Thunder spinner Arjun Nair’s head was still spinning on Monday, but it was more to do with the unlikely finals wins over Hobart and then Adelaide rather than any jetlag.
“Because they’re all big games and we’re now at the knockout stage, everyone is excited and has the adrenaline going,” Nair said.
Frequent flyer Arjun Nair and his Sydney Thunder mates will have flown more than 12,000km in just three weeks.Credit:AAP
“Its a lot of flying time, but because of how big the games are coming up we’re only focused on that. Not many people backed us to come this far. We’ve had the underdog tag throughout the season. To now be one win away from a grand final is pretty good in itself, but the end goal is to the win the Big Bash.”
Leading wicket-taker Daniel Sams has been fantastic – he finished with another three scalps in Adelaide on the weekend – while English opener Alex Hales has now helped himself to four half-centuries in his past five games.
Tiny tweaker Nair has also stepped up, relishing the chance to send a few down during the power play.
Holding his nerve, however, with the field up at the MCG against the likes of Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell will be tough on Thursday night, especially after the hosts continued their embarrassing finals hoodoo against the Sixers.
The Stars have won just two finals games in ten appearances, and never been crowned champions. A big crowd is expected down south.
“For me the challenge excites me more than anything on Thursday, bowling to those guys [Stoinis and Maxwell] who are world-class batters,” Nair said. “If they’re on song they’ll do what they do, but it’s up to us to stick to our game plan.”
Ticket sales are strong for Saturday’s final at the SCG, which will include the all-star Bushfire Bash as the curtain-raiser, but could ironically abandoned because of heavy rain.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.