BBL 2024: Hales slams Thunder’s batting as they close in on BBL wooden spoon

Sydney Thunder opener Alex Hales has panned his side’s performances in the BBL this season, conceding most of the squad will find it difficult to say they played well this year as they stare down the barrel of finishing with the wooden spoon.

Amid the gloom of another failed campaign, however, Hales said it would be “epic” if retired Test star David Warner was available for more than the two appearances he’s made in the back-end of this year’s tournament in the second year of a lucrative two-year-deal.

Warner has declared his intent to play more BBL with his Test career over but will also be lured to other more lucrative T20 leagues around the world.

“It would be epic if he’s around,” he said.

“He’s one of the best players to ever play T20 cricket so any time you’ve got him around the squad would be epic.“Hopefully he’s got a bit more time now he’s retired from Tests.”

The Thunder made the past three finals series but have won just one match this season and must defeat the Renegades in their last game if they want to leapfrog them into seventh spot.

A nine-wicket loss to the Strikers on Sunday night was arguably their worst performance of the season and Hales, who has scored 258 runs, the fourth-most in the competition is one of just two Thunder players to reach 50 in a game this tournament.

He said neither the batting or bowling units had “fired” this season and not many of his teams could say they’d been good enough during the tournament.

“I’ve felt in good touch the past couple of games and I’ve got 30s and 40s which is kind of frustrating when you feel in good touch, get yourself in but then not go on to get those big scores,” he said.

“As a batting unit we’ve probably lacked that. No one has gone on to get those big scores so that’s frustrating.

“I just think we’ve not had guys in form.

“In a shortened comp of 10 games, you need people firing and you need people in form.

“As a batting unit we haven’t fired, and I don’t think we have as a bowling unit. We haven’t used our changeups nearly as much as we should have done, and then other teams have against us.

“It’s been one of those things where nothing has quite worked for us this year.

“We rate our chances every game because we feel like we’ve got a good side and we’ve got some good players here, but you need players in form, and we haven’t had that.

“I can probably not think of many who would look at themselves in the mirror and say ‘I’ve had a good year this year’.

“If you want to be challenging for comps then you need guys playing well at the right time.”

Even the inclusion of Warner for the past two games failed to halt the batting collapses which have been mark of the Thunder’s season.

“It wasn’t good enough, both with bat and ball,” Hales said after the match.

“It was still a good pitch but we were probably 40 runs short… and that’s been the story of our season. We haven’t really built enough partnerships and we haven’t had enough guys in form.

“It’s been another one of those nights.”

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