NATHAN Reardon is primed for the biggest game of his short Big Bash League life tomorrow.
The former Ipswich Grammar School student is playing for the Adelaide Strikers this season.
They are in third place on the ladder and play the second placed Melbourne Renegades in Melbourne with a spot in the semi-finals almost within reach.
Reardon played for the Renegades last season, but was lured by a better offer from Adelaide this year.
"I had a similar offer form Brisbane as well," he said.
"But it was a case of me wanting to get away.
"I enjoyed getting away with Melbourne last year.
"I met some good people in Melbourne and I've met some good people here in Adelaide."
All that will be forgotten when the two teams clash tomorrow however.
"It's a crucial game," Reardon said. "If we win we're not quite guaranteed fourth spot (and a place in the semi-finals) but we're looking pretty good.
"We've got a good run-rate."
Reardon doubts he can help his team-mates with any inside information on the opposition, but thinks his knowledge of the Etihad Stadium playing surface will help.
"They've got a completely different team," he said.
"But I've played on the wicket and understand how it works.
"It's a real new drop-in wicket so it's probably a bit up and down. It's not like Adelaide Oval where you need a score around 180 to win.
"You can win with 150 or 160 batting first. Once a batsmen gets in it is crucial he goes on with it."
Getting in will not be easy, but Reardon has learnt not to be rushed into going too hard, too early.
That is despite his job as a middle order enforcer, who is often required to lift the run-rate immediately.
"Every game I take a few balls to get myself in," he said.
"I'm comfortable I'll be able to catch it up in the end.
"It's an important role in the middle order, along with (West Indian) Kieron Pollard."
Reardon has enjoyed the opportunity to tap into the international experience of his teammates Pollard and South African Johan Botha.
"It's good to play with those guys," Reardon said.
"You always learn from watching them. There's not too many better entertainers than Pollard."
The 28-year-old Reardon is feeling more relaxed about his cricket this season and much of that comes from his confidence in his place in the pecking order in his native Queensland.
Reardon was Queensland's one-day player of the year last summer and was a regular member of the Sheffield Shield team before the competition broke for the BBL this season.
"I had a good year last year and felt I started to get a bit more of an idea of my game," he said.
"I'm trying to keep it simple.
"In previous years I've been concerned about my spot but now I'm pretty confident about that.
"I'm pretty confident where my game's at."
Which is not to say Reardon thinks he is the complete package yet.
He has top scores of 42 (BBL), 71 (Sheffield Shield) and 71 not out (Ryobi one-day Cup) this summer.
It is proof of his ability but he concedes more consistency and big scores are required.
"I've got a lot of improvement to do," Reardon said.
"I still feel I'm under-performing to what I'm capable of. My big goal is to keep scoring runs."
Nathan Reardon 2012-13 BBL
- Team: Adelaide Strikers
- Games: 4
- Runs: 109
- Highest score: 42
- Strike rate: 157.97
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