The Sydney Sixers say Sydney Thunders teenage batsman Jason Sangha could hold the key to their Big Bash League clash at Spotless Stadium.
The Sydney Sixers have zeroed in on Sydney Thunder sensation Jason Sangha as they prepare for a bumper Christmas Eve cross-town derby.
Both sides go into the Spotless Stadium clash with wind in their sails after promising first-up wins against more-fancied opponents.
Going into the season, the two Sydney franchises were $8 outsiders with the bookies and equal favourites to finish with the wooden spoon.
But after an unbeaten 63 from Sangha inspired the Thunder to a win over the Melbourne Stars on Friday and Steve O’Keefe spun the Sixers to a 17-run victory over title favourites Perth, many are reassessing their predictions.
Veteran tweaker O’Keefe said the emergence of youthful talent had been the theme of the opening games of the BBL and Sangha was a case in point.
Sangha has already been touted as a future Test player and compared to Ricky Ponting and the 2018-19 BBL shapes as potentially his breakout season.
“I really like the guy’s temperament and his attitude towards the game, he’s not really flustered,” O’Keefe said of his Cricket NSW teammate.
“Sometimes you forget how young they are, he’s 19. And being 34, I’m 15 years older than him. When you chat to him about the game it’s like you’re chatting to a seasoned veteran.
“He walked out here (at the SCG) and got his (maiden Shield) 100. And he’s got a game plan to come out pretty hard and it’s coming off for him.”
The Sixers got their campaign off to a flyer after downing the three-time champion Scorchers by 17 runs at the SCG on Saturday.
The Sixers narrowly missed the finals last year but only after losing their first six games.
They turned things around with four wins on the trot and went into 2018-19 determined not to suffer the same fate.
“I’m focused on the back-end (of last year), we won four and we won this so we’re five from five,” a high-spirited O’Keefe said.
“How about we put a spin on it – we’re on fire here the Sixers. Get behind us, we’re a very bullish at the moment. Get on us. I think we’re last in the odds, throw a tenner on us.”