Young gun benefits from Smith tutelage

24 January 2019

Josh Philippe sets tongues wagging with match-winning knock for the Sixers over the Hurricanes

Australia will blood two exciting youngsters in the first Domain Test against Sri Lanka today, but it was another star of the future who lit up the SCG last night.

Sydney Sixers wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe pummelled the league-leading Hobart Hurricanes in his whirlwind innings of 86no from 49 balls, which featured nine fours, three sixes and an audacious scoop shot off the bowling of electric quick Jofra Archer.

Philippe comes of age in SCG knock

The 21-year-old and English import James Vince (74no off 50 balls) put on a the highest second-wicket partnership in BBL history, an unbroken stand of 167 to deliver the Sixers a nine-wicket win with 17 balls to spare.

The dazzling innings caught the attention of Test greats Mark Waugh and Michael Vaughan, who couldn't help but share their admiration on Twitter.

Wednesday's knock was the latest chapter in a terrific summer for the rookie.

He made three half-centuries in his first JLT One-Day Cup for Western Australia then backed it up with his maiden first-class century – 104 from 142 balls batting at No.6 – against Victoria at the WACA Ground in November.

The right-hander had offers from several BBL clubs in the off-season but was committed to staying at home with the Perth Scorchers despite not having the security of a contract.

However, the promise of standing behind the stumps and working with suspended Australia captain Steve Smith was enough to lure the promising talent across the continent.

"It was quite tough to leave (Perth) but I felt when the Sixers put wicketkeeping on the table – WA couldn't really offer me that – I felt I'd be silly not to come," Philippe said after play.

Philippe pulls in Big Bash screamer

"I've really enjoyed showcasing those skills as well and I do feel like it helps my batting as well.

"(Smith) has thrown me balls a bit. He can't now, his arm … looks like RoboCop at the moment, to be honest. He's been really good, he's in touch with me quite a bit and he's been a good help.

"He's always really supportive. He messages me when I do well and always sees how I'm going.

"I had dinner with him the other night."

Smith at Sixers training earlier this season // Getty
Smith at Sixers training earlier this season // Getty

While he's soaking up everything Smith teaches him like a sponge, Philippe says he hasn't modelled his animated technique off his magenta mentor.

"I wouldn't say modelled, but I do really like the way he plays," he said.

"I like the way he moves around the crease and he can hit the same ball in a lot of different areas.

"I try to do that as well, just in a little bit of a different way.

"I definitely love the way he plays."

Philippe thrives against Rabada and Steyn

Rival captain and gloveman Matt Wade, who himself made an impressive 64, liked what he's seen from Philippe this summer.

"He's a good young player," Wade said. "We saw him in the JLT (Cup) when we (Tasmania) played against him, he's that kind of a player – aggressive.

"He'll get a couple of bad outs but if he stays true to the way he plays and keeps going like that then he's going to get away and take some games away from teams like he did us tonight."

Filed Under

Sydney Sixers Men

Josh Philippe

Steve Smith