Aaron Hardie makes strides after Perth Scorchers batting promotion

Famed for Test selection by Ricky Ponting, West Australia all-rounder Aaron Hardie is emerging as a multi-format star after continuing an impressive BBL season.

Hardie’s domineering form since being promoted at No.3 has been a key factor in the Perth Scorchers making another run at the title.

The 24-year-old starred again in Wednesday night’s seven-wicket win over the Hobart Hurricanes at the Optus Stadium, hitting an unbeaten 90 off 62 balls as the Scorchers chased down their target of 147 with ease.

Four-time champions Scorchers sit atop the BBL ladder with two games to spare and have lost only once at their home fort.

Hardy has scored four half-centuries since arriving at the first-drop to replace the injured Mitchell Marsh, who noted during fox cricket In the broadcast, he may have to consider handing over the number 3 slot forever.

The young gun has shown an ability to adapt his game across formats, scoring an unbeaten 174 in last season’s drawn Sheffield Shield final to secure the WA title.

The all-time great Ponting brought in Hardie as Boulter for the Sydney Test against South Africa, and the towering right-hander, who averages 45 with the bat in first-class cricket, seems destined for higher honours.

This could also include the IPL, with fellow West Australian fast bowler Cameron Green recently sold at auction for $3.15 million – a record price for an Australian player.

Hardie did not enroll for this season and is believed to be considering a return to county cricket which could put him in the eye of the national selectors ahead of the Ashes series.

“I’ve put my name in the draft before, but this year for a variety of reasons,” Hardy told reporters after Wednesday night’s game. “Obviously if you put a number like that at the end of it, it’s silly to say no.

“I don’t really want to pigeonhole myself into any type of format. Just be able to contribute in all possible games. Being an all-rounder in four-day cricket takes its toll on the body, but I like the challenge as well. I’m enjoying playing all three as long as I can.”

Hardy hasn’t bowled in the BBL since suffering a groin strain earlier this season, but said he was ready if the need arose, although that is unlikely given the Scorchers’ formidable depth.

Lance Morris returned figures of 2 for 21 against the Hurricanes after being named in Australia’s squad for their tour of India next month. Fellow pacer Jhye Richardson is expected to return for the final after suffering a hamstring injury.

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