With some big names set to return for the Heat in this upcoming match at the Gabba, the Sydney Thunder may have just walked into an electrical storm and could possibly come out of it with some casualties in the bowling department.
Far from full strength, the Heat traveled down to Melbourne with some key names missing from their combative combination and couldn’t quite get the job done against the Renegades who capitalized on the Heat’s absent firepower. To make matters worse, skipper Brendon McCullum was dismissed early in the innings by part-time spinner Tom Cooper which left the Heat extremely vulnerable with limited resources left to find the fence. Standing in for Joe Burns and Chris Lynn, both Sam Heazlett and Marnus Labuschagne couldn’t cope with the conditions at Etihad Stadium which left Alex Ross in a difficult position to play more conservatively rather than attack with no fear like he’s accustomed to. Ross did a decent job of anchoring the remainder of Brisbane’s innings with his 48 off 44 balls, but even he had a tough time finding the boundary regularly. Pencil it in folks, Chris Lynn is a near-certainty to face the Thunder tomorrow night which has just put this match on the next level in terms of excitement. An injury-ridden run has limited Lynn’s appearances in various tournaments and tours around the world, his return however, should be the start of another Lynnsanity BBL campaign in 2017-18. Making just the five appearances in BBL 06 for the Heat, Lynn scored 309 runs and a whopping 26 sixes in that time, the most maximums in the competition overall! Joe Burns is also set to return after sitting out the last game against the Renegades due to a groin injury.
The Bash Bros are becoming the biggest craze at the Brisbane Heat despite the pair having not played alongside each other in BBL 07 yet, but it’s Joe Burns and Alex Ross who are starting to establish themselves as the Heats second power-duo down the order. Ross and Burns both scored fifties against the Melbourne Stars in their first game, and Ross scored another 48 runs in the Heats last outing against the Renegades. As the batting starts to shape up nicely for the remainder of the tournament, the Heat still haven’t established themselves in the bowling ranks. As well as conceding runs, the side just lacks a genuine presence like Mitch Johnson for the Scorchers or Sean Abbott for the Sixers, only Shadab Khan has really created whispers amongst the opposition out on the field which is worrying given he’s not available for the whole tournament. Despite their troubles, the Heat will have to persist with what they’ve got to work with which might have a huge dependency on the batting line-up to save them. Josh Lalor has been the Heats best performing seamer, while Shadab and Mitchell Swepson have done a solid job as the spinners in their own individual way. As for the others, Steketee, Doggett and Cutting all leaked runs in their loss to the Renegades, McCullum has his work cutout form him in that area of the game.
Embarrassed in Adelaide last Friday, the Sydney Thunder reverted back to their old-bad-habits as the Strikers pounded a lackluster-Sydney team into the ground with force that evening. It’s almost like their memorable victory against the Sixers in their BBL 07 opening match didn’t happen, in what should have been a fired up Thunder outfit resembled more of a beat-up boxer in the losers corner. They have numerous problems lingering in their line-up, one of them being Jos Buttler’s minimal impact as an overseas signing. What was seen as a huge signing for them pre-tournament has slowly developed into a slow-burn, they need the 27-year-old English power-hitter to be firing on all cylinders if the Thunder are to avoid another bottom of the table finish. The second problem is their middle order in general, both Ben Rohrer and Ryan Gibson are walking on thin ice after two average showings with the bat against the Sixers and Strikers. From an outsider looking in, the vibe is that if Shane Watson doesn’t do well the team will follow which is a dangerous proposition to be playing with. The availability of Callum Ferguson must be getting discussed more frequently as the Thunder travel, they could really use a cool-headed proven performer like Ferguson in the middle order which is clearly struggling. Promoting Aiden Blizzard up the order might be a positive move in Brisbane tomorrow.
The batting might be in disarray, but the Thunders bowling sure isn’t. Adding Black Caps quick Mitchell McClenaghan to the squad for BBL 07 has been a real positive move for the Thunder, McClenaghan brings a presence that signifies he’s always up for the contest and he’s picked up multiple wickets in both games as a result of it. The two Thunder spinners have made a huge impact in the bowling attack in their opening two games of BBL 07, Fawad Ahmed picked up 2/11 against the Sixers and Arjun Nair took charge against the Strikers where he finished with figures of 3/36. What’s even more positive about the two spinners being in the side is that the Bash Bros for the Brisbane Heat thrive off pace on the ball, McCullum has already shown his vulnerability to spin in the past and Lynn isn’t a big fan of spin bowling either. Up at the Gabba on a bouncy deck, these two could possibly be the match winners if they can sneak through the defenses of a raging-Heat outfit that will most-likely go down swinging vigorously! The Sydney Thunders slim-chance of winning reduces even more given the Heat are on their home deck where McCullum and Lynn have taken opposition bowling attack to the cleaners, saying they’re the underdogs would be an understatement…
Top 5 fantasy picks | Brisbane Heat | BBL | 8th match | Brisbane
- Chris Lynn
- Brendon McCullum
- Joe Burns
- Shadab Khan
- Mitchell Swepson
Wildcard pick – Josh Lalor
Top 5 fantasy picks | Sydney Thunder | BBL | 8th match | Brisbane
- Arjun Nair
- Shane Watson
- Fawad Ahmed
- Jos Buttler
- Kurtis Patterson
Wildcard pick – Aiden Blizzard
Brisbane Heat (possible) – 1. Jimmy Peirson (wk) 2. Brendon McCullum (c) 3. Chris Lynn 4. Joe Burns 5. Alex Ross 6. Ben Cutting 7. Shadab Khan 8. Josh Lalor 9. Mark Steketee 10. Brendan Doggett 11. Mitchell Swepson.
Sydney Thunder (possible) – 1. Jos Buttler (wk) 2. Kurtis Patterson 3. Shane Watson (c) 4. Callum Ferguson/Ryan Gibson 5. Aiden Blizzard 6. Ben Rohrer 7. Arjun Nair 8. Chris Green 9. Mitchell McClenaghan 10. Gurinder Sandhu/Andrew Fekete 11. Fawad Ahmed.