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Jackson Bird

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batting styleright-arm fast-medium Bowler
BBL10 | Match Preview: Top spot in contention as Thunder face Sixers in the Sydney Derby

Abhishek Singh ∙ 12 Jan 2021

BBL10 | Match Preview: Top spot in contention as Thunder face Sixers in the Sydney Derby

As the action of the BBL returns to Manuka Oval in Canberra once again, two teams at the top of the table, separated by just two points between them will collide to prove their dominance over the other and to emerge as the team to beat in the 10th edition of the league. Although it is taking place in Canberra, the Sydney derby promises to be the match of the season as two very evenly matched sides will be going against each other. Battle of the batting heavyweights Both the Thunder as well as Sixers have gained victories in the tournament so far courtesy of their superb batting display. Although the last few matches of both the teams might give a different account. In the top 10 run scorer’s list, Sixers have two players in Josh Philippe and skipper Daniel Hughes while Thunder too have Alex Hales and skipper Callum Ferguson in the same list. Usman Khawaja is not far away from making the list either sitting at the 12th position. It is therefore among these batsmen where the real fight between the two teams would take place. The form of these players along with the likes of all-rounders Dan Christian and Ben Cutting will be one of the main factors deciding the outcome of the game Thunder spin duo vs Sixers pace quartet The thunder team has been blessed with two very different spinners who are similar in the way that they like to pick wickets. Among them, they have so far got 27 wickets and are part of the top ten wicket-takers in this season’s BBL. The 19-year-old Tanveer Sangha has impressed all with his leg-spin variations while Chris Green and his adding yorkers with the off-spin has been a cause of worry for many. Sangha would also be looking to regain the top spot on the wicket-takers list as he is just two wickets away from getting there. On the contrary, the Sixers attack looks a bit weak, especially after the departure of Jason Holder and due to the unavailability of the likes of Mitchell Starc and Sean Abbott due to national duties. However the availability of Jackson Bird, Jake Ball, and the spinners in Loyd Pope and Steve O’ Keefe along with all-rounders Dan Christian and Carlos Brathwaite has somewhat filled in that gap and as a result, the team seems to be doing just fine. However in comparison to the Thunder spin duo, the Sixers attack looks a bit weak and hence a lot will depend on the all-round abilities of Christian and Brathwaite to take the Sixers over the line, as was seen in the last game against the Heat. Christian single-handedly took Sixers to a thrilling victory with his astonishing batting display. Sixers vs Thunder: Match Details Match Number- 38 Date and Time- Jan 12, 2021, 1:45:00 PM IST, 07.15 PM Local, 08.30 AM GMT Venue- Manuka Oval, Canberra Broadcast and Live Stream- Sony Six, Sony LIV Pitch Report Manuka Oval earlier presented a wicket that had something for the bowlers if they hit the right lengths and batsmen couldn’t run away with the game. The scores were generally at par except for the last two games where the side's batting first went past 200. Soin this game, a true wicket with something for both the bowlers and the batters in it is expected. Weather and Bat Flip The weather is going to be cloudy throughout the game assisting a bit of swing and the spinners would get a bit of drift as the humidity would be on a bit of high in the second innings as well. In such a scenario, the team winning the bat flip would like to bat first and put a good total on the board to defend. Sixers Strongest XI Josh Philippe (wk), Jack Edwards, James Vince, Daniel Hughes (c), Jordan Silk, Daniel Christian, Carlos Brathwaite, Steve OKeefe, Jackson Bird, Jake Ball, Lloyd Pope Thunder Strongest XI Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (c), Sam Billings (wk), Alex Ross, Ben Cutting, Daniel Sams, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Green, Adam Milne, Tanveer Sangha

Heat look to regain momentum on home soil against high-flying Sixers

Abhishek Singh ∙ 1 Jan 2021

Heat look to regain momentum on home soil against high-flying Sixers

Brisbane Heat would be looking to get back to winning ways after falling short by a solitary run against the Hobart Hurricanes in their year ending clash. In the new year though, they would like to move on, make use of the home conditions and crush probably the best team in the league-Sydney Sixers. On the other hand, Sixers, with four wins in a row would look to maximize on their form and the form of their star players like Josh Philippe and Daniel Hughes. Now that Holder is not available, the two other all-rounders in Carlos Brathwaite and Dan Christian would have to pull up their socks and fill in for him. Denly and Burns to turn the tides for Heat The Brisbane team has looked a depleted side much due to the pullouts from the likes of Tom Banton. Also Chris Lynn the captain has not been able to play in the last two games and won’t be available for this one either. Morne Morkel has so far been missing the action, even after being a local player now. It is due to these problems that the inclusion of experienced guys like Joe Burns, who has been released from the Aussie Test squad, and Joe Denly, who is finally fit and raring to strike hard would give Heat some confidence ahead of the game. Along with this, they would be looking to get a fine balance among their foreign stars who can all bowl, especially Mujeeb Ur Rehaman and Lewis Gregory to get the team early and timely strikes. Mujeeb showed what he is capable of with the five for in the last game, while Gregory was at the top of his game in the match prior to that. Sixers won't mind another one Having won two fiercely close games against two Melbourne sides, the Sydney Sixers won’t mind winning another close one against the Heat. They have been buoyed by the comeback of Jackson Bird and the overseas replacement of Holder, T20 Blast’s highest wicket-taker Jake Ball. The England star will be looking to make an impact right with the word go. While these factors form part of an important consideration, what is even more noticeable is the fact that the Sixers have always found an unlikely hero in every game. They wouldn’t mind one in this game either and Bir or Ball could be that hero as well. Heat vs Sixers: Match Details Venue: The Gabba, Brisbane Date and Time: January 2, 02:45 PM IST, 07:15 PM Local, 09:15 AM GMT Broadcaster: Sony Sports Network, Sony LIV Pitch Report The pitch at Brisbane has been a bit on the slower side, helping spinners with grip and turn, and also those who are ready to get slowness off the surface with their cutters. This phenomenon is more seen in the second innings, although Gabba is considered to be one of the fastest squares in Australia. No team in the three matches played here so far, have been able to get past 150 in the first innings, and the chasing team, Heat all the three times have struggled to get to that total, losing twice with close margins ( by two runs vs Strikers and by one run vs Hurricanes) and winning one with a great seventh-wicket partnership. Hence expecting a high score game would be too much for tomorrow Weather and Bat Flip The weather in Brisbane would remain a bit chilly with partly cloudy skies and a 40% chance of rain. Even in the last BBL game at the Carrara in Brisbane, it had to be decided through Duckworth Lewis, hence teams winning the flip would look to field first. Heat Probable XI Joe Bruns, Sam Heazlett, Jack Wildermuth, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Jimmy Peirson(w/c), James Bazley, Simon Milenko, Mark Steketee, Xavier Bartlett, Mujeeb Ur Rahman Sixers Probable XI Josh Philippe(w), Jack Edwards, James Vince, Daniel Hughes(c), Jordan Silk, Daniel Christian, Carlos Brathwaite, Ben Dwarshuis, Ben Manenti, Steve OKeefe, Jake Ball