Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Rob Forsaith

Gilkes hails fellow BBL young gun's dare

Thunder's Tanveer Sangha took two big wickets in successive balls against the Melbourne Stars. (AAP)

Young guns Matt Gilkes and Tanveer Sangha charted different paths through lockdown while preparing to play key roles in Sydney Thunder's quest for a second BBL title.

But both have already proven big-moment players this season, which for the Thunder continues against Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Sunday night.

Gilkes chased a never-ending summer this year.

The 22-year-old spent his winter playing in the Northern Territory then, as COVID-19 cases delayed the start of Sydney's grade competition and NSW's season, postponed his return home.

Gilkes and a handful of NSW teammates instead briefly based themselves in Brisbane, enjoying a chance to play club cricket rather than train under Sydney's biosecurity restrictions.

Sangha wasn't as lucky.

The 20-year-old legspinner returned home from Australia's Twenty20 tour of Bangladesh and was plunged into a strict lockdown because of the local government area (LGA) he lives in.

It meant Sangha was restricted to bowling by himself in the local nets as the bulk of the Blues' squad trained together.

The unique pre-season has seemingly done little to stall the rise and rise of Sangha, who dismissed T20 World Cup heroes Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis with consecutive deliveries in the Thunder's last-start loss to Melbourne Stars.

"I just love the way he goes about it. He's not scared, whoever he comes up against," Gilkes said.

"That's a really good trait for a young guy.

"He's very talented. I love the way he bowls, he's so cagey.

"He's got really good, subtle changes of pace ... I'm really looking forward to him taking some more wickets."

Gilkes, who scored 56 at the MCG last week, was overlooked throughout the Thunder's 2020-21 campaign.

The left-hander said an off-season spent playing as many games as possible helped improve his batting.

"Just how to work things out in the middle, tactically and mentally," Gilkes said.

"I've been working quite hard on my game and just trying to keep backing myself as much as I can."

The Thunder are awaiting an update as to whether captain Usman Khawaja will be released from the Test squad to play this weekend's match.

"It's always great to have Uzzy back. A class batter like that adds so much experience," Sangha said.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.