Biggest challenge facing ageless Sixers star Christian
After a refreshing break without any games, Australia's most successful T20 player is recharged and back at the Sydney Sixers looking to claim yet another title
1 December 2021, 05:15 PM AEST
Arguably Australian T20 cricket's most successful ever player, Dan Christian is back at the Sydney Sixers looking to claim yet another title.
The back-to-back champions are gunning for an historic three-peat in KFC BBL|11, and the 38-year-old is raring to go after a refreshing, and rare, two-month break without any games.
Christian teamed up with subsequent T20 World Cup hero Glenn Maxwell at Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL but has only played club cricket since having spent the World Cup watching from the sidelines as a reserve in the Australian squad.
"It's actually been fantastic to have a bit of a break," Christian told cricket.com.au.
"It's been a pretty busy few years for me really, particularly with COVID, lots of life in bubbles and traveling, so to have a little bit of time at home, it's been fantastic.
"I feel like I've been playing for a fair while now, so I generally don't need too much training to get going for each tournament, so that mental refreshment is probably more important than anything.
"I played a game for University of New South Wales, my old club, just to prepare for this week."
The veteran allrounder has won a staggering nine T20 domestic championships, including last summer with the Sydney Sixers in BBL|10.
When asked where this squad compares with all the others he's played in, he said: "It's got to be up there.
"Given the success the team has had last year and the year before, they've always been thereabouts when it comes to the finals, so I was pretty keen to join last season.
"I've got no doubt if we play half as well as we did last year, I'm sure we're going to be up there.
"We've got a fantastic list again, we've been able to keep our list together and the addition of Chris Jordan will be huge as well – he's been a fantastic player for a long time."
Christian also revealed one of the biggest challenges for him at his age was to make sure the pace of his stock ball was still up around 130kph.
"Everyone knows that I bowl lots of slower balls, so I've just got to make sure that I'm still fit and strong enough to be bowling flat out enough to at least bowl a bouncer and change things up to try and create that little bit of doubt," he said.
"For me these days it's mainly bodyweight stuff, running and making sure I'm actually doing a lot of bowling.
"I find that's been the best thing for me over the last few years is continually bowling, making sure I've got lots of overs under my belt.
"When I'm doing that, I tend to be able to keep my pace up rather than when I have a break everything takes a little bit longer to get back into."
As for the veteran's future given he's on the fringes of the Australian squad with a home T20 World Cup looming next year, Christian said it would be nice to be able to break back in.
"We'll just wait and see what happens. If I get another opportunity, that'd be great," he said.
"It was certainly nice to be back in and around that group.
"But just team success, really, that's all I've concentrated on the last few years, trying to win competitions with whatever team I've played in, and I guess the other stuff looks after itself."
Dan Christian in domestic T20 finals
2006: Big Bash, NSW v Victoria (lost)
2010: Big Bash, South Australia v Victoria (lost)
2010: England T20, Hampshire v Somerset (won)
2011: Big Bash, South Australia v NSW (won)
2013: BBL|02, Brisbane Heat v Perth Scorchers (won)
2017: IPL, Rising Pune Supergiant v Mumbai (lost)
2017: T20 Blast, Notts v Birmingham (won)
2017: CPL, Trinbago v St Kitts (won)
2018: BBL|07, Hobart Hurricanes v Adelaide Strikers (lost)
2018: SA Super League, Jozi Stars v Cape Town Blitz (won)
2019: BBL|08, Melbourne Renegades v Melbourne Stars (won)
2020: T20 Blast, Notts v Surrey (won)
2021: BBL|10, Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers (won)
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