Captain Kurtis Patterson
Coach Phil Jaques

Fixtures
October 27-30: Victoria (Sheffield Shield), Drummoyne Oval
November 5-8: Victoria (Sheffield Shield), MCG
November 12: Victoria (Marsh Cup), MCG

Winter moves
With a further emphasis on the push for youth that was evident at the end of the last season, Baxter Holt, Tanveer Sangha, Oliver Davies and Lachlan Hearne were upgraded from rookie to full contracts. The changing of the guard has seen batters Nick Larkin and Daniel Solway dropped along with spinner Arjun Nair while Nathan McAndrew has moved to South Australia.

Squad
R=Rookie, CA=Australia contract
Sean Abbott, Josh Baraba (R), Harry Conway, Trent Copeland, Pat Cummins (CA), Oliver Davies, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Matthew Gilkes, Ryan Hadley (R), Ryan Hackney, Liam Hatcher, Josh Hazlewood (CA), Lachlan Hearne, Moises Henriques, Baxter Holt, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon (CA), Peter Nevill, Jack Nisbet (R), Kurtis Patterson, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Steven Smith (CA), Mitchell Starc (CA), Chris Tremain, Hunar Verma (R), David Warner (CA), Adam Zampa (CA)

Last season
The Sheffield Shield, which saw them unable to defend the title when they were comprehensively beaten in the final by Queensland, was a campaign of extremes - particularly when facing Tasmania. In the first stage of the competition they were bowled out for 64 but, astonishingly, went on to secure victory by 145 runs. There was no repeat in the return fixture in Hobart when their batting fell apart for just 32 in the first innings. Another match, against Queensland, finished with them edging across the line by one wicket. The batting was led by Moises Henriques (633 runs at 70.33) and Sean Abbott (570 runs at 63.33) which was an indication they did not get enough from the top order. They made use of having Nathan Lyon for every match and he claimed 42 wickets at 25.97. In the Marsh Cup, captained by Pat Cummins through the group stage, they were unbeaten as they claimed the title with a thumping win over Western Australia.

Player to watch
New captain Kurtis Patterson had a poor 2020-21 season barring a century against South Australia. Having been handed the leadership full time after filling in for Peter Nevill it will be interesting to watch whether the captaincy can help him lift his batting returns. It feels a long time since Patterson made his Test century against Sri Lanka but, at 28, he has time to come again. It will also be worth noting the development of legspinner Tanveer Sangha who has yet to make his first-class debut (or List A) debut but has been named in the first squad of the season.

Australia radar
As so often, New South Wales will provide a large portion of the Australia squad. Outside of the main names (which includes the likely Test attack), Sean Abbott will be pushing hard for inclusion especially after the retirement of James Pattinson. Moises Henriques, who was in the squad for the aborted South Africa tour, could push for a batting slot although won't be available until next month.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo