Luke Ronchi's status as the backup wicketkeeper to Brad Haddin in the national side has taken a blow after Ronchi was dropped from Western Australia's team for their final one-day match of the season. Less than a month after being part of Australia's Twenty20 side against South Africa, Ronchi is no longer considered the Warriors' best 50-over option.
Western Australia are on the bottom of the FR Cup table and cannot make the final, so they have decided to test out their reserve gloveman Michael Johnson against Tasmania in Hobart on Saturday. It comes at the tail-end of a poor season for Ronchi, who in 2008-09 has made 107 one-day runs at 15.28 and has not passed 50 in a Sheffield Shield innings.
As well as replacing the resting Haddin last month, Ronchi was less than a year ago considered good enough to be a backup for Haddin in the Test series in the West Indies. It was also on that tour that Ronchi made his ODI debut and he was thoroughly impressive in both his glovework and his batting, but he needs to regain form quickly with an Ashes tour coming up later this year.
Western Australia will also be without Adam Voges for Saturday's game as he is with the Australia one-day squad. Their captain Marcus North returns to the side having missed the previous match due to a finger injury. The Western Australia coach Tom Moody said there was no reason to worry about North's fitness for the upcoming Test tour of South Africa.
"Look, if he wasn't touring with the Australian team next week he would have probably played down in Bunbury [on Sunday]," Moody told AAP. "But there was a risk attached to him playing and the word we got was that they prefer to leave him out just to make sure he was 100%.
"He just dislocated his end knuckle on his left hand, so it popped straight back in. There's a little bit of inflammation and ligament damage but apart from that he's fine."
Although Western Australia are out of the running for the FR Cup final, Queensland's enormous win over Victoria on Wednesday means Tasmania can still make it. However, they would need to beat the Warriors convincingly enough to earn a double bonus point to overtake the Bushrangers.
Western Australia squad Craig Simmons, Marcus Stoinis, Luke Pomersbach, Marcus North (capt), Mitchell Marsh, Justin Coetzee, Michael Johnson (wk), Brett Dorey, Aaron Heal, Brad Knowles, Ben Edmondson, Drew Porter.