Sea of green: Ollie Davies ready for BBL 11

Young gun: Ollie Davies. Picture: Sydney Thunder
Young gun: Ollie Davies. Picture: Sydney Thunder

Most people remember Ollie Davies hitting five sixes from consecutive balls to announce himself as the Big Bash League's next big thing last summer.

What you might not be aware is his knock of 48 runs off just 23 balls in just his second game for the Sydney Thunder started quite un-Davies like.

"I was a run-a-ball 18; I took my time to get into the innings," the 21-year-old said.

"For me, it's about understanding my game and when I can take the game on a bit more. Understanding my own game will allow me to hopefully do that in the near future."

Davies enters his second Big Bash League season as a potential x-factor for the Thunder who have made the finals for the past two-seasons.

The Northern Beaches product underlined his huge potential with a fearless 36 off only 22 balls on debut. But after his second game stunner, he only managed six runs from his next five innings.

It's all part of the development of the middle-order batsman who once hit 207 from 115 balls for the under-19 NSW Metro team including an amazing 17 sixes and 14 fours.

Ollie Davies meeting Shaun Marsh as a yougster and playing against him last year.

Ollie Davies meeting Shaun Marsh as a yougster and playing against him last year.

He is hoping to take his game to a "new level" under incoming coach Trevor Bayliss.

"From what I have seen he really like to take the game on," Davis said of Bayliss who coached England to it maiden World Cup victory.

"For me that really helps my cricket. If I can have someone in my corner that's able to back me and tell me to just go out there and take the game on, that's something I really enjoy doing and I think I am quite good at it.

"One thing I already learned form last season is that I feel like I started off the season quite well in my first two games and then didn't do as well as I would have liked for the back end of the season

"I've already had that experience of putting too much pressure on my self to do a little bit more than I need to.

"For me it's about going out there and trying to play my natural game and not worrying about the factors I can't control

"If I can go out and play like I did in those first two games, I'll be pretty successful I think."

The Thunder have a new-look squad for BBL 11 under new skipper Usman Khawaja. English trio Saqib Mahmood, Alex Hales and Sam Billings join a local contingent that contains a good mix of youth and experience including Ben Cutting, Chris Green, Daniel Sams and Tanveer Sangha.

Ingleburn's Tanveer Sangha was one of the stars of last year's Big Bash.

Ingleburn's Tanveer Sangha was one of the stars of last year's Big Bash.

Davies said he was excited by the prospect of playing at Thunder Nation's Sydney Showground Stadium after missing out last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"It was very exciting to play matches at Manuka last summer, the crowd was amazing... to have the support I did from the locals was incredible because I really wasn't expecting that," said Davies, who made his limited overs debut for NSW last summer.

"It excites me to think we're playing at Sydney Showground Stadium this summer. I've heard from all the players who've played there that it's a stadium with a tremendous atmosphere, an exciting one which inspires everyone.

"I've been told to expect to be blown away by the 'sea of green' - that's the fans in the stands wearing their Thunder gear - which greets the players when they run onto the field. I just can't wait to experience it."

Davies knows first-hand of the benefits of players interacting with fans. As a 12-year-old he met his idol Shaun Marsh at Drummoyne Oval and they kept in touch and remarkably the pair played against each other in last year's competition.

"I loved watching Shaun Marsh growing up...he influenced my game a lot and I tried to bat a bit like him," he said.

"I want to make sure that if someone looks up to me I want to make their day by a having chat with them. That's going to a big thing for me this year.

"BBL matches are exciting for young fans because, being such a short form of the game, the players take more risks.

"That can result in batters hitting big sixes, fielders taking spectacular catches, and bowlers taking some great wickets."

Sydney Thunder BBL 11 home games 

  • Monday, December 6 v Brisbane Heat, 7:15pm, Manuka Oval.
  • Sunday, December 12 v Melbourne Stars, 7:15pm, Sydney Showground Stadium.
  • Sunday, December 26 v Sydney Sixers, 6:05pm, Sydney Showground Stadium.
  • Tuesday, December 28, 28 Dec | Vs Perth Scorchers | 7:15pm | Manuka Oval.
  • Sun 2 Jan | Vs Adelaide Strikers | 7:15pm | Sydney Showground Stadium.
  • Thurs 13 Jan | Vs Hobart Hurricanes | 4:00pm | Sydney Showground Stadium.
  • Wednesday, January 19 v Melbourne Renegades, 4:40pm, Sydney Showground Stadium.

Sydney Thunder BBL 11 Squad

Head coach: Trevor Bayliss

Assistant coaches: Shawn Bradstreet, Chandika Hathurusinghe

Squad: Usman Khawaja (C), Sam Billings (ENG), Jonathan Cook, Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales (ENG), Baxter Holt, Saqib Mahmood (ENG), Nathan McAndrew, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain.