Saturday, October 8, 2011

Preview- 2011/12 Sheffield Shield (Australian State Competition)

The current state of the Australian Team has lead to renewed interest in the upcoming First Class Season known as the Sheffield Shield. This in the knowledge that whereas in the years of dominance, the Australian Team was akin to Fort Knox to break into, but now a few consistent performances might earn you a coveted Baggy Green.


So lets look at the chances of the Teams, and the young up and coming stars of the Australian game.


New South Wales


Squad


The NSW Team is always the major feeder of the Australian Team. As embodied in the joke in Australian cricket circles. that when you get your NSW Cap, you also get a Baggy Green with it indicating the perceived bias to NSW players. The Team is the runner up from the previous season, and will again be one that will challenge for the title. Combining the veteran excellence of players like Stuart Clarke, Doug Bollinger and Brett Lee with the players looking for Australian honours in Usman Khawaja, Dave Warner and Nathan Hauritz






Players To Keep An Eye On


Dave Warner:


Normally I take all the notice of T20, that I do of stories on shonky plumbers on Tabloid Current Affairs shows. In every ones eyes. Warner has just been passed off as a slogger. Though with every year, he has tightened his technique, and even in his hitting. It is traditional cricket shots, just lofted a long way!

In truth, he is arguably the most intriguing player entering this Sheffield Shield. For the question on every ones lips is whether he can transfer the mastery he shows in T20 into 4 Day cricket, and then ultimately Tests. For if he can, one of Australia's key needs at the top of the order will be filled



Josh Hazelwood


If this fast bowler can ever get over the injuries that have plagued him. He will no only destroy Teams in First class Cricket, but in International arena as well. In a word, he has it all

If you want a description of him, just think exactly like Glenn McGrath, but with 10 kms extra pace



Nic Maddinson


Traditional left handed batsman, that in every sense of batsmanship is classical. A beautiful player to watch, and if Australia's issues at the top continue or they decide to move Shane Watson to the middle order. It is likely, that Maddinson will get the call, even at the tender age of 20


Pat Cummins


A supremely great prospect is this 18 year old fast bowler, but wise heads will probably prevail, and he will be let to develop in First Class cricket until the boy grows into a man. Supported by a man's body in what is a very demanding trade- he will ultimately be a great Australian bowler


Queensland


Squad


The Queenslanders are a Team on the rebuild with most of the squad being occupied by precociously talented young players. They still have quality in their ranks highlighted by the big hearted and skilful all rounder James Hopes. Then others like fast bowler Ben Cutting returning from serious injury, who dominated in the Competition a few years ago supported by fine batting prospects like Joe Burns and Chris Lynn


Players To Keep An Eye On:


Ben Cutting


A big hearted quick that would have more than likely got Australian honours, if it wasn't for a very serious ankle injury. Before the injury, he was the best performing fast bowler in the country, that troubled all batsmen with his pace and bounce. A good return from injury and past glories could again see him in the Australian reckoning


Cameron Boyce


See if this description of this young leg spinner reminds you of anyone?


An accurate bowler, that gets huge spin from his stock delivery and has a good range of variety in his other deliveries... If he can find any level of performance in the initial Shield games, he could get a call up to the National Team at some point in the Summer.


Chris Lynn


Classical middle order batsman with a great technique and temperament to compliment his natural stroke player. Only 21, but it is not a point of whether he will represent Australia, but merely when he represents Australia


South Australia


Squad


The Redbacks have been traditional struggler's of late, and have a patch work squad made up of young players and cast offs from other States. Meaning they will likely struggle, but they have a few talented players especially in their bowling unit that could mean a few upset wins are achieved


Players To Keep An Eye On:


Peter George


A fast bowler that has already made his Test debut against India in 2010, but has faded into the background ever since. Through a combination of injury and loss of form. Look for him to reassert himself. For bowlers that can bowl as quick as George, and can swing it, seam it with rearing natural bounce are a recipe for long Test careers


Tasmania


Squad


The reigning Sheffield Shield Champion from 2010/11 have a fabulous mix of youth and experience that will see them challenge again. They have some of the best young talents in the country, and the fact that players from the Apple Isle are often overlooked means they dominate in the First Class arena


Players To Keep An Eye On:


James Faulkner:


A once in a generation player is this young all rounder. Peerless in both skills of the game, means he can bat anywhere in the top 6 and then be a match in threat for any as an opening bowler.

Has it all, and if it wasn't for illness should have assumed Mitchell Johnson's place in the Australian Team



Luke Butterworth


This all rounder is probably the unluckiest player in the Country. Only a NSW bias by the selectors could explain how Trent Copeland was selected before him in the Australian Team. For Butterworth plays a perfect role as a defensive bowler, that gets swags of wickets. Then as a batsmen is very accomplished and well performed.


Mark Cosgrove

A man like Dave Warner, that has had to live with a label. In Cosgrove's case it was over his weight and general laziness, so only himself to blame. Away from this, there is no doubt of Cosgrove's ability as he showed when sacked by South Australia and joining Tasmania. On what is the most difficult batting pitch in Australia, Cosgrove showed his mastery by dominating for the most part.

It is unlikely that the stuffed shirts of CA will overlook his reputation, but if they did, they would view a very fine performer for Australia


Victoria


The mighty Vics had their campaign last year ruined by injuries to a whole host of key players. Come this campaign, their squad full of stars are fit again, and ready to challenge for the Shield Title.


Players To Keep An Eye On:

Matthew Wade

One of a host of talented batsmen/glove men in Australia at present. He has all the credentials to be a very fine Test keeper, and indeed fortune might smile on him with an equally talented keeper from Tasmania in Tim Paine injured. Then in the wake of the drop in form of Australian incumbent Brad Haddin, there might be a chance that we see Wade wearing the Baggy Green sometime in this Summer

Aaron Finch

An interesting player in the regard that he was a prodigy in the under age levels and everyone thought there was no doubt he would be an Australian great. Though potential is an ugly word, and performance never was shown by Finch till recently. Then when he has shown the class and calibre that all good judges saw in his batting. He has been drafted into the T20 revolution because of his exceptional shot making ability and immense power. Hopefully a player, that could play for Australia in Tests doesn't sell his soul to be a star in money cricket.

Western Australia


Squad


The sleeping giant of Australian cricket, that has been slumbering for over a decade now. Looking at their Squad, it seems apparent that they have potential, but a run at the Title might be a few years off. This being said, they still have a few players that could break into the Australian Team in this season.


Players To Keep An Eye On:


Mitch Marsh


From a young age this young batting all rounder was viewed as the next big thing in Australia cricket. In watching him, you swear you are watching a young Greg Chapell, for he has all the elegance and skill of that great Australian batsmen. Then his bowling gets better and better every year.


His performance in Australian colours might not happen this year, but if it did, he wouldn't be out of place even at the tender age of 19


Nathan Coulter-Nile


The love child of the Western Australian Coach Mickey Arthurs is this young fast bowler. He has good pace and natural pace that has seen him rise from the under age ranks to being a fine State bowler and an Australian debut is only a matter of time


Prediction


It is very hard to split the class and calibre of the Tasmanian and Victorian Teams with NSW being a dark horse. The deciding factor will be how the Australian Team impacts on the Teams through players getting National call ups. Keeping this in mind, and the fact that Selectors rarely give Tasmania the respect it deserves. I can see them going back to back


So this is how I can see the Teams finishing


1. Tasmania
2. Victoria
3. NSW
4. Queensland
5. South Australia
6. Western Australia


Fixtures

Tuesday, 11 October 2011 QUEENSLAND v VICTORIA GABBA 10:00 AM
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 WESTERN AUSTRALIA v TASMANIA WACA 10:30 AM
Monday, 17 October 2011 SOUTH AUSTRALIA v NEW SOUTH WALES ADELAIDE OVAL 11:00 AM
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 NEW SOUTH WALES v VICTORIA SCG 11:00 AM
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 QUEENSLAND v TASMANIA GABBA 10:00 AM
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 SOUTH AUSTRALIA v WESTERN AUSTRALIA ADELAIDE OVAL 11:00 AM
Tuesday, 1 November 2011 WESTERN AUSTRALIA v QUEENSLAND WACA 10:30 AM
Friday, 4 November 2011 TASMANIA v VICTORIA BELLERIVE OVAL 10:30 AM
Sunday, 6 November 2011 NEW SOUTH WALES v SOUTH AUSTRALIA BANKSTOWN 11:00 AM
Friday, 11 November 2011 VICTORIA v WESTERN AUSTRALIA MCG TBC
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 TASMANIA v SOUTH AUSTRALIA BELLERIVE OVAL TBC
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 QUEENSLAND v NEW SOUTH WALES GABBA 10:00 AM
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 VICTORIA v TASMANIA MCG TBC
Friday, 25 November 2011 NEW SOUTH WALES v WESTERN AUSTRALIA SCG TBC
Friday, 25 November 2011 SOUTH AUSTRALIA v QUEENSLAND ADELAIDE OVAL TBC
Friday, 2 December 2011 VICTORIA v QUEENSLAND MCG TBC
Monday, 5 December 2011 WESTERN AUSTRALIA v SOUTH AUSTRALIA WACA 10:30 AM
Tuesday, 6 December 2011 NEW SOUTH WALES v TASMANIA MANUKA OVAL, CANBERRA 11:00 AM
Thursday, 2 February 2012 SOUTH AUSTRALIA v VICTORIA ADELAIDE OVAL TBC
Monday, 6 February 2012 TASMANIA v NEW SOUTH WALES BELLERIVE OVAL TBC
Monday, 6 February 2012 QUEENSLAND v WESTERN AUSTRALIA GABBA 10:00 AM
Monday, 13 February 2012 VICTORIA v SOUTH AUSTRALIA MCG 11:00 AM
Friday, 17 February 2012 TASMANIA v QUEENSLAND BELLERIVE OVAL 10:30 AM
Friday, 17 February 2012 WESTERN AUSTRALIA v NEW SOUTH WALES WACA 10:30 AM
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 SOUTH AUSTRALIA v TASMANIA ADELAIDE OVAL 11:00 AM
Thursday, 1 March 2012 NEW SOUTH WALES v QUEENSLAND SCG 11:00 AM
Thursday, 1 March 2012 WESTERN AUSTRALIA v VICTORIA WACA 10:30 AM
Thursday, 8 March 2012 TASMANIA v WESTERN AUSTRALIA BELLERIVE OVAL 10:30 AM
Thursday, 8 March 2012 QUEENSLAND v SOUTH AUSTRALIA GABBA 10:00 AM
Thursday, 8 March 2012 VICTORIA v NEW SOUTH WALES MCG 11:00 AM
Friday, 16 March 2012 1st Placed Team v 2nd Placed Team Venue of 1st Placed Team TBC


3 comments:

  1. Oh boo. The West Australia team are such a bunch of punks. Plenty of talent but so little stomach for a fight, I hope that Arthur has firecrackers under their butts.

    Mitch Marsh does looks like Greg Chappell when he stands at the crease. Uncannily so, I reckon.

    Was this written by an Aussie filling in? It is pumping up a few tyres there.

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  2. Thank you for the comment, no unless specified all the articles are written by I

    i think Mitch Marsh will be a cracker of a player in time. Though for this season James Faulkner is the one- he is SPECIAL

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  3. WA to finish last? I don't think so...

    ReplyDelete