Sheffield Shield 2008-09 January 29, 2009

McGain to make first-class return

Cricinfo staff

Bryce McGain will be back into first-class cricket on Friday © Getty Images

The legspinner Bryce McGain will begin his push for a Test debut when he returns to first-class cricket for Victoria in their Sheffield Shield match on Friday. McGain has spent most of the summer sidelined by an unusual injury to the tendons in his right armpit and he started his comeback in the state Twenty20 tournament this month.

The injury forced McGain home from October's tour of India, where he was certain to be the first-choice spinner in the Test side. While he has been out of action, Australia have tried Cameron White, Jason Krejza and Nathan Hauritz in the Test team and it is likely that McGain and either Krejza or Hauritz will make next month's tour of South Africa.

"I'm excited and feel I'm bowling well," McGain said. "I think the Twent20 stuff was good in terms of bowling short spells under pressure; that tests your control and I was happy where I was putting the ball, so I'm looking forward to bowling some longer spells over the next four days."

McGain is not the only Victorian hoping to impress the national selectors against South Australia at the MCG from Friday. The side will be captained by the allrounder Andrew McDonald, who made his Test debut in Sydney, and is hoping to be considered for the South African trip.

In the absence of Cameron White and David Hussey, who are on Australian duties, and the injured Brad Hodge, Victoria have recalled the batsman Lloyd Mash, who has not played for his state this season. They are also considering playing the wicketkeeper Adam Crosthwaite as a specialist batsman alongside the four-day gloveman Matthew Wade.

South Australia will be without their star import Younis Khan, who has been named Pakistan's new captain and has a home series against Sri Lanka to worry about. The opener Tom Cooper has replaced Younis in the batting line-up.

Victoria squad Chris Rogers, Nick Jewell, Lloyd Mash, Rob Quiney, Andrew McDonald (capt), Adam Crosthwaite, Matthew Wade (wk), Damien Wright, Shane Harwood, Clint McKay, Bryce McGain, Dirk Nannes.

South Australia squad Michael Klinger, Daniel Harris, Tom Cooper, Cameron Borgas, Callum Ferguson, Daniel Christian, Aaron O'Brien, Graham Manou (capt, wk) Peter George, Dan Cullen, Mark Cleary, Matthew Weeks.