Two sides who have just begun to struggle a little kick off the latest double header of action in the Big Bash League on Saturday when the Sydney Thunder take on the Hobart Hurricanes, in a match which is suddenly huge for both.
The Thunder looked like they were going to put together a real title charge at the start of the competition but they have hit hard times recently while the Hurricanes have failed to put any consistency together at all.
To be fair to the Sydney Thunder, they put up a decent showing against the Melbourne Stars last time out, although to be fair not many are beating them at the moment. They deserve a bit of credit for their performance though because they would have been rocked by the news about Chris Green so close to the game, and he will have been a key part of their plans, so his bowling ban and the timing of it would have been less than ideal to say the least.
I’m just starting to get some concerns about the Sydney Thunder batting. In their last six matches they have only gone past 150 on one occasion, and while they will rightly be quick to argue that two of those games have been rain affected, there is no guarantee they would have beaten that number had the innings been allowed to run its course. They are going to need to find some runs from somewhere to get back to where they want to be.
The season hasn’t got going for the Hobart Hurricanes yet, and with the injuries and absences they have suddenly run into, you wonder if it ever will from here on in. They are more than a little battered and bruised at the present time and it showed with their performance against the Brisbane Heat last time out. In fairness, their issues there was a pretty ordinary batting display but I wonder if that was borne out from the bowling injuries they have.
Hobart have got to forget what has gone before and the issues they are having personnel wise and give a complete performance but they will know all too well that is easier said than done. Clearly they are short with the ball but they have two options – find a way to be competitive or just give up. It might be that they need to get some part time overs in early on in the innings to give themselves some sort of option later on.
Sydney Thunder have made a couple of changes to their squad from the last match with Chris Green no longer available to them. Youngster Ollie Davies has gone away with Australia under-19s so Liam Hatcher comes in and he must be involved in the final 12.
The Hobart Hurricanes have also named a couple of new faces in their squad for this outing with batsman Jake Doran and quickie Jake Reed coming in for Mac Wright and David Moody. James Faulkner, D’Arcy Short and Riley Meredith are all missing.
This is a clash between two sides who aren’t in the best of form at the minute, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Sydney Thunder are in much the better shape of the two. Hobart Hurricanes have been hit hard by injuries to some key players, especially with the ball, and their indifferent batting which was a feature of the early part of the tournament, returned at the wrong time at The Gabba last time out.
Sydney Thunder haven’t won for a while but their last two defeats were to the Melbourne Stars, which has pretty much been par for the course so far this term, while the others were in a shortened shootout against the Brisbane Heat, who aren’t really the side to be taking on in that sort of a match, and the Sydney Sixers in a super over. It will take a decent effort for the Hurricanes to come through here. They might not be in great form but Sydney Thunder are in better shape of the two and I’ll take them here.
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