Cool blue. The colour of the Sydney Thunder’s next BBL opponent on Thursday night, the Adelaide Strikers.The match against the Melbourne Renegades, whilst conceding defeat, showed plenty of positive signs from all the players. The young Thunder squad was able to give the Renegades a mighty scare, and that was evidence the men in green are still very much in contention to make it to the semi-finals.
There is excitement in the air for the Strikers match. Veteran Dirk Nannes – still sending down 140km/h thunderbolts at 36 – Chris Tremain, Ryan Carters and Sean Abbott are all in prime form and ready to take on their opponents.
Gary Putland, Kane Richardson and Johan Botha lead a very capable Strikers bowling attack. However, the continued improvement of the Thunder youngsters suggests the Strikers are going to come up against an opponent that is determined to make a push up the Big Bash League ladder.
Thunder key bowlers
Pace men Dirk Nannes and Chris Tremain: Diggler, as Nannes is known, has an outstanding economy rate in Twenty20 cricket. Leading from the front, Nannes’ economy rate from his two games is just 4.5 runs per over.
Tremain, 21, in his first BBL season, has already picked up two wickets and his bowling looks an absolute treat. He even has 37 runs to his name while batting, and looks to be an exciting prospect into the future for the Thunder, the New South Wales State squad, and possibly the Australian team in the coming years.
Thunder key battersRyan Carters and skipper Chris Rogers shape as two of the Thunder mainstays of the batting order. Carters, 22, has already shown his worth, currently leading the Thunder for most runs (51) and looks solid at the crease. Then there’s the skipper. Just 27 runs and a couple of difficult starts have stunted the start of Rogers’ BBL 02 campaign. He is, however, a seasoned campaigner, and if Rogers has his eye in early against the Strikers, there could be plenty of fireworks.
Usman Khawaja, another talented Thunder batsman, will not play against the Strikers after withdrawing from the game due to selection in the Boxing Day test squad. Khawaja deserves the opportunity, but it also creates a big dent in the Thunder batting line up.
There’s still plenty of support though in big hitting Mark Cosgrove and Cameron Borgas just to name a couple.
Chris Gayle will be wanting to create some carnage on Thursday, after missing his chance against the Renegades.
Strikers danger menBowler Gary Putland and batsman Nathan Reardon loom large. ‘Iceman,’ as Putland is known, has been the in form bowler from the Strikers’ first two games. He bowls some nifty left-arm pace and gives it enough swing to bamboozle more than a few good domestic players.
Then there’s the big hitting Reardon. He demolished the Perth Scorchers bowling attack in the Strikers’ first game, and was looking dangerous against the Heat before being dismissed.
The Thunder’s ‘youth brigade’ (in particular Carters, Tremain and Abbott) have been the stalwarts of the sides campaign. They have energy, talent, and the drive to push the Thunder up the ladder.Then there’s all-rounder Azhar Mahmood. He looked in good touch against the Renegades, and was unfortunate not to have results go his way. Expect him to play a part in the Thunder’s game against the Strikers.
Thunder Fans, make your way to the ANZ Stadium this Thursday night to watch them take on the Adelaide Strikers. The ground is set to be thunderstruck!
All-rounder Scott Coyte will play his first match in the KFCT20 BBL02 tomorrow night against Adelaide Strikers.
Coyte, who finished in the top ten for bowling economy in BBL01, missed the first two games with an elbow injury.
Also making his first appearance in the Sydney Thunder squad is Simon Keen, the all-rounder who plays with Coyte at Campbelltown in Sydney Grade cricket.Coyte and Keen are the two changes made to the Thunder squad which lost game two last week to the Melbourne Renegades.
Usman Khawaja has been placed on standby for the Australian Team to play Sri Lanka.
Sydney Thunder SquadChris Rogers