Marsh Sheffield Shield 2020-21
Kane returns as deflated SA await Dizzy spell
Aussie limited-overs quick hopeful of playing his first first-class match in a year, while new coach Gillespie will return during round two clash with Tasmania
16 October 2020, 02:29 PM AEST
Kane Richardson is hopeful the mid-match arrival of new head coach Jason Gillespie can help revamp the spirits of a South Australian side that found itself "down in the dumps" after a tough defeat in the opening round of the Marsh Sheffield Shield.
And Richardson himself remains optimistic he can begin a path towards significant improvements with the red ball should he be selected to turn out for his first first-class match in just over a year against Tasmania from Monday.
The Redbacks fought gamely through much of their first-up defeat to Western Australia which concluded last Tuesday but were ultimately beaten in the final session of day four, and Richardson – who watched the match via live stream – said his teammates were left flat by the outcome.
"We were disappointed not to draw that – we definitely should've," the paceman said. "I think some boys are pretty down in the dumps after the day-four effort but it's only game one; they've been working extremely hard since pre-season started, so yeah, we got it wrong one day out of four but that's OK, we move on to this next game.
"When you play well and win, all that stuff gets forgotten about, and we've got some good players in that changeroom who I know are ready to perform."
The paths of Gillespie and Richardson crossed over for one KFC Big Bash season at the Adelaide Strikers and the 29-year-old said while he was looking forward to further honing his craft under the gaze of the 71-Test veteran, he also sees a considerable upside in the even-tempered environment he expects the new coach to create at the Redbacks.
Gillespie is set to join the team on day two of the match after completing his quarantine retirements, and has already begun working with the group via Zoom conferences.
"I'm looking forward to having his calming personality around," Richardson said. "He's a real calming influence which is something I think our team needs on those days or those periods where we have a collapse, or it looks like we're staring down the barrel of a bad day – I think having 'Dizzy' (Gillespie) around will just calm the group and calm the changeroom.
"I'm just looking forward to the personality that he is and hopefully that will bring a different atmosphere, and with that will come success … I'm sure he'll have a whole lot to offer."
Richardson had played just 33 first-class matches since debuting with South Australia almost a decade ago, with the right-armer a regular absence due to injury, form, or limited-overs duties with Australia.
While the international white-ball schedule makes it almost impossible for him to feature heavily in the Sheffield Shield, he refuses to use that fact as an excuse for disappointing performances in the past.
Instead, he is looking at the present as another chance to better himself as a red-ball fast bowler, and after working hard in quarantine and getting through 20 overs unhampered in a two-day practice match last weekend, he feels well prepared.
"I trained right through the two weeks of quarantine was with the red ball so I feel like I've done enough work in the nets to be ready, so if I get the nod I'm confident I'll be able to do a job, and hopefully that's one that helps us win," Richardson said.
"I've only played once in the last two years but before that I was 12th man a lot and there was a reason for that – I didn't nail my opportunities.
"I've spoken for years about (first-class cricket) being a format I love playing and want to do well in, and I'm a proud South Australian who's passionate about doing well, and this is a format we've struggled in as well, for a long time.
"If I can learn and up my game even more, especially in the next few years while we're still a young squad, and try and help those young quicks coming through … and be better at my own job while doing it, that's kind of my goal through this next phase.
"I'm really motivated to do well for South Australia with the red ball, and that all starts Monday – I need to bowl well there."
South Australia's 15-player squad: Travis Head (c), Wes Agar, Tom Cooper, Brad Davis, Callum Ferguson, Henry Hunt, Conor McInerney, Harry Nielsen (wk), Lloyd Pope, Kane Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Liam Scott, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald, Nick Winter