The Sydney Thunder has unearthed a set of brothers that could dominate white ball cricket for the next decade with Ollie and Joel Davies playing crucial roles in the Thunder’s upset win over the Scorchers on Wednesday night.
However Australia will have to ensure it keeps a firm eye on the pair given they are eligible to play for the West Indies as well.
Ollie, 22, has shown his powerful potential with a number of eye-catching knocks over the past few seasons but it was maturity that came to the fore in Perth as he helped his side recover from a disastrous start by carving out 58 off 47 for his second half-century in as many games to guide his team to a fourth-straight win.
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But as well as he batted, Joel, 19, stole the show with a couple of run outs and two catches in his first BBL game after also producing a run out when he stepped in as a substitute fielder on new Year’s Eve.
The younger Davies brother smashed a remarkable 458 runs at an average of 114.5 as captain of the NSW Under 19 team at the national carnival in December and also snared eight wickets to lead his side to the title to earn a call-up to the Thunder squad.
In his Big Bash debut in Perth the teenager displayed he’s the full package with a stunning fielding courtesy of practice in the nets in the backyard.
“It was pretty exciting, we got the win and I scored some runs but I think the best thing of the night was Joel getting out there on the field and getting two run outs and two catches,” Ollie said after the game.
“I’ve got a bit of bias here, but I reckon he’s one of the best fielders going around right now in Australia.
“No one has seen much of him, but a couple of run outs there shows that boys probably haven’t seen him throw a ball. I’m not moving too well at the moment so he’s definitely got me covered. He had a cracking night so it’s pretty good.”
As for Ollie, he produced one of the most important innings of his young career to help his side recover after their two imports were removed by Jhye Richardson.
He navigated the hat-trick ball and went on to pepper the boundary against the team he made his BBL debut against a few years ago.
“I didn’t process it until I got in and the crowd got so loud. Then I remembered that Rilee nicked off first ball and realised it was a hat-trick ball,” he said.
“Any other ball that was a long half-volley, I probably would have driven it down the ground, but I just dead-batted it.
“This was probably the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of for a Big Bash game. The atmosphere and the echo that comes through from everyone here is pretty daunting, especially when you’re out there batting. It’s pretty scary.
“It was probably one of my more mature innings. I’m usually trying to hit a six a little earlier in my innings, so it was a good night.”
Davies has been striking at 149.67 this season and says he won’t back away from that style of cricket leading into Sunday’s Sydney derby.
“I still think that’s the best part of my game, playing that aggressive cricket,” he said.
“When I’m trying to look to score, I get in much better positions and that helps me to defend and get off strike. I’ve definitely matured a lot since that first game, but at the same time, I don’t want to take that flair away.”
Through their mum, both brothers are eligible to get a Trinidad passport and grew up supporting both Australia and the West Indies.
“I was always West Indies (in the backyard),” Ollie explained.
“When I would’ve been about eight, there was a left-arm ortho(dox bowler) named Nikita Miller – I remember getting his signature, and I’ve got that on my broad-brim West Indies hat. And I used to bat in it, used to absolutely love it.
“I remember going to a few SCG games, and I’ve got a photo of me standing next to Joel Garner. He’s like triple the size of me. Mum loves the West Indies as well so that triggered it a little bit.”
However he’s in no rush to make the jump.
“I’m scared of thinking about moving states, I would never move to Queensland or Victoria – let alone the northern beaches – so moving countries … I like cricket but I don’t think I love it enough to want to move countries to play it,” Davies said.
“If something came up and they offered a pretty good deal or something, you never know, but for now I’m pretty put on staying in Australia.”
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