One change to 13-player squad for clash against Hurricanes in Hobart
Sydney Thunder coach Shane Bond said his players have accepted they must win six consecutive matches if they’re to win the club’s second KFC Big Bash League title.
After suffering a heavy defeat to the Perth Scorchers in Western Australia on Monday, Bond conceded Thunder’s title aspirations had become a little tougher – but he insisted it wasn’t impossible.
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“We need to bring our A-game to our last two regular season matches – although, you want that in every game,” said Bond. “Hobart isn’t an easy place to win at, but we have to go out and win.
“If we want to win the tournament, we’ll need to win six games in a row [the two regular season matches and each of the four games in the finals series]. That starts against Hobart, and it’ll be a different challenge to what we faced in Perth.
“We have to be very clinical about what we do. We’ll need the ability to adapt to what is usually a strong batting pitch and we’re against a team, who, like us, is desperate.”
While the battle for a finals spot is tight, Bond said the best way Thunder can control their destiny is to win the final two regular season matches against Hobart and then Perth at Sydney Showground Stadium on Sunday.
However, to achieve that he’s demanding an improved performance from his bowlers who, by the end of Monday night’s powerplay, were hit for 75 runs by Perth’s openers. It laid the foundation for an eight-wicket victory with 27 deliveries remaining.
“Extremely disappointing,” was Bond’s verdict of the defeat.
“While we battled hard with the bat, I thought Perth Scorchers were very disciplined with the ball – they made very quick adjustments with the pitch and made us work very hard.
“That was frustrating because we talk about making the opposition work hard. It was a completely forgettable performance in the field which was also disappointing because we’ve been so consistent throughout the season.”
He reserved praise for opening batsman Alex Hales whose 85 was the highlight of the match for Thunder supporters.
Bond said while it was crucial for Thunder to learn from the mistakes made in Perth, he was as equally adamant that his players must find a way to move on from the disappointment.
“It’s important to move on,” he said. “Every team you play against in this tournament is a good one. The reality of that is you’ll get spanked if you have an off night against any of them.
“We must turn it around – and quickly – when we play against Hobart.”
Meanwhile, former Australian One Day International Chris Tremain has been brought into Thunder’s 13-player squad as fast bowler Brendan Doggett’s replacement.
Sydney Thunder BBL Squad vs Hurricanes on Friday, January 24
Callum Ferguson (C) (12)
Liam Bowe (27)
Jonathan Cook (50)
Alex Hales (6)
Usman Khawaja (18)
Jay Lenton (70)
Nathan McAndrew (44)
Chris Morris (24)
Arjun Nair (7)
Alex Ross (49)
Daniel Sams (60)
Gurinder Sandhu (28)
Chris Tremain (20)