Australia news April 19, 2013

Christian headed for Victoria

Daniel Christian, the sometime Australia allrounder, is expected to sign with Victoria for next summer after falling out of favour with South Australia.

Currently playing in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Christian is under contract to the Redbacks for 2013-14 but will be released, allowing him to move across to the Bushrangers.

The move is likely to allow South Australia to recruit the Victoria allrounder Andrew McDonald, who requested a release from his own state contract after deciding that at 31 it was time for a change of scene.

The Bushrangers had been hesitant to allow McDonald's departure unless they could find another utility player to aid their team balance, and have also knocked back Aaron Finch's release request as he entertained an offer from New South Wales.

Similarly, Christian is looking for a fresh start and an improved performance after a season that did not enhance his reputation - on the field or off it. He started last summer with a berth in the Australian Twenty20 squad plus sporadic opportunities in the ODI side. However an indifferent start to 2012-13 for South Australia pushed Christian further down the queue.

His stock sank considerably in November when he was suspended by the Redbacks for repeatedly losing his temper and damaging the dressing rooms upon being dismissed, a sequence that came to light after he was overheard outside the WACA changerooms during the Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia that month.

Once the suspension was concluded, Christian struggled to regain his place, and following another disciplinary run-in, this time a reprimand for obscene language during a domestic limited-overs match against New South Wales in Adelaide, he was not selected again.

McDonald, meanwhile, has fallen into an unfortunate pattern of suffering injuries whenever an Australian call-up has seemed likely. He made a storming start to 2012-13, cracking a swift century against the Warriors in Perth that caught the eye of the national selector John Inverarity, who named him captain of the Australia A side against the touring South Africans and hinted strongly that McDonald was close to the Test team.

However a serious hamstring injury sidelined McDonald soon after, and he spent the rest of the summer recuperating, only returning to the game in the IPL for RCB this week. In 2010-11, Australia's poor Ashes summer, McDonald also started well but suffered calf and hand injuries that kept him out for the rest of the season.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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