Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/2/21/berry-says-sayers-not-ready-for-ashes

Berry: Sayers not ready for Ashes

UPDATED 22 February, 2013 9:27AM AEST | by Christian Mammone, Omnisport 3

South Australia coach Darren Berry surprisingly believes it is too premature to consider in-form Redbacks paceman Chadd Sayers for Australian Test selection ahead the forthcoming Ashes tour of England in July.

Sayers claimed man-of-the-match honours with figures of 8-73, including a first-innings haul of 5-54, in SA's four-wicket Bupa Sheffield Shield win over New South Wales on Thursday.

The 25-year-old tormented the Blues with menacing swing bowling as the visitors fell for 157 and 173 respectively before the jittery Redbacks lost six wickets on the way to chasing down their modest victory target of 91.

The result was South Australia's fourth outright win of the competition and saw them leap into second place on the Shield table.

Sayers reclaimed the mantle of the country's leading wicket-taker in Sheffield Shield this season with 38 scalps at a breathtaking average of 18.

But despite those remarkable figures, Berry said the swing specialist was not ready to don the baggy green just yet.

"He's an outstanding player and character, but I think it's too early to be honest," Berry said.

"The English conditions would suit him because it swings and he's a genuine swing bowler ... there's not too many who hoop it around like he does.

"I don't know whether he will be considered ... I just think at the minute there are other players ahead of him in the pecking order.

"Do I think he's got the capability, skill and desire to do it? Absolutely, I do, but I think it's about picking people at the right time and I'm just not convinced now is the right time for Chadd Sayers."

Berry pointed to current Test paceman Jackson Bird and the time he was made to wait before being considered ready to debut at international level as an example for Sayers to follow.

Bird debuted for Tasmania in November 2011 and took the four-day competition by storm with a blistering 53 wickets at a record average of 16 in just eight matches.

The NSW native then snared 27 scalps during the 2012-13 season in six fixtures, before he was finally rewarded with his first Test cap against Sri Lanka in late December last year.

"The Jackson Bird story is similar (to Sayers') ... it's only Chadd's first real full season of Shield cricket," Berry said.

"I'd still like him to have a couple more seasons of Shield cricket - he's still a young man."

Speaking following his side's loss to the Redbacks on Thursday, NSW captain Stephen O'Keefe had a contrasting view to Berry.

O'Keefe gave a glowing reference to Sayers and said the South Australian could be a vital addition to Australia in England's swing-friendly conditions.

"You look how important the Ashes is over in England and with the Dukes ball and how much that can move around, I can see certainly a prospect of him playing for Australia," O'Keefe said.

"He bowls at good pace with good shape ... he swung the ball all match and we didn't handle it too well.

"He was very impressive and around the country there are not a lot of guys who can move the ball like that and get it swinging both ways."

Berry confirmed Sayers, who was forced from the ground on Wednesday with a side strain, is a 50-50 chance for the Redbacks' next four-day contest with Western Australia at Adelaide Oval in March.

Sayers' fellow strike bowler and Australia A speedster Kane Richardson is unlikely to play at all again this domestic summer with his back injury needing at least two to three weeks of 'idle' recovery time according to Berry.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 21 February, 2013 9:57PM AEST

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