Four ways to improve the Sheffield Shield

Brett Roar Rookie

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    After sitting back and watching the first three ashes Test matches, it has become known that England prepared to put the national side first in terms of Test matches.

    It has taken years to develop players of Test silk through a strong first class base.

    Keep in mind England were the creators of T20 cricket 10 years ago but this didn’t stop them.

    There were hard times but a side doesn’t transform completely for the better in a month.

    Professionalism has helped but having enough county sides to form two divisions has been crucial in developing quality.

    The best of the best have come through and having international players being able to play for county sides has helped players at the lower level.

    Look at Ricky Ponting having a stint for example.

    Here are my four suggestions to make Shield cricket stronger here in Australia.

    1. Have pitches represent what they are like in Tests for the whole season
    The worrying trend for last summer was the result based type of pitches produced, teams were getting bowled out for not much and not many batsmen were putting their hands up for selection with runs on the board.

    There used to be a time when names such as Stuart Law, Brad Hodge, Jimmy Maher, David Hussey and Darren Lehmann were consistently scoring runs in the mid 2000s.

    However, not one player was able to score over 1000 runs last season.

    Players will be better prepared for a call up if they play on wickets that represent Test conditions every single match.

    2. Schedule first class matches in time with the international season as much as possible
    I know the Big Bash has taken over the prime part of the summer but instead of having a one-day fest to start off the season it would be better to play red ball cricket from the start of October until the middle of December.

    Then we could have the Big Bash, then the one-day tournament, so that players are in form in the red ball game when Test matches will be played.

    3. Encourage sides to sign at least one overseas international player for some of the season
    Once again if you can get international standard players over here to play against state teams other than in the Big Bash, it will provide new challenges playing against them but it will benefit playing with them as well.

    Look at South Australia. They have got Johan Botha. He has tried to establish a culture and after years of being the easy beats they became more competitive.

    Imagine Tino Best of West Indies playing for Western Australia on the WACA steaming in, or Dinesh Chandimal of Sri Lanka opening the batting for New South Wales and playing against spinners which will present new challenges for those bowling to him.

    4. Encourage sides to play at least one proper spin bowler
    After watching Australia get bamboozled against India earlier in the year and recently by Graeme Swann, it is clear that in order to be successful in all parts of the globe then you must play spin well enough.

    There has been a lack of spin bowlers being produced and nurtured for the future and spinners should be encouraged even when they are getting hammered. This will happen to all bowlers at some point.

    Currently, only Michael Clarke can play spin well in the Test side and remember he debuted in 2004. It’s not something that a batsmen can turn around in a week in the nets it takes time.

    Glenn Mitchell’s Fourth Test preview

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • August 9th 2013 @ 2:09pm
      Jermayn said | August 9th 2013 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

      Must admit this is the best article on how to fix Australia cricket I have read on this website… Well done! Now to get you to take over Sutherlands job

    • August 9th 2013 @ 3:07pm
      Gr8rWeStr said | August 9th 2013 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

      All fair points.

      1. What happens if a pitch isn’t up to standard?
      2. Completely under CA’s control, so should be done immediately.
      3. How do you encourage overseas players? Is it simply $$$? Wont it keep young Aus. players out?
      4. How do you encourage us of spin bowlers?

      I suspect the fast tracking of young talent into teams, without them earning it through consistent performance at the lower level, is the underlying issue with Australian cricket. It under emphasizes hard earned experience and over rewards potential. I’m not sure how it can be rectified though.

      • August 9th 2013 @ 5:34pm
        davos said | August 9th 2013 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

        I don’t agree with anything that stops a young astralian cricketer getting a berth …I don’t believe that sa should be allowed to play the souf efricaan…it is supposed to be the comp where young Australians compete to play test cricket ….I believe south Australia wouldn’t be much different this year with klinger at the helm…huges scoring runs early had them finally competing at last…and they had 2 of the shields best bowlers

    • Roar Rookie

      August 10th 2013 @ 8:54pm
      Brett said | August 10th 2013 @ 8:54pm | ! Report


      1 pitches should always be up to standard to have play, I know the drop in wickets take time but there can be WA hosting VIC and NSW in October so it gives the MCG and SCG wickets better time as the WACA is the last remaining pitch that is not dropped in

      2 yes but they decided for this year to have a one day comp in the first month, hardly appealing to get in red ball form for consideration for the first test

      3 it is up to the states how much they want to pay for how long, they could do a four match stint for example, sides would usually have a couple of development players in most times during the season but say QLD had Tim Southee of NZ for matches when Ryan Harris is on Aus duty during the test series. Replacing a quality bowler for another and it gives players experience facing quality players when the Aus players are not playing which is 95% of the time now

      4 CA should encourage state sides to pick a proper spinner if they want to find a suitable replacement for Warne, they won’t find another Warne but they will find someone who can bowl decently to challenge Lyon with no offence to Ashton Agar

      It’s fine to have a few players in that you want to develop but the same time keep 8-9 of your spots for performing players so it keeps everyone working hard including the older ones

      SA were a laughing stock in the shield until Botha came along and yes having Klinger and Hughes did help but they still needed a leader to help

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