Sydney Thunder’s stand-in captain Jason Sangha described the team’s resilience as one of its core qualities ahead of tomorrow afternoon's KFC Big Bash League match against Hobart Hurricanes at the MCG.
Sangha was woken on Saturday morning with the news from coach Trevor Bayliss that he’d lead the team in that night’s match against the Melbourne Renegades at Marvel Stadium.
He was asked to step up after Thunder's Acting Captain Chris Green was forced to isolate after being deemed a close contact with someone whose Rapid Antigen Test tested positive to COVID-19.
By the end of the match Sangha led Sydney Thunder to a 129-run victory after dismissing the home team for 80. It also marked the team's fifth win on the trot.
The victory came on the back of a phenomenal innings by Dan Sams who cracked an unbeaten 98 from 44 balls, and at a strikerate of 222.73.
“To score over 200 and then dismiss the opposition for 80 is a pretty good effort,” said Sangha.
“Full credit to the lads on how they played, especially Dan Sams and Alex Hales (63) because they were excellent with the bat.
“There was also great contributions with the ball – it really was an all-round effort. The guys did all the work out there and they made my life easy.”
Sangha said what impresses him about Thunder’s squad is the resilience it has displayed in facing the many challenges the COVID pandemic has presented the BBL.
He cited wicketkeeper Baxter Holt - who took three catches and completed a brilliant run out in his first game of the season - as a prime example after Holt was called up to replace Sam Billings.
“I’ve said it before, but in this age you need to be flexible,” said Sangha on the problems associated with COVID-19.
“Sydney Thunder has had our share of problems through COVID, and that’s meant players have had to fly around the country and been last minute call ups.
“However, it’s amazing to see how they constantly put all of that aside and just get on with it.
“We’ve had guys who have trained really hard and that’s allowed them to be ready to play when they’ve been called into the squad.
“One example of that [against the Renegades] was Baxter Holt – he kept wicket beautifully.
"We all know how good Baxter is and when he was given his opportunity it was as if he’d played the last 30-40 games.
“The squad has always been a great strength of ours, and we showed that again against the Renegades.
“So, while it can be tough because of the distractions, we’re playing good cricket and giving ourselves every chance to play finals cricket.”
Sangha said Thunder will be looking for a similar performance against Hobart when tomorrow's match at the MCG starts at 2.10pm.
“The guys are in great spirits," he said. "We’ve been playing good cricket over the last few weeks and its important we take that into the match against the Hurricanes – a team we haven’t played against yet.
“We’ll make sure we recover well, go through our meetings, but I’m very happy with the way how the boys are playing and how we’ve gelled.”
Fans across the Thunder Nation can watch LIVE on 7, Fox and Kayo from 2:10pm AEDT, with radio coverage from SEN.
Sydney Thunder Squad v Hobart Hurricanes
|23||Jason Sangha (C)||Wallsend JCC
|50||Jonathon Cook||St Andrews JCC|
|31||Ben Cutting||MacGregor JCC
|9||Ollie Davies||Harbord Devils JCC|
|35||Brendan Doggett||Southern Districts JCC|
|22||Matthew Gilkes||Ulladulla United JCC
|6||Alex Hales||Gerrards Cross JCC (England)
|87||Muhammad Hasnain (International Replacement Player)||Sind Cricket Academy (Pakistan)|
|27||Baxter Holt||Carlingford Waratah JCC|
|44||Nathan McAndrew||Oak Flats JCC
|10||Arjun Nair (Local Replacement Player)||Wenty Leagues Club JCC|
|49||Alex Ross||Kensington JCC|
|95||Daniel Sams||Panania-East Hills RSL JCC
|28||Gurinder Sandhu||Plumpton-Glendenning JCC
|17||Tanveer Sangha||Ingleburn RSL JCC|
|20||Chris Tremain||Kinross Wolaroi JCC
|3||Sam Whiteman (Local Replacement Player)||Colts JCC|