We play our best when we display fearless brand of cricket, says Thunder’s Tahlia Wilson

Sydney Thunder in action during WBBL06 © Getty Images

Sydney Thunder were the inaugural winners of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) and even though they reached semi-finals twice since then they weren’t able to reprise the glory of the first edition of the tournament.

A sixth-place finish during the last season made them rethink their strategy and the change in personnel they have brought in have had a huge impact on them reaching the final four of WBBL06.

Wicketkeeper-batter Tahlia Wilson believes it’s the ‘fearless brand of cricket’ that helped Thunder play at their best and the hub life in The ‘WBBL Village’ has brought them together as a team regardless of their age and experience.

“I think when we’re playing our best cricket, we’re definitely playing a fearless brand of cricket,” Wilson said, on Tuesday (November 24), during the media interaction ahead of their semi-final against Heat on Thursday (November 26).

“Everyone goes out there and knows that everyone behind them is definitely backing them. To show their ability, they’ve done all the hard yards off the field. So, just execute when you get out there,” she said.

“It comes from the off-field, the culture that we’ve built, being spending so much time in the hub together, it’s definitely tested some teams. But for us, it’s really brought us closer together and we’ve been able to get to know each other on a deeper level. The support staff and the coaching staff have been really supportive of us showing our fearless brand of cricket.”

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Heather Knight, playing her first season for Thunder, had a stellar season with 403 runs and nine wickets to her name in the league stages. Sammy-Jo Johnson, who moved to Thunder from Brisbane Heat, also has been instrumental in their road to the last four with 18 wickets to her name.

“It comes down to overall consistency. This year we’ve done really well in recruiting some very good internationals. Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont have done a great job at the top of the order and to have Shabnim Ismail back, I think we’ve had a well-rounded season this year,” said the 21-year-old.

“I think one word to describe (them is) most inspirational. They all bring something to the team that the other one doesn’t.”

It’s not just the experienced internationals who had an impact in the game for the Sydney side. Young players like Hannah Darlington, Phoebe Litchfield also made their presence felt during the current edition.

“I think the experience of young girls has been outstanding. They’ve really taken it well and haven’t been too overwhelmed by what’s been thrown at them,” Wilson added.

Thunder won’t have it easy facing the defending champions Heat, who will be looking to make it three titles in-a-row. Wilson, who has played 19 matches for Thunder, feels teams have undermined Heat a bit with them losing a few key players to other sides ahead of the season.

“Everyone sort of underrated them a little bit when they lost some of the bigger players. But they’ve definitely done well in the back end of the season. They’ve found their feet and found their form,” she said.

“It’s definitely going to be a tough matchup for us. If we can just stick to our plans and hopefully, we’ll be able to execute in the night. Everyone needs to perform because any of their bowlers can take the game away from us. Everyone’s just got to play their role,” Wilson concluded.