Wade's 17-year first as Aussie stars make Shield return

Matthew Wade and Matt Short included for their respective states in their top of the table Sheffield Shield clash

Tasmanian veteran Matthew Wade will open the batting for the first time in Marsh Sheffield Shield cricket as Victoria also welcome back star batter Matt Short for a blockbuster top of the table clash.

Wade and Short return from national duties for the penultimate round fixture beginning tomorrow at Blundstone Arena after helping Australia to a T20 series sweep in New Zealand last week.

Tasmania hold a slender 2.02-point lead over the Vics at the top of the 2023-24 standings and victory for the Tigers this weekend would likely secure them hosting rights of the Shield final.

Tasmania head coach Jeff Vaughan confirmed on match eve Wade would slot into the XI as opener alongside Caleb Jewell with 26-year-old incumbent Tim Ward dropped after a registering a pair in their previous Shield match against Western Australia.

Tasmania squad v Victoria: Jordan Silk (c), Gabe Bell, Iain Carlisle, Jake Doran, Jarrod Freeman, Bradley Hope, Caleb Jewell, Riley Meredith, Billy Stanlake, Matthew Wade, Charlie Wakim, Beau Webster

It will be Wade's first time opening the batting in his Sheffield Shield career, but he did fill in for two Tests against India in December 2020 with David Warner absent with a groin strain.

He managed scores of 8, 33, 30 and 40 in his four hits at the top before sliding back to the middle order when Warner returned for the final two Tests in what was Wade's last series for Australia in the longer format.

But the left-hander insisted at the time he had "no regrets" taking on the opening role for that series and it was ultimately his failure to convert starts into big scores that led to his omission from the Test team.

The 36-year-old has batted at No.5 for Tasmania in his three Shield matches this season, scoring 105 in his last innings against Queensland in October prior to heading off to captain Australia's T20 side against India following last year's ODI World Cup.

Wade shows power and patience in Shield ton

Vaughan confirmed Jake Doran would retain the gloves for the clash with Victoria after long spells keeping in the first half of the season resulted in back stiffness that caused Wade to miss four games for the Hobart Hurricanes during KFC BBL|13.

"He could have slotted in anywhere from one to seven," Vaughan said of Wade.

"He can take the gloves, he can play as a batsman and a fielder and the experience that he brings for us (as well as) the calmness and hopefully the performance over the next few weeks is going to be really important for us.

"He's very conscious of the fact that we've been playing good cricket as well so there was a conversation and he said, 'I'll do whatever's best for the team and slot me in wherever', so I think he's excited for a new challenge."

Gabe Bell returns from injury, joining Billy Stanlake in Tasmania's 12-player squad after he was managed for their previous match, with debutant Kieran Elliot and Sam Rainbird making way alongside Ward.

Vaughan tipped Ward to bounce back after a tough campaign that's yielded just two half-centuries and an average of 20.83 across his 13 innings.

"He's just a good player that's just out of form," he said.

"We're in a very fortunate situation at the moment where we've got some good depth, we've got some in-form players who actually aren't in our first XI.

Jewell shines brightly with career-best 227

"Whilst it's incredibly hard making some of those decisions and having some of those conversations with an exciting young talent, it's great for us as a team to have so much depth sitting on the sidelines and putting pressure on the XI who get to go to battle."

While Victoria have lost Scott Boland to the Australian Test squad in New Zealand, they've regained powerful batter Short and brought back veteran quick Peter Siddle for the match against his former state.

Victoria squad v Tasmania: Will Sutherland (c), Xavier Crone, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Campbell Kellaway, Nic Maddinson, Todd Murphy, Fergus O'Neill, Mitch Perry, Will Pucovski, Matt Short, Peter Siddle

Short hit a 11-ball 27 in his only innings for the three-match T20 series against the Black Caps, earning player of the match honours in the third T20I, and he hit a century in the first of his three Shield matches earlier in the season.

Rain in Sydney on the final day of their clash with NSW in the previous round thwarted the Vics from going top of the Shield standings with the hosts 8-116 in their second innings and trailing by 86 when the wet weather prevented the players from taking the field after lunch.

"The boys are keen to head over to Hobart and take on Tasmania in what will be a huge game in the context of our season," said David Hussey, Cricket Victoria’s Head of Male Cricket.

"We're playing an impressive brand of cricket and are looking to keep our momentum rolling with another strong performance out at Blundstone Arena.

"It is great to welcome back Matt Short to the squad following his time in Australian colours, while we're lucky to have someone as experienced as Peter Siddle ready to go in place of Scott Boland."

Boland's five adds to Blues' gloom

The player adjudged best afield in this weekend's clash will be awarded the Scott Mason Medal, which is presented annually in Tasmania's home fixture against Victoria in memory of the former Tigers opener who passed away aged 28 after suffering a cardiac arrest in 2005.

Australia under-19 star in line to make Bulls debut

Rising pace sensation Callum Vidler, awarded Team of the Tournament honours during Australia's Under-19 World Cup triumph earlier this month, is also in line to make his first-class debut when Queensland take on Western Australia at the WACA Ground beginning tomorrow.

Vidler, who claimed 2-35 to help set up Australia's 79-run victory in the World Cup final, retains his spot in Bulls squad to travel the Perth with Queensland set to make at least one change to their bowling attack from their seven-wicket victory over South Australia after Michael Neser also joined the Test squad across the Tasman.

Queensland squad v WA: Jimmy Peirson (c), Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Jack Clayton, Angus Lovell, Ben McDermott, Gurinder Sandhu, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street, Mitchell Swepson, Callum Vidler, Jack Wildermuth

The 18-year-old tearaway quick claimed a team-leading 14 wickets at the U19 tournament in South Africa.

Opener Bryce Street returns to the Queensland XI with Matthew Renshaw also on national duties in New Zealand and is set to partner his University of Queensland teammate Angus Lovell at the top of the order.

The left-hander forced his way back into the state side with 182 for the Queensland second XI against Victoria last week and scores of 100no, 81 and 178no Premier Cricket.

Star allrounder Aaron Hardie remains sidelined for WA after missing last Sunday's Marsh One-Day Cup triumph over NSW with a minor calf strain, but the two-time reigning Shield champions welcome back Josh Inglis from national duties for his first appearance for the state of the summer.

Australia's white-ball gloveman is one of three additions to WA's 13-player squad, alongside D'Arcy Short and young gun Teague Wyllie, who has been recalled following an unbeaten 141 from 194 deliveries for Rockingham-Mandurah in Premier Cricket last weekend.

WA squad v Queensland: Sam Whiteman (c), Cameron Bancroft, Hilton Cartwright, Keaton Critchell, Cameron Gannon, Jayden Goodwin, Liam Haskett, Josh Inglis, Joel Paris, Corey Rocchiccioli, D'Arcy Short, Charlie Stobo, Teague Wyllie

Cameron Green (Test team), Hardie and Josh Philippe (omitted) make way for the trio.

Victory over Queensland is crucial for WA to stay in touch with the top two of Tasmania and Victoria and keep their hopes of a Sheffield Shield three-peat alive.

Sheffield Shield 2023-24 standings

Matches played
No results
Batting Bonus
Bowling Bonus
Total points
1 Western Australia Men Western Australia Men WA 10 5 2 3 0 0 5.53 9.4 47.93
2 Tasmanian Tigers Men Tasmanian Tigers Men TAS 10 5 2 3 0 0 6.06 8.3 47.36
3 NSW Men NSW Men NSW 10 4 3 3 0 0 6.31 9 42.31
4 Victoria Men Victoria Men VIC 10 4 4 2 0 0 4.74 8.2 38.94
5 South Australia Men South Australia Men SA 10 3 6 1 0 0 5.19 9.3 33.49
6 Queensland Bulls Queensland Bulls QLD 10 2 6 2 0 0 3.54 8.3 25.84

M: Matches played

W: Wins

L: Losses

D: Drawn

N/R: No results

Ded.: Deductions

Bat: Batting Bonus

Bowl: Bowling Bonus

PTS: Total points