On top of the world following the Sydney Sixers’ Twenty20 Champions League win, former Warilla junior Nic Maddinson must quickly turn his focus to matching it with a cast of Australian Test talent.
Maddinson earned the biggest single pay day of his career by playing a crucial mainstay role in the Sixers’ top order, batting around the likes of big-hitting captain Brad Haddin.
The left-handed 20-year-old will line up alongside Haddin, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson and former Test bowler Doug Bollinger against a Queensland squad featuring Usman Khawaja and Nathan Hauritz.
It will be a vital leadup for the Australian stars, who will return to the Gabba for the first Test against South Africa starting on November 9.
Speaking to the Mercury after landing in Sydney yesterday, Maddinson admits it will be a reality check for him when the Sheffield Shield match starts on Friday.
‘‘It will take a bit of adjustment, especially with such a quick turnaround after playing in the Champions League tournament for the last few weeks,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ll have a net before we go up there and get myself back to thinking more about four-day cricket.
‘‘Often I’ve been out of the [NSW] team when the Test guys come in, so it’s a good chance for me to perform.’’
Maddinson made a vital 20 runs in the Sixers’ successful last-ball run chase against the Titans in the semi-final and also 27 in the final pool game as they outclassed the Mumbai Indians.
He was due in next during the Twenty20 final, but wasn’t required as opener Michael Lumb smashed 82 off 42 balls and Haddin hit 37 to pass the Lions total of 121 with 10 wickets left in hand.
‘‘I was quite relaxed [in the final],’’ he said.
‘‘Especially when we only needed five an over or so in the final few overs, I was happy enough not batting while they were making all the runs.
‘‘It was a great experience to be part of, I’ve never played in anything at that level before, other than a few games for the Sixers in the Big Bash.’’
Maddinson said he expected the Sixers to become a hunted team in this summer’s Big Bash series after their Champions League success.
Their Sydney rivals, the Thunder, will travel to Wollongong on December 5 to play a Wollongong Invitational XI featuring a number of NSW players, before the Australian Twenty20 competition starts.
‘‘I think we [Sixers] snuck under the radar a bit last season, so I’m sure there’ll be plenty of teams taking notice of us now,’’ he said.
‘‘But I’m just happy to keep most of the squad and hopefully we can keep winning.’’