Look at the shock on his face!
Much like the current AFL stocks rising in South Australia this year, the state’s future cricketers are also flourishing.
With the national championship being held in between the 3rd and 13th of December, it is hard to not excited about the state’s next generation. With the squad for the tournament officially named by SACA today, we take a look at the state’s best young cricketers who feature in the highly-anticipated, talented squad.
Leading at the front of the pack, of course, is the flamboyantly-haired Lloyd Pope; who has yet again proven his talent with first-innings figures of 7/87 against NSW last week. His rapid rise to public fame hasn’t seemed to faze him, as he now holds the record for the youngest Sheffield Shield player to ever take seven wickets in an innings.
Whilst his availability for the nation-wide competition relies on him not being selected for the Redbacks Shield match on December 7 (ironically) against New South Wales, his name in the squad alone is enough to keep interstate batsman nervous for now.
As the sole selection from the district West Torrens, Bailey Capel will look to capitalise on any width bowlers provide him at the top of the order. An all-around stroke player, Capel is definitely a favourite to score the most runs in the SA ranks this upcoming series.
Alongside Bailey to open the team will be Kensington 1st grader Henry Dall, going around for his 2nd year in the U19 state team. Dall’s cover drive is as good as anyone one he has his eye in, and like Capel could easily be a tournament top-scorer. Another contender in the 13-man squad to open the batting is East Torrens’ Lewis Evans, who has touted as a one to watch in the tournament.
Whilst not in the 1st-grade team, Evans has proven himself in the 2nd grade and will likely be given the opportunity in the tournament to showcase his talent.
Other headline acts amongst the 13-man South Australian squad include the Kelly twins, Thomas and Corey. Both brothers are extraordinary strikers of the ball, and have showcased their talents regularly on either the grade cricket or state stage in recent times. Corey, who is also a very handy pace bowler, recently struck an unbeaten 96* for Sturt in the West End One Day cup; against a Woodville lineup which included Redbacks spin bowler Tom Andrews.
Any batting lineup with the Kelly brothers in the Top 6 has unquestionable potential to ruin the days of opposition bowlers, and will no doubt be seen on the big state stage multiple times this December.
The South Australian lineup will see multiple all-rounders grace the turf this carnival, with Ben Pengelley from Adelaide looking to cause carnage. Ben is a prolific hitter much like the Kellys and has previously taken the game away from sides in just a few balls. On top of his big hitting, his rapid bowling could well see him opening with the new Kookaburra at times.
Joshua Hoffman will also introduce himself again to the state arena, with his mature and gracious technique hard for bowlers to control. Whilst he has recently focused more on his batting, Hoffman is also more than capable of bowling a few leg-breaks when called upon; a great asset for the team if the situation arises.
Keeping behind the wickets to the bowlers will be Adelaide Uni keeper-batsmen Daniel Kerber. Kerber has previously represented the state at U17 level and is successfully keeping wicket in the Adelaide Uni 1st grade team. He has been making starts with the bat so far this season, and will undoubtedly be hoping to convert them to bigger scores just in time for the tournament.
The Sturt District Cricket Club also has two pace bowlers featuring in the state lineup, with underage players Angus Judd and Hanno Jacobs bound to play a role in SA’s bid for success. Hanno, who attends prestigious cricketing school PAC, is a rapid right-armer who executes a yorker that would have most batsman jumping into next year.
His fellow Sturt teammate Angus Judd is another fiery redhead, who will give most batsman a hard time facing his left-arm rockets. Both players can definitely hold their own with the bat, and will give SA a wagging tail if needed. Cameron Fatchen, a teammate of Pope and Dall in the Kensington 1st grade team, will accompany Judd and Jacobs with the new ball. Also going around for his second U19 tournament, his previous exposure to such a high level of cricket will work in his favour as both a bowler and a leader.
Out at Prospect, bowler Krutarth Suthar will no doubt be looking to bring his economic bowling from the 1st-grade team into the state arena. With incredibly efficient bowling figures this year in the district competition, Suthar is a bowler who will very rarely give opposition batsman any width or length to play with.
The South Australian state team will this year be expected to perform on the big stage in their home state this December given their incredible depth. Whilst the potential removal of Lloyd Pope from the squad will no doubt be a loss, the talent within the Adelaide ranks will no doubt provide someone else with an opportunity to perform against the best cricketers in the country of their age.
Current SA U19 State Squad: Josh Pengelley (Adelaide), Daniel Kerber (Adelaide University), Lewis Evans (East Torrens), Joshua Hoffman (Glenelg), Cameron Fatchen (Kensington), Henry Doll (Kensington), Lloyd Pope (Kensington), Krutarth Suthar (Prospect), Angus Judd (Sturt), Corey Kelly (Sturt), Hanno Jacobs (Sturt), Thomas Kelly (Sturt), Bailey Capel (West Torrens)