The Sydney Sixers batsman is among the leading scorers in the second phase of fielding restrictions
Jordan Silk hopes the Power Surge is here to stay in the BBL after benefiting from the new fielding restrictions which allow the batting side to call a two-over Powerplay after the 10th over.
Silk wasn’t needed by Sydney Sixers in the Qualifier final as they cantered to a nine-wicket victory against Perth Scorchers, but he has been a vital component of the defending champions who are now a win away from back-to-back titles.
And it’s partly the new phase of the game, which saw two of the traditional Powerplay overs moved to the latter half of the innings, where he has made his mark.
He sits third on the list of runs scored in Power Surge behind Ben Cutting and Jimmy Peirson with 79 off 45 balls – a strike-rate of 175.55 – as part of an overall tally of 365 runs at 36.50 and a strike-rate of 144.26. That latter figure puts him comfortably on top of those to have batted at No. 5 or below in this BBL edition.
“It’s definitely brought the middle-order batter into the game a bit more, giving us an opportunity to bat when there’s only two fielders outside the ring as opposed to having five out and not getting a reprieve,” he said.
“It’s been a nice change and also just being able to face a few balls before going into it has been really critical to my season. Very different if I’m, say, opening the batting and straight into a Powerplay than having 10-12 balls under my belt.
“That’s probably where I’ve had most of my success in it, when I’ve actually been able to apply myself beforehand, get used to the pace of the wicket then target areas from there. You can look at the numbers and say it’s certainly a rule change I’ve benefited from this year and I’m hoping it stays in.”
His Power Surge impact included the display against Melbourne Renegades early in the competition where he took five fours in an over off Kane Richardson. All of them came through the off side without the need for any major invention in the strokeplay and Silk has found sticking to the fundamentals has served him well.
“I think the bowlers are under the most pressure to execute, that’s what we’ve seen throughout the tournament, I know that going into it so I’m just trying to give myself the best possible base to be able to play a shot to any ball,” he said. “Regardless of where the fielders are I still think if I can hit it hard enough or place it well enough I can get four anyway.
“I haven’t tried to be giving myself room and hit an area where there aren’t fielders, just play the best possible shot I can to that ball and I know if I do that there’s a good chance it can go for a boundary anyway.”
Silk has played in three BBL finals, suffering two defeats at the hands of the Scorchers (who could be the opponents this year) before playing a vital hand of 27 off 15 balls in last season’s decider against the Melbourne Stars at the SCG. Having not played at home yet this season due to Covid-19 border restrictions, the Sixers will get a chance to defend the title on their own patch.
“We had a little taste of what a home crowd is like with a few Sixers fans travelling to Manuka,” Silk said. “We are really buoyed by the fact we could have 19-20,000 people at the SCG on Saturday.”
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo