For the first four seasons since the tournament’s inception, Sydney Thunder failed to make it to the knockouts stage. The first three seasons, they finished bottom of the pile. However, they recovered to win BBL 5 before failing to qualify for the knockouts for another three seasons. The Thunder have finished third and fourth respectively the last two seasons and will be looking to go past the Eliminator stage this season.
Sydney Thunder: Big Bash League Results With Captains
|2020-2021||Callum Ferguson||3rd place|
|2019-2020||Callum Ferguson||5th place|
|2018-2019||Shane Watson||6th place|
|2017-2018||Shane Watson||6th place|
|2016-2017||Ben Rohrer/Shane Watson||8th place|
|2015-2016||Chris Hartley/Michael Hussey||Champions|
|2014-2015||Michael Hussey||7th place|
|2013-2014||Chris Gayle/Michael Hussey||8th place|
|2012-2013||Chris Rogers/Chris Gayle||8th place|
|2011-2012||David Warner/Daniel Smith||8th place|
For the first four seasons, the Sydney Thunder were the perennial underachievers in the Big Bash League. They experimented with five captains in four years – David Warner, Daniel Smith, Chris Rogers, Chris Gayle and Michael Hussey – but their fortunes remained the same. Under the joint captaincy of Chris Hartley and Hussey in BBL 5, the Thunder finally emerged champions. However, both Hartley and Hussey did not continue as captains for the next season, and the team once again went back to being underdogs. Under Shane Watson’s captaincy from 2016 to 2019, the Thunder failed to make it to the knockouts. In 2019-2020, they finished fifth under new captain Callum Ferguson, who remained at the team’s helm in 2020-2021, when they finished third.
Among all the Thunder captains so far, Ferguson has the best win percentage (53.22). Watson’s win percentage of 43.33 comes next.
Although the team has ended four seasons as the wooden spooners, they have made remarkable improvements the last two seasons under Ferguson, from whom Chris Green will take over the captaincy in the 11th edition.
Sydney Thunder Squad for BBL 2021-22
Batsman: Oliver Davies, Alex Hales, Usman Khawaja, Alex Ross, Jason Sangha,
Wicket-keeper: Sam Billings, Matthew Gilkes, Baxter Holt
All-Rounder: Chris Green (captain), Ben Cutting, Daniel Sams
Bowler: Jonathan Cook, Saqib Mahmood, Nathan McAndrew, Arjun Nair, Gurinder Sandhu, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain, Brendan Doggett
Sydney Thunder’s squad for BBL 11 is not much different from BBL 10. Ferguson, who has retired, will be succeeded by Chris green as captain, while Adam Milne has been replaced by Saqib Mahmood, an exciting fast bowler from England.
In the absence of Usman Khawaja, who is busy with international commitments, a lot will be expected from Alex Hales, who was the top scorer of BBL last year. Alex Ross, Sam Billings, Chris Green, Ben Cutting, Saqib Mahmood, Daniel Sams and Tanveer Sangha are also expected to play important roles.
Sydney Thunder: BBL 2021-22 Fixtures
|DATE & DAY||FIXTURE||VENUE||TIME (IST)|
|Dec 6, 2021|
|Sydney Thunder vs Brisbane Heat||Manuka Oval||13:15|
|Dec 10, 2021|
|Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder||Melbourne Cricket|
|Dec 12, 2021|
|Sydney Thunder vs Melbourne Stars||Sydney Showground||13:15|
|Dec 19, 2021|
|Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder||The Gabba||14:10|
|Dec 26, 2021|
|Sydney Thunder vs Sydney Sixers||Sydney Showground||12:35|
|Dec 28, 2021|
|Sydney Thunder vs Perth Scorchers||Manuka Oval||13:15|
|Dec 31, 2021|
|Adelaide Strikers vs Sydney Thunder||Adelaide Oval||13:15|
|Jan 2, 2022|
|Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers||Sydney Showground||13:15|
|Jan 5, 2022|
|Perth Scorchers vs Sydney Thunder||Optus Stadium||15:45|
|Jan 8, 2022|
|Melbourne Renegades vs Sydney Thunder||Marvel Stadium||12:35|
|Jan 10, 2022|
|Hobart Hurricanes vs Sydney Thunder||UTAS Stadium||13:15|
|Jan 13, 2022|
|Sydney Thunder vs Hobart Hurricanes||Sydney Showground||10:30|
|Jan 15, 2022|
|Sydney Sixers vs Sydney Thunder||Sydney Cricket Ground||14:10|
|Jan 19, 2022|
|Sydney Thunder vs Melbourne Renegades||Sydney Showground||11:10|
The Numbers that Matter
Usman Khawaja, who has been with the Thunder since the inaugural edition of BBL, is their highest run-scorer. The southpaw has 1718 runs at an average and strike rate of 33.68 and 128.97. The highest individual score for the Thunder has been scored by Callum Ferguson (113*), while the record for the best strike rate is held by Alex Hales (152.03). Additionally, the embarrassing record for the most ducks (6) is under Daniel Sam’s name.
Daniel Sams was roped in by Thunder ahead of BBL 2018-19, but in only three seasons, the pacer has emerged as the side’s highest wicket-taker (59). The record for the best bowling figures in an innings is held by Fawad Ahmed (4-14). Ahead of BBL 9, the Pakistan leg-spinner parted ways with the Thunder and joined Perth Scorchers.
After winning the title in BBL 5, Thunder’s second-best run came last season, when they finished third. 232-5 in BBL 10 is the highest total posted by the side, while 94 all out is their lowest total, which came in BBL 4. Thunder’s largest victory (by runs) came in 2020 when they beat Melbourne Renegades by 129 runs.
Sydney Thunder: Rivalries
|Opponent||Matches Played||Won||Lost||Win Percentage (%)|
Going by the head to head of Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers, it is clear that both teams have given tough competition to each other over the years. But they became rivals when the Thunder beat the Strikers in the 2015-16 season final. Both the sides have registered some comprehensive wins over each other, while a few games have gone down to the wire.
Brisbane have been the Thunder’s greatest enemies, leading them 10-3 in the overall head to head total. In the knockouts last season, the Heat spoiled Thunder’s chances of making it to their second BBL final.
Like all derbies, Sydney Sixers vs Sydney Thunder, also known as the Sydney Smash, has been one of BBL’s greatest rivalries. Although their head to head total is not too lopsided, it can be recalled that the Sixers won seven matches on a trot against the Thunder from 2011 to 2015.
Road Ahead for Sydney Thunder
A good campaign in BBL10 saw the Thunder finish third after losing the knockout game to the Heat. Their squad for this season is largely similar to last season, but Usman Khawaja is unavailable because he is currently with Australia’s Test team for the Ashes. Oliver Davies will also be unavailable for the first few games due to an injury. But the Thunder still possess a strong squad that can put up a good fight.