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Jake Lehmann contracted by South Australia

Daniel Brettig

April 24, 2014

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Jake Lehmann drives, South Australia v ACT, Futures League, Adelaide, November 19, 2013
Jake Lehmann enjoyed notable success in the Futures League last summer © Getty Images
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South Australia have rewarded Jake Lehmann, the son of Australia's coach Darren Lehmann, with his first state rookie contract after strong performances in last summer's Futures League.

Lehmann's inclusion in the SA squad followed his compiling of 255 runs at 36.42, with a top score of 92, in four Futures League matches.

He joined Sam Raphael and Trent Lawford among the final additions to SA's squad for next season, for which the loss of Michael Klinger to Western Australia will be compensated by Mark Cosgrove's return from Tasmania.

Cosgrove is the only interstate addition to the squad, which will again rely heavily on the spin bowling and leadership of the South African Johan Botha in the push to win SA's first Sheffield Shield title since 1996.

However a batting line-up of Cosgrove, Phillip Hughes, Callum Ferguson, Tom Cooper, Andrew McDonald and Travis Head should ensure swift runs for the Redbacks.

"We want a team where players are battling for positions and no-one's spot is guaranteed. With the batting list we have this season, we have a huge amount of depth to draw upon and competition is going to be intense," said SACA's high performance manager Jamie Cox.

"Last year we finished just one wicket away from the final and have a number of players who took huge strides in terms of development. We believe the stability we have offered this group will be a huge advantage for us as we chase our first Sheffield Shield title in 19 years."

The major obstacle to the Redbacks' progress in 2014-15 would appear to be the drop-in pitch at Adelaide Oval, which reaped four draws in addition to another stalemate at Glenelg Oval as the redeveloped ground completed its makeover.

SA won three matches outright away from home, and were strongly placed to win a fourth before Usman Khawaja guided an outstanding fourth innings chase by Queensland at the Gabba.

Apart from Klinger, others not to have their state contracts renewed included Alex Carey, Sam Miller, Elliot Opie and the tall pace bowler Peter George, who played one Test match for Australia against India in Bangalore in 2010.

South Australia squad: Johan Botha, Tom Cooper, Mark Cosgrove, Callum Ferguson, Travis Head, Phil Hughes (CA), Trent Lawford, Tim Ludeman, Andrew McDonald, Joe Mennie, Gary Putland, Sam Raphael, Kane Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Kelvin Smith, Dan Worrall, Adam Zampa. Rookies: Tom Andrews, Alex Gregory, Jake Lehmann, Alex Ross, Nick Winter

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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Posted by   on (April 30, 2014, 6:59 GMT)

The Redbacks Squad has definitely become stronger with the addition of M.Cosgrove he will be a more than an adequate replacement for Klinger ( who served South Australia well ) > The Batting looks looks solid. My only question mark would be the Bowling attack. But in saying that Sayers Richardson Botha Mennie with the promising Zampa hold the key to success. A solid finish and consistency will hold many answers to how the Redbacks fare. Good Luck !

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (April 25, 2014, 13:24 GMT)

When I saw George's action - i.e falling away in delivery stride too much - I lost a lot of the hope I had that he would be a solid McGrath-like test-level bowler.

Posted by smudgeon on (April 24, 2014, 16:33 GMT)

Agreed, Meety - for a while there, I thought George was going to be a fairly consistent feature in the Test side.

Posted by Meety on (April 24, 2014, 8:08 GMT)

Disappointing that George hasnt kicked on.

Posted by Buckers97 on (April 24, 2014, 6:51 GMT)

With Hughes playing Test Cricket Next season, the team would probably read; 1. Mark Cosgrove 2. Travis Head 3. Tom Cooper 4. Callum Ferguson 5. Andrew McDonald 6. Johan Botha (c) 7. Tim Ludeman (wk) 8. Kane Richardson 9. Chadd Sayers 10. Adam Zampa 11. Joe Mennie

Posted by dunger.bob on (April 24, 2014, 6:02 GMT)

The Redbacks spent the best part of a decade as the 'easy-beats' but with this squad it should be all systems go for them. It looks pretty damn strong to me. I even like the look of their bowling with Sayers, Richardson and Zampa all looking for big seasons. .. I hope we get a bit more FC cricket and a little less BBL next season as well.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (April 24, 2014, 5:55 GMT)

A few good young batters around Australia now, but performances needed pronto to make up for the exodus of Rogers, Watson, Clarke, Haddin and co.

Posted by   on (April 24, 2014, 5:21 GMT)

Sure it hurts to lose Klinger; in my opinion one of the best batsmen in Shield cricket over last few of years. However if the reason behind letting him go is to secure services of this young crop of local talent by giving them opportunity to play in Redbacks first XI (and thus not moving to other states themselves), then I think the SACA have made the right decision. I'll hate it when we play WA next year if Maxxy takes apart our attack like he does to so many others, but this squad has potential to be a power in domestic cricket for several seasons to come. The decision is a brave one & in long term interests of South Australian cricket. I know Cox, Berry & Botha have copped a lot of criticism but we need to remember what they have already done for SA cricket. We were a basket case for several years but they have given us die hard Redbacks fans hope & reinstalled our pride in the Redbacks. Let's hope we can secure Johan again after his contract expires next year.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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