Australia news October 6, 2011

Stars line up for Sheffield Shield opener

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ricky Ponting, Mitchell Johnson and Michael Hussey are expected to play in next week's opening Sheffield Shield round to give them plenty of time in the middle ahead of the upcoming tour of South Africa. The one-day squad flies out late next week but the trio, along with Xavier Doherty, will have a slightly delayed departure to allow them to turn out for their states.

And while Australia's Twenty20 squad departs this Saturday, the Victorian fast bowler James Pattinson won't fly out until after Sunday's Ryobi Cup match to give him some extra game time. The moves follow a recommendation in the Argus review that more domestic cricket be scheduled ahead of international series, to help players with their preparation.

"In line with recommendations from the Argus review it is pleasing that these players are available to play in this round of Sheffield Shield and Ryobi Cup matches ahead of what is a hugely important series against South Africa," Michael Brown, Cricket Australia's general manager of cricket, said. "To have players of such calibre playing in our premier development competitions is a bonus for those young players on the cusp of international selection in all formats of the game."

It will continue a whirlwind month for Hussey, who was Player of the Series on the Test tour of Sri Lanka, then went to India to play for Chennai Super Kings in the Champions League Twenty20, and next Tuesday will begin a four-day clash against Tasmania at the WACA. He and Johnson have been named in the Warriors' 13-man squad for the Shield game, along with the batsman Travis Birt, who could make his debut for the state after moving from Tasmania - who have not yet named their squad - during the off-season.

The Warriors will be without the Marsh brothers, Shaun and Mitchell, who will be in South Africa as part of Australia's Twenty20 side. Victoria will have even more absentees for their opening games, with the captain Cameron White, David Hussey, Aaron Finch and Matthew Wade all set to miss Sunday's season-opening Ryobi Cup game against Queensland at the Gabba.

Andrew McDonald will captain the Bushrangers, the defending champions, in a tournament that has this season returned to its 50-over format after the split-innings experimentation of last summer. The batsman Peter Handscomb is set to make his state debut, having been named in Victoria's squad for the one-day clash and the Shield game that starts on Tuesday, also against the Bulls.

Queensland could have two imports, although one originally home-grown, after naming the batsman Peter Forrest and the fast bowler Steve Magoffin for the one-day game. The inclusion of Forrest, who moved from New South Wales during the winter, was no surprise, but less expected was the selection of Magoffin, 31, who was axed by Western Australia earlier in the year.

Magoffin was originally from Queensland but moved to Perth in 2004-05, when he was stuck behind Andy Bichel, Michael Kasprowicz, Ashley Noffke, Joe Dawes and others in the Bulls' bowling queue. Despite moving home, Magoffin was not offered a Queensland contract this year, but impressed the selectors with a strong start to Brisbane's grade cricket season.

The other surprise from the Bulls was the inclusion of Ben Dunk, who was the preferred wicketkeeper ahead of the veteran Chris Hartley, who had been phased out of the T20 side over the past few seasons but remained in the one-day outfit. Hartley, 29, is expected to retain his place in the Sheffield Shield squad but will face pressure during the season from Dunk, who is so well-regarded that he even captained the state's one-day side in a match last season.

Victoria Ryobi Cup squad Brad Hodge, Chris Rogers, Peter Handscomb, Rob Quiney, Andrew McDonald (capt), Glenn Maxwell, Ryan Carters (wk), Mark Cleary, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Darren Pattinson, Jon Holland.

Victoria Sheffield Shield squad Chris Rogers, Peter Handscomb, Rob Quiney, Andrew McDonald (capt), Alex Keath, Glenn Maxwell, Ryan Carters (wk), Peter Siddle, Clint McKay, Darren Pattinson, Jayde Herrick, Jon Holland.

Queensland Ryobi Cup squad Ryan Broad, Andrew Robinson, Chris Lynn, Peter Forrest, Nathan Reardon, James Hopes (capt), Ben Dunk (wk), Brad Ipson, Chris Swan, Ben Cutting, Steve Magoffin, Cameron Gannon.

Western Australia Sheffield Shield squad Wes Robinson, Marcus Harris, Marcus North (capt), Michael Hussey, Adam Voges, Travis Birt, Tom Beaton, Michael Johnson (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Michael Beer, Michael Hogan, Matt Dixon.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 9, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    this Argus report,It has not said anything about lack of preparation of test series like the English did last summer they stayed in Oz about 6 weeks before playing first test.Be a good idea for all teams to do this

  • Rajaram on October 7, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    This is sensible. Conditions in Australia are similar to South Africa - both are in the southern hemisphere.And there's pride to play for the State.

  • Randolph on October 7, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    Rightly so, the entire squad should be playing shield. Doherty, may as well hang up his boots!

  • Terry on October 7, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    I have been saying for a long time this should happen more. Yes, it's good that the Test players are getting some game time in a proper match but the major point is that it allows up and coming players to play with and against Test players. Part of the problem has been the gap widening between Test & Shield. The goal should be the availability of Test players for 5 of the 10 Shield games.

  • Ben on October 7, 2011, 2:58 GMT

    Nice to see the young fella alex keath being groomed for test cricket, he gave up AFL for this & hoping he's not regretting & sees the benefits this season

  • Aidan on October 7, 2011, 2:13 GMT

    Keen on keeping an eye on my WA team; think they have a well balanced team. Think MA has recruited well

  • Andrew on October 7, 2011, 2:11 GMT

    On the topic of "..a recommendation in the Argus review that more domestic cricket be scheduled ahead of international series.." I try not to be too cynical when posting comments, but I can't help myself on this occassion. Whilst I beleive the Argus report was produced with integrity, I can't but think Cric Oz Administrators were high fiving themselves when this part of the Report was read. What this allows Cric Oz to do is, start the Oz summer earlier from a Shield/FC perspective, allowing a bigger Big Bash window in Prime Time during the School Holidays. With the exception of the Ashes, look to see Oz summers with a split international summer, an early tour from say NZ/Pak/SL, then heaps of Big Bash, then late in the summer we'll see India/Saffas/WI. The split in the summer will allow the Big Bash to have access to all uninjured Oz stars, plus foreign stars staying on or pre-tour. This will give the BBL an unfettered shot at being the dominant sport event in Oz, (Tennis excepted).

  • Andrew on October 7, 2011, 2:02 GMT

    @AidanFX / RightArmEverything - I don't think Malthouse will do anything more than what a good cricket-orientated coach should be able to do. I wouldn't want to see cricketers doing footy drills, it's totally unrelated. The sports science is so precise these days, we should be ensuring good use of the Acadamy of Sports for training techniques etc. == == == This is a positive step - although I hope it isn't a false security. What I mean is, that conditions in early October do not equal later in the year, with some states weather completely changing. This effects the nature of the pitch. What I would say is that it would help if we don't play in the sub-continent in the lead up to an Oz summer (Sep - Oct), as I firmly beleive that this cost us significantly during the Ashes. I commend the players for playing the Shield (should be a given), as the adjustment to Sth Africa shouldn't be too drastic.

  • Aidan on October 6, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    @ RightArmEverything true; but that I see his worth visiting each state and assessing the facilities each state team has and the coaching set ups for each state. Not that every State should have a unified style but someone from the outside can spot inner deficiencies. I know the Argus report covered weaknesses in the system; but I would imagine most of these findings are fairly generic "Big picture issues". I suspect his role could be useful addressing some more intricate details. But yes more purpose needs to go into finding the right Sn and Ass Coaches.

  • Brenton on October 6, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    Good to see these bloke splaying shield cricket. No negatives can come out of this. Let's hope that when they retire form tests they will go back and play a few seasons of shield cricket to develop the younger blokes.

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