Marsh One-Day Cup 2019
Forgotten paceman starts road back to the top
Having missed the World Cup and Ashes due to injury, Jhye Richardson is set to make his return to cricket in the Marsh One-Day Cup this weekend
17 September 2019, 01:12 PM AEST
Promising Western Australia paceman Jhye Richardson is set to play his first senior match in almost six months in the Marsh One-Day Cup opener on Saturday as he looks to re-start his push for national selection.
Richardson, who made his Test debut against Sri Lanka earlier this year, missed out on the recent World Cup and Ashes tours due to a shoulder injury he picked up in March and has only just returned to full fitness.
The 22-year-old played one match in the Darwin Premier Cricket competition for Nightcliff Cricket Club in July in a last ditch bid to feature in the Ashes, but instead decided to concentrate on winning back his Test and ODI berths for the home summer.
The first step towards achieving that goal will come on Saturday when Richardson turns out for WA against Victoria in their domestic 50-over clash at the WACA Ground in Perth, where he’ll come up against the likes of Australia limited overs stars Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and Peter Handscomb.
WA coach Adam Voges has liked what he has seen from Richardson at training in recent weeks and believes he can make an immediate impression.
“He’s tracking really well," Voges told cricket.com.au last week.
"The throwing side of things, he's still got a bit of work to do, but he bowled really nicely in our intra-squad game.
"He's getting that zip back again. He's around 90-95 per cent fitness so it's just a matter of getting that last little bit.
"He's done all he could possibly do to make sure he's right to go so I fully expect him to be available for that first game."
Australia currently boast great depth in their fast bowling ranks, with experienced quicks Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson among a group of high quality pacemen who missed out on selection for the recent Test against England at The Oval.
It means Richardson will have to overtake a handful of solid performers if he wants to win back his Test berth this summer, but Voges sees no reason why that won't be possible.
"A World Cup and an Ashes tour is probably the pinnacle in terms of Australian cricket, so he's disappointed he's missed out on that," Voges said.
"But he's still so young. He's had a really rapid rise in a short period of time so he just needs to get back to playing some good cricket and I'm sure if he can do that, there's a big summer ahead."
While Richardson is expected to be able to bowl at close to full pace against Victoria, he will be restricted in the field as his troublesome right shoulder is given more time to fully heal.
Voges said it will just be a matter of keeping Richardson in a fielding position that he’s comfortable in, similar to how batting duo Chris Lynn and Ashton Turner have had their shoulder issues managed in recent times.
"He won't be able to throw from the outfield, so it'll be a case of keeping him in the ring," Voges said.
"I'm sure we'll be able to manage that, he still moves incredibly well in the field.
"We'll just keep building his throwing power up, but there's a bit of work to do there."
Richardson won't be the only player unable to throw long distances with their preferred arm during the Marsh Cup, with veteran Tasmania batsman George Bailey also battling a shoulder problem.
Bailey hurt his shoulder during the Hobart Hurricanes semi-final loss to the Melbourne Stars in the KFC Big Bash league earlier this year and while he’s fit enough to bat, he’s yet to regain the power in his throwing arm.
But Tasmania coach Adam Griffith is not too concerned by Bailey's issue as he has seen the veteran throw with his non-preferred left hand on numerous occasions.
Bailey threw left-handed for a period in 2012 due to a frozen right shoulder and Griffith said it won't be long before the 37-year-old is back to full fitness.
"He can throw almost as well left-handed as he can normally, so those issues aren’t really a problem for him," Griffith told cricket.com.au.
"(We’re) very happy with where he’s shoulder’s at. It’s actually better than we thought it would be. It’s really responded well to the work he’s been doing."