Luke Ronchi's slick glove work as much as his potent but erratic power hitting has been identified as a crucial component of the Perth Scorchers' blueprint to win the Champions League in South Africa this month.
The Scorchers will travel to Johannesburg tonight after welcoming Ronchi back from New Zealand, where he is attempting to break into Test cricket.
Veteran batsman Simon Katich, who captained NSW to victory in the Champions League three years ago, also joined the squad this week for the coming tournament.
Australian Twenty20 spinner Brad Hogg and fellow internationals Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa) and Paul Collingwood (England) will meet the Scorchers in South Africa.
While Ronchi relished the chance to have one final farewell with players who had been his teammates for nearly a decade, coach Lachlan Stevens said the wicket-keeper would play a pivotal role at the lucrative tournament.
"Everyone talks about his hitting, but at the last Big Bash Ronch won us games with the gloves," Stevens said.
"His leg-side work off Hogg was amazing.
"If he can bring that skill level and there are one or two games where he goes off with bat, we will win those matches."
Ronchi completed three stumpings off Hogg last season as well as two from fellow spinner Michael Beer to equal the competition record set by Graham Manou the previous summer.
He is joined by Brad Haddin as the only two regular keepers to have completed more domestic T20 dismissals than played matches.
"It is the last time I'm going to play with these guys so it is about having a bit of fun," Ronchi said.
"My plan was to come back, have some fun and win a few games."
Ronchi will become eligible for New Zealand in January and while he has not received any guarantees of selection, he is confident that a strong performance at the Champions League will help his bid to become a dual international.
He played seven limited-overs matches for Australia during a nine-year career with WA. "Any time you do well it has to help your cause," he said.
"I don't know what New Zealand's perceptions are of me but hopefully if I am doing the right thing and playing well it won't be bad for me."
Ronchi is one of eight Scorchers to have played T20 cricket in South Africa, but admitted he had little pleasure from the experience.
"I went to the second Indian Premier League for Mumbai but only played one game and ran myself out for a duck," he said.·The WACA are searching for a talent manager and State selector to replace Doug Harris, who quit after more than a decade in the role.
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