Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Sydney Thunder: Sangha returns to squad as Thunder embraces BBL ‘underdog’ status

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Sydney Thunder has named Jason Sangha in its 16-player squad for tomorrow’s KFC Big Bash League match against the Melbourne Stars at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, starting at 7.15pm.

The return of Sangha – who needed an operation after he broke his collarbone against Melbourne Renegades early in the season – provides the Trevor Bayliss-coached squad with a huge boost.

While Thunder won the opening game of the season against Stars – courtesy of a big six by tailender Gurinder Sandhu in the dying stages of the match – Acting Captain Chris Green acknowledged his team faced a tough test against a team with nothing to lose.

“They’re incredibly dangerous,” said Green of his opponents. “They have that freedom to play; everything to play for – and want to finish on a high.

“It’s their last game, so I’m sure for their fans they’ll come out wanting to finish on a high note. Particularly after [Thunder] winning that first game in Canberra . . . I’m sure they’ll want to get one back.

Green on Thunder’s season and the BBL’s ‘underdogs tag

“It’s been a bit of a roller coaster season. Some our performances have been really good at times, and really poor at times. [We’ve] probably lacked a bit of consistency which we’ve had in previous years.

“But if we win [on Wednesday] we’re a massive chance at playing Knock Out and defeating some of the top teams.

“We like a bit of underdog status. When the chips are down a lot of players tend to stand up, and that’s certainly going to be the message, and the hope, for Wednesday as well: if you get the opportunity with bat or ball to win the game for your team, grab it with both hands!”

Green on Thunder’s Finals hopes

“The last game of the tournament has come around very quickly, and the nice thing is we’re in a position where we control our own destiny. If we win, we’re definitely ‘in’ and can get as high as third.

“Results have gone our way prior to this game, so, we’re always in with a hunt.
“If we can get into that finals and play our brand of our cricket, we can be a dangerous side to play against.”

Green on Thunder’s last outing against Sydney Sixers

“It’s not a time to kick the can, drag the feet, or dwell on it too much. Sure, we were disappointed to put on a showing as we did – and we were completely outplayed by Steve Smith and the Sixers as well.

“But [my suggestion is] not to over think it and to look forward to this opportunity at the MCG; it’s almost a mini knock out game.”
 
Green on his season’s form

“It’s nice to be contributing regularly to the team, and I’m feeling really good with the ball in hand; bat in hand, and when that opportunity comes.

“My main focus is to stay consistent and to contribute to the team’s success on Wednesday night.”
 

Squad for Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Stars
Ben Cutting, Joel Davies, Oliver Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green (c), Baxter Holt, Nathan McAndrew, Blake Nikitaras, Ross Pawson, Usman Qadir, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Sangha, David Warner, Sam Whiteman.

Sydney Thunder-Melbourne Stars is set to begin at 7.15pm (AEDT) and will be broadcast live on Channel 7, Fox Cricket and Kayo. 

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