Not even a 250-run partnership can dampen his spirits!
The 2017-18 Sheffield Shield is fast approaching, but before the first round kicks off in October, it is worth having a brief look back at last season.
The 2016-17 Sheffield Shield was taken out by Victoria, after a drawn final game against runners-up South Australia.
Western Australia came in third, followed by New South Wales, Queensland, and Tasmania at the bottom, with only the one win for the season.
The top run-scorer was NSW’s ex-Test opener Ed Cowan, who fell agonisingly short of the symbolic 1000 runs a season, with 959. Cowan achieved an excellent average of 73.76 with three centuries from only nine games.
The highest wickettaker was Chadd Sayers, who snagged 62 wickets at an average of 19. The South Australian also worked with the excellent economy of 2.63, and a strike rate of 43.1.
The high-score of the season was taken out by Moises Henriques, who ground out 265 against Queensland in February. The best bowling figures were taken by Western Australian Jason Behrendorff, who claimed 14 for 89 against Victoria in Perth, including an incredible 9 for 37 in the first innings.
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Disappointment of the season: Adam Voges
After an ascendant Test summer in 2015-16, while also averaging 66.16 in that summer’s Shield season, Voges was dropped from the Test team after a run of bad form.
Back in the Shield, he achieved a lowly average of 24.40 after eight matches, with no centuries. It seems age finally caught up with the evergreen Western Australian star.
A (dis)honourable mention also goes to Tasmanian Ben Dunk. The top run-scorer in 2015-16, with 837 runs and four centuries, Dunk scored only one 50 from the first ten innings of the season, and was dropped by the Tigers to make space for George Bailey and Alex Doolan.
Steady performer: George Bailey
After being dropped from the Test side following the 2013-14 Ashes, Bailey looked to refocus on red-ball cricket. While only managing three matches in the 2014-15 series, Bailey rebounded by ranking fourth in runs for 2015-16, and backed it up by ranking third last season, with 839 runs at 59.92.
An honourable mention goes to Victorian fast bowler Chris Tremain. Ranking fifth in the 2015-16 Shield, with 36 wickets at 21.05, Tremain followed that by ranking third, with 42 wickets at the excellent average of 18.97 last season.
Surprise of the season: Peter Nevill
Following our disastrous first two Rests against South Africa last year, Nevill was victim of a wide-ranging cleanout.
However, the sturdy wicketkeeper rebounded spectacularly, posting a number of big scores, which he had failed to do in the Test arena.
Nevill ended up averaging 56.81 after nine games, with an equal-season-high three centuries.
Honourable mention goes to another keeper, Queenslander Chris Hartley. Often viewed as one of the best pure keepers in Australia, Hartley is thought to have been omitted from international duties due to average skills with the blade. However, he proved everyone wrong last season, scoring 535 runs at the excellent average of 76.42. If only it was a few years earlier.
Most overlooked player: Chadd Sayers
For the last two years, Sayers has been a standout player for South Australia, and possibly the best swing bowler in the country.
Despite this, the closest Sayers has come to international honours is being picked for the touring party of New Zealand in early 2016.
Having topped the Shield’s wicket-taking list yet again in 2016-17, Sayers should be next in line for an international debut.