Sydney Strugglers Lock Horns

Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au
Chris Gayle has had a disappointing campaign to date. Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au
Sydney’s two Big Bash teams lock horns at ANZ Stadium on Sunday, with both trying to claw their way up the ladder after disappointing campaigns to date. Five straight defeats to start the campaign have stretched the Thunder’s  winless run to ten matches, while the Sixers  7 wicket loss to Hobart on Boxing Day means that the defending Big Bash champions haven’t won in four.

Sydney Thunder will be hoping that the arrival of English Test wicketkeeper Matt Prior  can spark a turnaround in their fortunes after a disappointing start to the season. With a largely inexperienced squad to choose from, coach Shane Duff really needs his big name players to fire if the Thunder are going to end the season with a bang and big hitting West Indian Chris Gayle  is crucial to his side fortunes. Usman Khawaja drops out of the squad again on standby for Michael Clarke in the 3rd Test between Australia and Sri Lanka.

The Sixers have been without the services of several key players this season and there absence has certainly been felt. The fast bowling stocks have been depleted due to a foot injury to Josh Hazelwood and the international commitments of Mitchell Starc, while the absence of Ben Rohrer and Nic Maddinson has robbed the side of two batsmen that played a key role in both the Big Bash and Champions League triumphs. Brad Haddin  continued his good form in the competition by making a start against the Hurricanes on Wednesday, when sharing a 57 run opening partnership  with Michael Lumb , but has failed to make a big score despite getting a start in each match this season. Maddinson has been named in the squad and is likely to return after missing the past four.

The Thunder will be looking for their first Sydney derby win in the Big Bash in this fixture. The Sixers won by 7 wickets at the SCG when the sides met earlier this season, while they were 17 run victors in a rain affected clash last season.

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