Sams backed the one-time champions Thunder as the “dark horse” this season and said he was looking forward to playing alongside England stars Root and Jos Buttler.
“Sometimes you look across the change room and think ‘Damn’ and pinch yourself but once you’re out there with them you’re just trying to do your job and soak up as much information as you can,” Sams said.
“But it is pretty amazing being able to play with them and learning from them, guys the calibre of Shane Watson and Joe Root you just soak up everything.
“I think we are the dark horse this year. We have a good squad and good depth with Root and Buttler in and around the team in first half of the season and [Anton] Devcich and [Chris] Jordan in the second half.
“Those guys will be good inclusions but with T20 it can be a bit hit and miss because it is that kind of game but as a squad we’re feeling quite confident.”
Sams admits he enjoyed a dream start to his Big Bash career and wants to repeat his record figures on debut for the Thunder.
“Yeah that was pretty handy last year but it was one of those games where I don’t remember heaps of it because of the adrenalin, but it’s pretty funny I did it against the Thunder and now I’m with them,” Sams said.
“The promise to the crowd this week is our bowlers will ruin the Stars batting day but well make up for [the lack of sixes] in our innings.
“I reckon I’ll be batting at No. 6 so I’ll come in at the end and try and hit some bombs.”
Sams, 26, has taken the long road to first-class cricket but believes his career is only just getting started after making his New South Wales debut earlier this summer.
“There’s kind of two paths [to becoming a professional cricketer], if you’re one of those kids that really smashes it in underage cricket you can come through the pathways and get early opportunities,” Sams said.
“I wasn’t one of those ones that was a massive standout in underage cricket. I’ve just been in the background working hard and grinding away in grade to get an opportunity.
“I don’t like pigeonholing myself, where my skills are at they’re a bit more developed in T20 and one-day cricket but in saying that I really enjoy all forms.
“I certainly wouldn’t turn down a baggy green. That’s the top goal. That’s the pinnacle.”
The Thunder women’s team will kickstart Friday’s double-header when they host the Hobart Hurricanes at 1:50pm.
Touch or click here for tickets.
BIG BASH FRIDAY:
WBBL: Sydney Thunder v Hobart Hurricanes at Manuka Oval, 1:50pm
BBL: Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Stars at Manuka Oval, 7:15pm.
Eamonn Tiernan is a sports reporter with The Canberra Times