In the next instalment of Armchair Selector’s special guest previews for the Thunder’s season, Davis Harrigan gives an analysis of the Thunder’s four home games at ANZ Stadium against the Melbourne Renegades, Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat, and the return clash against cross-town rivals Sydney Sixers and also looks at why the last game of the season will be a genuine blockbuster.
Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Renegades
Friday December 14
Shahid Afridi and Dirk Nannes face their old team from BBL|01 in the first home match for the season, as the Thunder host the Melbourne Renegades. Renegades captain Aaron Finch is the big danger here, but with the bowling attack of Scott Coyte, Chris Tremain and the ever-so-clever Nannes, the Thunder could have the edge in this game. The departure of Brad Hodge and Glenn Maxwell to the Melbourne Stars has left a gaping hole for the Sydney bowlers to exploit.
Sydney Thunder v Adelaide Strikers
Thursday December 20
Big-hitting West Indian Keiron Pollard, slinger Shaun Tait, and batsman Callum Ferguson loom as targets for the Thunder in the match-up with the Adelaide Strikers. Chris Gayle would be looking to put Gary Putland and new recruit Andrew McDonald 20 rows back over long-on.
Sydney Thunder v Brisbane Heat
Friday December 28
Brisbane has dramatically improved their squad this season, despite losing Matthew Hayden. Luke Doran’s slow left-armers gave him one of the best economy rates in BBL|01. A big part of the Thunder game will be to stop big hitters Chris Lynn and Dan Christian taking control of the game. Nannes’ death bowling and Doran’s spinners will be key to stopping such an outbreak of runs.
Sydney Thunder v Sydney Sixers
Sunday December 30
The last home game of the Thunder campaign for BBL|02 will also be the biggest, as they face the reigning premiers for the second time during the season. The Sixers have the best all-round squad in the BBL|02 competition. But the Thunder has more big hitting power. In the end, the bowling may be the ultimate decider. Brett Lee, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood are the Sixers’ core, while Nannes, Tremain and Doran will be the Thunder counterparts. Winnable if bowlers get on top early.
Showdown at the ‘G against Stars
This match on January 8 against their southern counterparts in (MCG) green will be critical to win if finals are on the cards for the guys. The Stars have strengthened their line-up with the inclusion of Brad Hodge from the Renegades; he’s a potent batsman that definitely adds a new element to the Stars. The Thunder bowling attack, which includes Abbott, Scott Coyte and youngster Chris Tremain, who will all benefit from the experience of Nannes, will be the clincher in this game.
One obvious player to watch in this game will be Warnie. He is part commentator, part magician, totally brilliant. The Victorians love him. So do the rest of the country. That being said, can the Thunder give back what he dishes out? Miked up or not, Warne is an incredible competitor. Mercurial, dangerous – simply: Warnie.
Which game are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments below
Who is Davis Harrigan?
Davis Harrigan is a sports fanatic who writes at his blog and for global sports fan opinion site The Armchair Selector.
Follow Davis on Twitter @Davis_Harr and the Armchair Selector team at @ArmchairSelctor
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