Nathan Lyon to captain South Australia
Australia's Test offspinner Nathan Lyon will captain South Australia in their opening Sheffield Shield match of the season in the absence of the new skipper Johan Botha. Lyon and the state's new opener Phillip Hughes have been named as joint vice-captains for the coming season under Botha, who will miss the first match as he is in Sri Lanka as part of South Africa's squad for the World Twenty20.
South Australia take on Queensland at the Gabba in a match starting on Monday, and it will not only be an opportunity for Lyon to test his leadership but also for Hughes to make his mark in his first game as a Redbacks player having switched from New South Wales. The uncapped allrounder Sam Miller is expected to make his debut and the fast bowler Daniel Worrall has also been named and could debut.
They were chosen in the squad ahead of the better-known duo of Kane Richardson and Peter George, who are both fit but had their pre-season form deemed inferior to that of Miller and Worrall.
"Miller has been a really interesting one because he wasn't in our original state squad, he was in the emerging Redbacks squad," South Australia's coach Darren Berry said. "When we were up in Darwin, Miller was playing the off-season up there so myself and Jeff Vaughan went and watched him play and we were so impressed with what we saw, we invited him to join us for what was the last month of preparation.
"We took him to Brisbane [for pre-season matches] and he was the standout player against quality opposition. It's a great story. He's jumped ahead of a lot of people and that's what we're about; we will reward performance and people doing the right things. Worrall is a nippy fast-bowler with a bit of an old fashioned, angled approach to the wicket. He's a very aggressive type of player. Throughout the pre-season he's been a standout bowler in the group."
South Australia are aiming to turn their four-day form around after a miserable 2011-12 season, in which they didn't win a Sheffield Shield match and finished on the bottom of the table. They won't find it easy against the reigning champions Queensland, who have named Usman Khawaja and Nathan Hauritz in their 12-man squad after the pair moved from New South Wales in the off-season.
There was no room for the emerging batsman Chris Lynn, who impressed during his first couple of seasons with Queensland but had a disappointing summer in 2011-12 and averaged 19.69 from eight Sheffield Shield appearances. Also gone from the 12 that defeated Tasmania in the Shield final are the fast bowlers Ryan Harris (shoulder injury) and Steve Magoffin (moved to England) and the batsman Alex Kemp.
Queensland squad Wade Townsend, Andrew Robinson, Usman Khawaja, Peter Forrest, Joe Burns, James Hopes (capt), Chris Hartley (wk), Nathan Hauritz, Ben Cutting, Cameron Boyce, Luke Feldman, Alister McDermott.
South Australia squad Phillip Hughes, Michael Klinger, Callum Ferguson, Travis Head, Tom Cooper, Sam Miller, Tim Ludeman (wk), Joe Mennie, Chadd Sayers, Nathan Lyon (capt), Daniel Worrall, Gary Putland.