South Australian captain Travis Head believes the pink ball experiment will work in his side’s favour against a NSW side laden with international experience.
The Redbacks host the Blues in a day-night Sheffield Shield opener from Wednesday in what, on paper, looms a mismatch – NSW have 10 players with Test experience while SA have none.
But Head says SA’s two previous pink ball Shield games offer an advantage against NSW’s Test stars, most of whom haven’t played a first-class match with the experimental ball.
“We have played a couple … and a few of them (NSW) haven’t played at all, so I think it’s an advantage for us,” Head told reporters on Tuesday.
The fixture carries added significance as Adelaide Oval will host the first-ever day-night pink ball Test late next month.
SA has played two pink ball Shield games at the oval, in November and March last year.
Both were against NSW but the Blues’ line-up in both games featured only four cricketers – Mitchell Starc, Steve O’Keefe, Peter Nevill and Josh Hazlewood – named for this Shield match.
NSW won the March fixture and the most recent was a draw and both games featured lower than usual batting totals on the traditionally batsman-friendly pitch – an average of just over 268 runs an innings.
Head predicted the pink ball wouldn’t change the historical nature of shield games in Adelaide.
“Naturally in Adelaide … it’s an abrasive wicket and it’s a tough slog, I guess, for four days,” Head said.
“The red ball or the pink ball, it’s going to be the same hard-fought four days.”
SA: Travis Head (capt), Tom Cooper, Mark Cosgrove, Callum Ferguson, Jake Lehmann, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Kane Richardson, Alex Ross, Kelvin Smith, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa (12th man to be named).
NSW: Steve Smith (capt), Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Ed Cowan, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Peter Nevill, Stephen O’Keefe, Mitchell Starc, David Warner (12th man to be named).