ball, hitting a golf ball, trying to back a winner or having a beer.
"We keep it so simple and I think that's why we get along so well.
"To be pain-free playing cricket is something I've really wanted to do the last couple of years.
"It's all going well. Hopefully I can stay on the paddock for a longer period of time than what I have.
"If I can stay on the paddock for 12 months there is plenty of opportunities, not only in Australia but around the world.
"It's something I look forward to. I know I'm definitely good enough."
Former Kiwi skipper McCullum hit 19 sixes and 31 fours on his way to compiling 323 runs last summer.
The 36-year-old has signed a two-year contract extension with the Heat, to go with Lynn's five-year deal, and Vettori said Brisbane's explosive duo were set for a big summer.
"That's part of the attraction of the Brisbane Heat team, their combination as a batting partnership and also leadership team," he said.
"They fit the mandate for how we're going to play. People love that. They come out to watch those two bat.
"They are an incredibly important part of our set up, mainly because everyone really enjoys watching them play.
"Their style of cricket is why people have fallen in love with T20 cricket."
The Heat will unveil Pakistan's rising star Shadab Khan in a leg-spinning partnership with Queensland young gun Mitchell Swepson.
Brendan Doggett is expected to make his BBL debut in what will be a crucial role given the Heat's suspect fast bowling ranks.