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Opinion

Should we be alarmed by the second week of the Shield?

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Roar Guru
23rd October, 2020
30

Over four days of cricket, we have seen over 2000 runs in both games.

That should be an alarm going through people’s heads. I don’t take anything away from Tim Paine or Cameron Green but I do question the level of bowling and pitches in Shield cricket right now.

The pitches have been extremely flat over the four days. Take away Sean Abbott’s six wickets and the next best bowlers over the two games were Beau Webster and Chadd Sayers, taking three wickets each in the first innings.

But after that, it seems the pitches are very flat over the latter part of the game, which is a concern.

What also comes into question is the standard of bowling. Expect for Chadd Sayers, Kane Richardson, Sean Abbott, Peter Siddle, Jackson Bird, Trent Copeland, Nathan Lyon and Moises Henriques, the bowlers in each team were young or need the conditions to be right to swing the ball and it seems neither came to the party.

Wes Agar.

Wes Agar was one of many bowlers to toil in the Shield this week. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

On to the conditions in the New South Wales versus Western Australia match, it seemed both teams could not make traction with the ball and the pitch was a road.

In the other match between Tasmania and South Australia, at least Day 1 saw wickets fall and the ball had some movement but after Day 1 it was a road.

If they want to make the Shield season competitive and interesting, then try to make pitches have something for the bowlers because with the current situation it seems no bowlers have been able to get traction and it is hard when you can’t shine the ball.

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As many experts have pointed out over the years, it is better leaving grass on the wicket and making the batsmen accountable rather than have a run fest.

I am not saying make every pitch bowler-friendly but make sure it is even for all, because if Australia wants to be number one nation in Test cricket, then we need to learn in all conditions.

That is why Cricket Australia must push that. If you want to develop the younger generation for Ashes tours and Indian tours then we need to have a plan on what pitches we deliver and this second week of the Shield season points out the concerns that have already been noted.

Overall, the second week of the Sheffield Shield has not been that bad but if Cricket Australia wants to make the season interesting and attractive to be covered on TV, then you need entertainment for the average fan and as most people are working from home they can watch it.

Make it accessible to listen on the radio in those states who are playing so people have something to listen to other than talk back.

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