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Thunder name squad for clash with Heat

03 January 2021

Alex Hales and Usman Khawaja // Getty Images

Coach Shane Bond hopes his top three can capitalise on bat-friendly Gabba wicket

As Alex Hales celebrated turning 32 on Queensland’s Gold Coast today, Sydney Thunder coach Shane Bond said one of his many birthday wishes for the Englishman was that he continues with his outstanding KFC Big Bash League form.

Hales, who Bond has described as an “imposing figure” at the batting crease, has been in outstanding touch for the top of the competition table Thunder.

In his last innings he slammed 45 off 19 balls against the Melbourne Renegades, in the previous innings against Melbourne Stars he was ruthless in scoring 71 off only 29 deliveries.

“When you’ve seen what Alex has done, he’s hit the ball against all bowling types all around the ground,” said Bond on the eve of his team’s match against Brisbane Heat at the Gabba.

“When I looked at the Gabba wicket last night, it looked as good as it had been. In previous games there was a little bit in the wicket, last night it looked as if it had lost a little bit of that movement and seemed to be flattening out to a belting, batting wicket which the Gabba is renowned for.

“With the pace and bounce, it makes it a great place to bat. We’re just hoping Alex does what he did last summer, and that’s once he got going Alex was really, really hard to stop. He and Usman Khawaja - our top three, actually - have really set up the foundation for us to post some big scores. We know if we can get a good start on the Gabba then we’ll score some runs.”

Meanwhile, Sydney Thunder's medical staff will continue to monitor Adam Milne's ankle after the New Zealand pace bowler spent the last match on the sideline.

Sydney Thunder Squad vs Brisbane Heat

Callum Ferguson (12) (C)

Sam Billings (7)

Jonathan Cook (50)

Ben Cutting  (31)

Ollie Davies (9)

Brendan Doggett (35)

Matt Gilkes (22)

Chris Green  (93)

Alex Hales  (6)

Baxter Holt  (27)

Usman Khawaja (18)

Nathan McAndrew (44)

Adam Milne (10)

Arjun Nair (24)

Alex Ross (49)

Daniel Sams (60)

Jason Sangha (32)

Tanveer Sangha (17)

Chris Tremain (20)

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