Australia, astonishingly, deigned to make the lengthy journey to New Zealand for their first Test series over there in eight years. Excited at the…
The final round before the Big Bash League gets underway and the Test summer… let’s see who impressed in an intriguing Round 6 of Shield cricket!
3 Sentence Summary: Tricky conditions and a difficult pitch led to some incredibly low scores in this match. New South Wales skittled Tasmania in this game in what was in many ways a major upset. Credit to the conditions and the groundsmen for creating an interesting match.
Who pushed Test claims? Chris Tremain is in red-hot form. A nine-wicket haul in this match further enhanced his credentials as a quality bowler, and if Scott Boland, two years his senior, can be in the reckoning, then surely Chris Tremain can be selected as a backup in the Test squad?
Who did not push Test claims? Caleb Jewell has had a shocker start to the Shield season. For a player representing Australia A at the start of the year, it is not the start that he would have wanted. Hopefully, he can use the BBL to freshen up a little and work on some consistency.
3 Sentence Summary: A battle of two giants in the Shield did not disappoint. On a tricky deck that had something in it for the bowlers throughout, Usman Khawaja and Hilton Cartwright stood up under searching attacks and produced classy centuries. Cameron Green and the selectors would be feeling much better about his form heading into the Test summer as he compiled a poised 96 in a relatively tame draw.
Who Pushed Test Claims? Mark Steketee continues to go from strength to strength highlighting why he continues to be picked for Australia A. Hopefully a strong showing in that match will put him in good stead to become part of the wider squad at some point during the summer.
Who Did Not Push Test Claims? Cameron Bancroft did his Test recall prospects a bad turn when he left a ball from Jack Wildermuth that came back in to hit the off stump. Let’s hope that the selectors’ judgement is sounder than Bancroft’s when selecting the Australian side.
3 Sentence Summary: Both sides will be rueing their middling scores on what was a bowler-friendly pitch. Both sides had opportunities to put the other away, but thanks to a century from Sam Harper and the response from Jake Fraser-McGurk, both sides had almost parity in their first innings. In the end, a South Australian collapse was all it took for Victoria to win by just 23 runs.
Who Pushed Test Claims? It was good to see Will Pucovski back playing top-flight cricket. Although his second innings 65 was his first score of note for the season, it will be an encouragement to him and to the Victorian and Australian selectors to see him back playing consistently.
Who Did Not Push Test Claims? Henry Hunt will be disappointed to miss out in both innings as he continues to push to show that he deserves selection in a post-David Warner Australia. Unfortunately, he will head into the BBL with few runs under his belt in the first half of the Sheffield Shield.
How this is selected – this looks at the best players in each position and fits them in where appropriate. Players can be moved down a rung in the batting order from where they normally bat, but they cannot move up. For example, Matthew Renshaw could open or bat at 3, but since he did not make runs in the middle order, he would not be eligible to bat in the middle order. The objective of this is to track the consistency across the Shield season. At least one player from each side should be selected unless one team utterly dominated that round.
Stay tuned for the remainder of the season after the Big Bash break!