Big Bash Preview 2018/19: Sydney Thunder
(Photo: Getty Images/Darrian Traynor)

Big Bash Preview 2018/19: Sydney Thunder

All you need to know about the Thunder as we look ahead to BBL 08.

Jack Groom

Who to look out forFeast or famine is an apt phrase for the Sydney Thunder. In the seven previous editions of the competition their record reads as so: eighth, eighth, eighth, seventh, winners, eighth, sixth, and they won only five of their first 31 matches.

They have looked to signings from their arch-rivals England to ensure they do not take the wooden spoon again this time around, drafting in Jos Buttler, Joe Root and Chris Jordan for various parts of the competition to strengthen their squad.

The trio join veteran all-rounder Shane Watson, star leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed and - when released from national duty - firecracker paceman Pat Cummins and explosive batsman Usman Khawaja in a strong Thunder roster.

What you need to know

Ground - Spotless Stadium

Captain - Shane Watson

Coach - Shane Bond

Overseas Players - Jos Buttler (ENG - First seven games), Joe Root (ENG - First seven games), Chris Jordan (ENG - Replacement for Buttler), Anton Devcich (NZ - Replacement for Root)

Embed from Getty Images

Who to look out for

Gun Bat - Jos Buttler

One of the biggest, cleanest hitters in world cricket, wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler is a name that will strike fear into opposing bowling attacks.

A truly 360-degree player capable of scoring anywhere on the pitch, the 28-year-old has the ability and power to change the momentum of a game in the blink of an eye. Having proven his white-ball worth in competitions all around the world, he has recently taken great strides to dispel the myth of him as a limited-overs player only through stellar performances in the middle-order of the England Test line-up. Adept at batting anywhere in the top six in T20 cricket, if he gets into his stride he could truly destroy all before him,

Embed from Getty Images

Mr Reliable - Shane Watson

Captain Watson has been the man for the Thunder to count on since his arrival in New South Wales in 2015, demonstrating his might on countless occasions with bat in hand at the top of the order. Still capable of sending down naggingly consistent medium pace, the veteran uses all of his brute strength to get on top of bowlers when batting, and nous and experience to strangle batsmen into submission when bowling.

Overseas Import - Joe Root

England Test captain Root is embarking upon his first T20 franchise tournament, and hopes will be high amongst the Thunder faithful that he can demonstrate his class and produce big scores. A player who relies on touch and timing as opposed to power and punch, he will look to constantly rotate the strike and frustrate bowlers through prevention of tying him down.

He has been very open about his desire to improve his game in the shortest form, his hectic schedule denying him the opportunity to sell himself to franchises previously; there looks a great chance here to evolve his abilities exponentially. If so, then it will be extremely beneficial for all parties.

Embed from Getty Images

Young Starlet - Jason Sangha

Having burst onto the stage when becoming the second-youngest player to score a first-class hundred against England (after Sachin Tendulkar) prior to the 2017/18 Ashes series when only 18, hopes are high for the blossoming right-hander. Named captain of the Australia Under-19 Cricket World Cup side, he top scored with an aggregate of 229 runs and has since notched two centuries in his opening five games for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield. It is surely only a matter of time before he makes his Test bow.