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Thunder name squad for Sydney Smash

21 January 2021

Alex Hales // Getty Images

Coach Shane Bond confident his squad has depth to cover injured Daniel Sams

Sydney Thunder coach Shane Bond said even though his team had suffered a bitter blow with international all-rounder Daniel Sams being ruled out of the next three KFC Big Bash League matches, he was adamant his squad had enough depth to compensate for his loss.

Sams suffered a bone and ligament injury in his right hand when he fielded the ball off his own bowling against the Hobart Hurricanes in Canberra last Monday night. While he travelled to Adelaide with the squad, he won’t play in the remaining regular season matches.

After taking a record 30 wickets in last summer’s tournament, Sams’ impact on Thunder in BBL|10 included his taking 10 wickets at 22.90 and excelling with the bat. The 28-year-old, who made his T20 debut for Australia in December, has scored 199 runs at 49.75 to boast an impressive strike rate of 191.

“It’s a real shame for Dan – he’s been playing outstanding cricket,” said Bond on the eve of the Sydney Smash match against the Sixers at Adelaide Oval.

“He’ll miss the next three games, but, remember, I’ve always spoken about the depth of our squad.

“I think you can use Perth’s win over Brisbane without their all-rounder Mitchell Marsh [side strain] as an example of a team showing that the depth of their squad was important. It’s now up to the players in the team to step up to fill that void left by Dan.”

After watching Thunder lose four of last its five matches, Bond said there was no panic in his side as it heads into tomorrow night’s derby against the competition leading Sixers.

“We’ve lost a few on the bounce,” he said. “However. You’ve just got to realise that’s the nature of T20 cricket – teams win and lose at different times. Even though we’ve lost a few, we’re still amongst it.

“We have to win a couple of our last three games to finish anywhere from fourth to second – and then it is a matter of trusting what we do.”

Nevertheless, Bond made it clear he wanted to see improvement from his players when they take on the Sixers in the Sydney Smash at Adelaide Oval.

“We’re scoring enough runs but I’d love to see someone bat longer at the top of the order,” he said. “We haven’t really had one of the top four bat deep into the innings.

“From the bowlers’ perspective; a little more accuracy... we’ve offered up a few too many free hits for my liking. I think we can tidy that up. We’re scoring good runs and getting scores that are ‘winnable’, but if we’re bowling well, we’ll make it harder for a team to either set a big score or to chase us down.”

Meanwhile, Bond was adamant his team was determined to avenge their recent loss to the Sixers at Manuka Oval.

"It doesn't take much motivation to get up for a Sixers game," he said. "Everyone knows there is a natural rivalry and the matches are always close.

"They've had a great season, the Sixers, and are playing beautifully. The team knows they'll have to play well to beat them. And, we're in a position where we've got to do just that."

Sydney Thunder Squad vs Sydney Sixers at Adelaide Oval (22/01/2021)

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)

Jason Sangha (32)

Tanveer Sangha (17)

Chris Tremain (20)