2017-18 JLT Cup preview

Ryan H Roar Guru

By Ryan H, Ryan H is a Roar Guru


12 Have your say

    The domestic One-Day Cup is upon cricket fans again, just one week away.

    Here I have compiled a preview of what is normally a great little tournament to commence the Australian home season. Although unfortunately not televised this time, fans itching to see some cricket can stream all matches live on the CA website.

    This season will be the fifth with the slightly modified structure, this time the round robin matches will be played in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth, with Hobart given the opportunity to host the finals.

    As has been the case in the last two seasons, a seventh team – the Cricket Australia XI – will again feature. Teams may benefit from the return of international stars from India late in the tournament, should they choose to play. Commencing next week, the competition will be played from September 27 until October 21.

    So, the JLT One-Day Cup awaits as the opening act of the home summer of cricket. We take a quick look at how last season fared, followed by a preview of each side.  

    Quick re-cap: Last season (2016/17)
    Last season saw New South Wales claim back-to-back titles after easily accounting for Victoria in the final, comfortably chasing a low total of 186 thanks to an unbelievable spell of 4/10 from Nathan Lyon.

    The Blues won four matches from their six prior to finals while Queensland won five. The Blues had a bulk of top players across the tournament, however Cameron White continued his 50-over domestic dominance with 457 runs, and Alex Doolan of Tasmania averaged a staggering 120 with the bat, contributing four half-centuries.

    The top wicket tally of 15 was shared by Pat Cummins and Doug Bollinger from NSW, and surprise packet Cameron Valente from South Australia, who also cracked a superb maiden century against Victoria.

    Cricket Australia XI

    Last season: 7th
    Max Bryant (QLD), Jake Carder (WA), Jackson Coleman (VIC), Daniel Fallins (NSW), David Grant (SA), Clint Hinchliffe (WA), Jonathan Merlo (VIC), Harry Nielsen (SA), Ben Pengelley (SA), Mark Steketee (QLD), Henry Thornton (NSW), Param Uppal (NSW), Beau Webster (TAS), Mac Wright (TAS).
    Another year of the development program for the CA XI, who will open the tournament next week against South Australia. The newest side in the tournament went winless last season after claiming a single victory in their inaugural year.

    This squad is headlined by some experienced domestic players, so look out for names like Jackson Coleman and Henry Thornton. That is, of course, if these players aren’t called upon to represent their own states.

    Coach Troy Cooley was also delighted to have brought on young spinner Daniel Fallins to the squad. The CA side were much more competitive last season, regularly posting large scores, some even over 300.

    So far, this team has proved an ideal breeding ground for players to gain state contracts, with Cameron Green (WA), Xavier Bartlett (QLD) and Jason Sangha (NSW) great examples. The group may be a little out of their depth once again, but I expect they might snare at least snare one victory.
    Prediction: The fact is, ladder position is not that important for this team. 7th

    South Australia

    Last season: 6th
    Callum Ferguson ©, Tom Andrews, Alex Carey, Tom Cooper, Michael Cormack, Jake Lehmann, Joe Mennie, Alex Ross, Chadd Sayers, Spencer Johnson, Kelvin Smith, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald, Nick Winter, Daniel Worrall.
    A difficult season last year for a group that reached the final in 2015/16. No major changes to a very young squad, and the absence of a leader in Travis Head to international duty will hurt. Head has been a powerful force with the bat in this competition before.

    At least for the Redbacks their experienced players are known quality one-day players, however there are lots of fresh faces, so some inconsistent performances are to be expected.

    There will be a lot of expectation on experienced batsmen Callum Ferguson, Tom Cooper and Alex Ross to shoulder the scoring load, but hopefully young talents like Weatherald and Dalton will continue to encourage.

    South Australia have a quality pace bowling attack, but will need to be supported by seasoned batsmen.
    Prediction: May surprise, but may also struggle. 6th.


    Last season: 5th
    Squad: George Bailey ©, Jackson Bird, Cameron Boyce, Alex Doolan, Jake Doran, Ben Dunk, Andrew Fekete, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Simon Milenko, Sam Rainbird, Tom Rogers, Jordan Silk, Charlie Wakim.
    The Tigers are a difficult outfit to predict. New coach Adam Griffith takes on a group that simply needs to improve, and in all formats. Consistency is needed if they are to progress on last year’s fifth-placed finish.

    Experienced slow bowler Xavier Doherty has lost his contract, yet the Tigers receive a boost from Matthew Wade’s return to his home state. Wade will be a most valuable inclusion if he gets to play, surrounded by other class players with international experience like George Bailey, Alex Doolan and Tim Paine.

    This squad cannot be reliant on only a handful of quality players, and if their impressive youngsters such as Ben McDermott, Tom Rogers and Simon Milenko can build on their performances, Tasmania may be somewhat of a wildcard, but a lot would need to go right.

    Having the finals played in Hobart will benefit them greatly should they surprise and sneak a place.
    Prediction: 5th


    Last season: 3rd
    Squad: Cameron White ©, Wes Agar, Scott Boland, Travis Dean, Seb Gotch, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, John Hastings, Jon Holland, Will Pucovski, Matt Short, Peter Siddle, Blake Thomson, Chris Tremain.
    The Victorians – often finalists in this competition – will suffer from losing Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis to the Tigers and Warriors respectively. Sam Harper will likely become the side’s full-time keeper.

    Like in the first-class arena, Victoria have an excellent bowling attack with top quality quicks well supported by the spin of Holland.

    Probably the biggest question is whether Cameron White can continue his history of powering runs in this tournament. His side may need some typically vintage performances from himself and other experienced players like John Hastings and Peter Siddle.

    This side will sorely miss their players on international duty, as adding names like Glenn Maxwell, Aaron Finch and Peter Handscomb into this outfit would just about see them clear favourites to win the entire thing.

    There are some inexperienced young players in this squad, but at the same time, fans can look forward to seeing them in action. Victoria may not quite have the depth to go all the way this time, but as usual, expect to see them highly competitive.
    Prediction: 4th

    New South Wales

    Last season: 2nd (eventual winner)
    Squad: Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Harry Conway, Ed Cowan, Mickey Edwards, Ryan Gibson, Daniel Hughes, Jay Lenton, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Arjun Nair, Peter Nevill, Kurtis Patterson, Gurinder Sandhu.
    Back-to-back winners the Blues have dominated this tournament in recent times, and enter this campaign with a young squad that is still good enough to challenge again. The group remains similar to last season with the notable omissions of batsmen Ben Rohrer and Ryan Carters.

    Young quick bowlers headline the squad, so be sure to look out for names like Harry Conway and cult figure Mickey Edwards. Let’s not forget the damage Nathan Lyon could do, either.

    The Blues are without some of their best players, particularly Moises Henriques and of course the rest of the players on international duty.

    Who knows, Mitchell Starc may yet make a return in the later stages of the tournament, and opposing teams would be hoping this isn’t the case. Starc is the best quick in the country and has had remarkable success in this tournament before; especially in the 2015/16 season where his 22 wickets at an average under ten saw him named player of the tournament.

    The Blues will benefit from playing four matches in their home state.
    Prediction: Side not quite as strong as the last couple of seasons. 3rd.


    Last season: First (eventual runner-up)
    Squad: Usman Khawaja ©, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Brendan Doggett, Jason Floros, Cameron Gannon, Sam Heazlett, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, James Peirson, Matthew Renshaw, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Swepson, Jack Wildermuth.
    The Bulls have come very close to titles in the past few seasons and can be expected to feature in the finals again.

    Their strong squad boasts a lot of depth and class in their batting, perhaps the biggest factor being just how well captain Usman Khawaja can fare. It’s easy to forget the patch of dominance he enjoyed across two seasons in 2013/14 and 2014/15, where he topped the run-scoring charts for the tournament.

    Queensland have some of the brightest young batting prospects in the country, and one is already forging a place in the test side in Matt Renshaw.

    Both Sam Heazlett and Marnus Labuschagne should impress with the bat if they play, and James Pierson is gradually showing what a powerful batsman and tidy gloveman he is as Chris Hartley’s understudy.

    Ben Cutting has had success in this competition previously with bat and ball, and he will form a quality bowling attack with CA-contracted Billy Stanlake, Mitch Swepson the highly rated leg-spinner and Cameron Gannon who appears a limited-overs specialist quick.

    Queensland are a good chance to run deep in this tournament, however the absence of Chris Lynn, who has not taken up a Queensland contract to focus on his recovery from shoulder surgery, is a significant loss. Lynn is one of the cleanest and most powerful ball-strikers in the land, but has not played a one-day domestic match for the Bulls since 2013.
    Prediction: 2nd

    Western Australia

    Last season: 4th
    Squad: Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Turner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Will Bosisto, Josh Inglis, Matt Kelly, Michael Klinger, Simon Mackin, Shaun Marsh, David Moody, Jhye Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Andrew Tye, Jonathan Wells.

    I understand I incorrectly tipped the Warriors to win the corresponding tournament last year, however I again think this power-packed squad can do it. They are almost complete in every area. You know there is serious competition for spots when there is a real possibility one of AJ Tye or Jhye Richardson may miss out.

    Talented all-rounder Ashton Turner leads a side blessed with batting and bowling quality, and I would imagine anything less than an appearance in the finals would be considered a failure for such a strong line-up.

    WA are fortunate to have such depth in all-rounders with Mitchell Marsh, Turner and Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright and newly added Marcus Stoinis. With the latter three being in India are unlikely to make an appearance, the Warriors are solid in the top order with the evergreen Michael Klinger and unpredictable but quality Cameron Bancroft among the class of Shaun Marsh.

    They may be a little light on for pure batsmen, and you can expect youngster Josh Inglis or Bancroft to take the gloves with Sam Whiteman’s injury.

    Joel Paris leads a prolific pace attack. The left-armer will bowl alongside much-improved Simon Mackin, young gun Richardson and T20 specialist Tye. The Warriors need to launch again after a disappointing effort last season. The added benefit of playing some matches at home presents a tough task for opponents.
    Prediction: Should be making the final with the squad at hand. 1st.

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    The Crowd Says (12)

    • Columnist

      September 23rd 2017 @ 4:20am
      Ronan O'Connell said | September 23rd 2017 @ 4:20am | ! Report

      Really good preview Ryan, nice work.

      I’m leaning towards QLD to win this, I think Khawaja, Burns and Renshaw will dominate with the bat and Stanlake and Swepson will be very effective with the ball.

      But WA, NSW and VIC will all be pushing them.

      • Roar Guru

        September 23rd 2017 @ 6:24am
        Ryan H said | September 23rd 2017 @ 6:24am | ! Report

        Cheers Ronan! They will be hard to stop – I suspect we’ll see a lot of >300 scores as this tournament has shown in the past.

      • September 23rd 2017 @ 10:56am
        JoM said | September 23rd 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        We’ve just been watching Sean Abbott in grade cricket and he is looking ready to go. Probably bowling mid to high 130’s but run up and action were both very very good.

    • Roar Guru

      September 23rd 2017 @ 9:06am
      Edward L'Orange said | September 23rd 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      Good stuff, Ryan. I think this tournament has the potential to be very close, with possibly only the CA XI and SA not really in the runnings.

      I’m with you on the WA train. They have a very good team with a nice mix of youth and experience.

      I really like that the tournament is not all based in Sydney this time.

      • Roar Guru

        September 23rd 2017 @ 11:00am
        Ryan H said | September 23rd 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

        Thanks Edward, tend to agree, it’s great to see matches spread even if it’s only across a couple more states. If I had to choose right now I’d think a WA/QLD final, but any of NSW, Vic and Tas are capable of challenging.

    • Roar Guru

      September 23rd 2017 @ 11:31am
      Rellum said | September 23rd 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

      I am not so sure QLD are a final teams. Depends what wickets we get. I think WA NSW and the Vics are a good chance to punt us from the Final. We need to play well.

      WA are favorites for mine.

    • September 23rd 2017 @ 4:33pm
      BurgyGreen said | September 23rd 2017 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

      I actually don’t mind Tassie as a one-day side this season. If Bailey, Doolan and Dunk are solid again, and one or two of our younger batsmen stand up (McDermott in particular) then we’ll be able to put up decent totals. Then with Paine and Faulkner coming back at the end of the tournament we should have a fairly strong team. High hopes for this unit. The Shield is going to be a struggle though.

      I also don’t think SA is as poor a side as people are saying. They have a decent batting core of Ferguson, Cooper, Ross and Lehmann. Valente and Weatherald could make some runs as well.

      Reckon I might be tipping NSW to win this time around. They have a pretty good attack and a reasonable batting lineup. WA will miss their gun left-armers and Victoria is sorely lacking in batting experience. Queensland runners up.

    • September 25th 2017 @ 4:22pm
      John said | September 25th 2017 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

      The fixturing for this competition is an absolute farce, its been years since the redbacks have played a game in Adelaide!!!

    • Roar Guru

      September 26th 2017 @ 11:41am
      Rellum said | September 26th 2017 @ 11:41am | ! Report

      So I am a bit slow, I just realized this is not being televised. That was one of the few good things that CA had done for the State game in recent years. It allowed it to be in front of the average tv viewer and lead to crowds slowly building to a few grand by the end of the comp, which is a decent effort considering the none existent advertising and how crazy short it is.

      I can’t see how much long this comp can go on. Clearly it is too much of a strain on CA.

      • Roar Guru

        September 26th 2017 @ 12:22pm
        Ryan H said | September 26th 2017 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

        Rellum – agree, and quite disappointed we won’t get to see it covered again. It had been great to lead into a new season with a month of these matches, particularly with one shown almost every day. No doubt to do with lack of ratings/numbers in seasons gone by, I guess they just did not want to persist. A real shame; it’s not the same live streaming via CA app or site

        • Roar Guru

          September 26th 2017 @ 1:26pm
          Rellum said | September 26th 2017 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

          CA payed for the coverage every year, a bit like the state rugby League comps.

          So either CA doen’t want to spend that money or 9 feels like they can earn more than CA is willing to pay. Either way it is a masdive set back for state cricket.

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