2015/16 Finish - Last (2 wins 6 losses)
Overall Win/Loss - 24 wins, 15 losses, 61% Win Ratio
Titles 1 (2011/12)
History - The Sydney Sixers will be looking to rebound from a nightmare 2015/16 where they finished in last place with just two victories. The Sixes have been one of the more successful Big Bash franchises, making the finals in four out of six seasons including two finals appearances. The Sixes won the inaugural Big Bash in 2011/12 defeating the Perth Scorchers at the WACA in the final. That year, they went on to win the now defunct Champions League in India, smashing the Highveld Lions in the final to complete a remarkable double winning season. The Sixes haven’t won any silverware since, having been beaten narrowly in the 2014/15 final by the Perth Scorchers on the final ball.
Squad - Moises Henriques (c), Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Jackson Bird, Johan Botha, Ryan Carter, Ben Dwarshuis, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Daniel Hughes, Michael Lumb, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Joe Mennie, Stephen O’Keefe, Jason Roy, Jordan Silk, Mitchell Starc
Imports - Michael Lumb and Jason Roy. The Sixes welcome back one of their imports in Michael Lumb to their squad for a third consecutive season. Lumb is closing in on 5000 T20 runs and is one of the most experienced specialist opening bats in the format. His average of 24 might be a little disappointing, however a strike rate of 138 shows he can still be damaging. With Johan Botha being granted Australian citizenship, it freed up another roster spot with the Sixes snapping up boom English youngster Jason Roy. Roy is opening the batting for both England’s T20 and 50 over sides. Roy has really emerged over the past 12 months and his average of 28 and strike rate of 143 could be a dynamic combination for the Sixes.
Verdict - The Sixes have a squad full of depth and T20 experience this year. They had a nightmare last year, however their squad was depleted with injuries. Home grown players like Maddinson, Henriques, O'Keefe and Abbott are likely to be available for the whole tournament which gives them great stability. I like the addition of Roy at the top of the order - he is a young player on the way up and gives them some serious strike power. Johan Botha, converting to a local player gives the squad extra depth as he is a he is a very crafty spinner. With Starc and Hazlewood on their books at full strength, this side are a title chance, however how much of the Big Bash they are available for is a big question mark. I think their strongest line up has the potential to challenge for the title. This team has been together for a while have been around the block. I think they make the finals and from there, it will depend on who is available as to how far they go.
THE LUKER SAYS - 4th "The Sixes will return to winning ways in BBL 6 with a squad that has plenty of experience but not carrying too many old farts. The Squad won't be impacted too badly by International selections throughout. The squad has a similar makeup to the sides that carried them to success in previous seasons after last years flop"
2015/16 - Champions (finished 4th regular season - 4 wins, 4 losses)
Overall Win/Loss - 8 wins, 25 losses - 24% Win Ratio.
Titles - 1 (2015/16)
History - Who would have thought the Sydney Thunder would ever be described as the defending Champions but that’s exactly what they are heading into 2016/2017. The Thunder were the laughing stock of the competition during their first four seasons, finishing in last place in their first three seasons and second last place in their 4th season. Led by some veteran leadership in Michael Hussey and Shane Watson, the Thunder managed to sneak into the finals last season in 4th place. From there Usman Khawaja took centre stage starring in both the Semi Final and Final as the Thunder remarkably beat both Adelaide and the Melbourne Stars to claim the most unlikely of trophies.
Squad - Shane Watson (c), Fawad Ahmed, Aiden Blizzard, Patrick Cummins, Jake Doran, Ryan Gibson, Chris Green, Chris Hartley, Usman Khawaja, Nathan McAndrew, Alister McDermott, Clint McKay, Eoin Morgan, Arjun Nair, Kurtis Patterson, Ben Rohrer, Andre Russell, Gurinder Sandhu
Imports - The Thunder welcome back explosive all rounder Andre Russell after he starred in their title winning season of last year. Russell arrives under a huge cloud with a 2-year drug ban hanging over his head. Russell, if found guilty by the Jamaican Doping Commission, could be heading home mid tournament and out of the game for two years. It would throw the Thunder’s plan into disarray with Russell one of the best T20 players in the world. He averages 24 with the bat at an amazing strike rate of 166 and proved a wicket taker who bowled at high pace last year. Eion Morgan is back at the Sydney Thunder having signed on for the first half of the series. The English ODI captain is a very accomplished T20 player averaging nearly 27 at a strike rate close to 130. Morgan is an inventive batsman who can score in all areas of the ground.
Verdict - I do not think the Thunder can repeat what they did last year, however they have a pretty strong squad. If Usman Khawaja plays the whole tournament, being out of the Australian ODI side, it is a massive plus for the Thunder. Pat Cummins will be explosive with the ball, however is likely to miss the big games with Australian ODI duty. I don't know if the old guard of Shane Watson and Clint Mackay can keep on keeping on however they have experience and quality. I have this team missing the finals this year in a surprise. I think Mike Hussey was providing the veteran leadership and quality under pressure and without him in the middle they might suffer. The doubt over Andre Russell’s future and Eion Morgan not being available for the last three games will hurt them. The Thunder sort of snuck under everyone's guard last year by sneaking into the finals and winning it from there. Whilst i think they win 3 or 4 games this year, I have them outside the finals.
THE LURKER SAYS - 7th "Back to the dark old days for the Thunder. The losses of Kallis and Hussey have not been filled and DE RUSS will be their only shining light. With Watto out injured early I see the Thunder laying eggs and giving us a doughnut early in the competition. They might rally yet but the bird would have flown!"