Marsh Sheffield Shield 2020-21
All You Need To Know for the Sheffield Shield
Free live streaming details, the latest team news and what to keep an eye on in the opening four rounds of the Marsh Sheffield Shield
8 October 2020, 01:01 PM AEST
What's different about this season?
The pandemic has upended the sporting world and the Sheffield Shield has not been immune. Thankfully, the competition will go ahead, albeit in circumstances unlike anything it has seen in its previous 118 seasons. The first four rounds will be played entirely in Adelaide at four suburban grounds that have been repurposed to host the country's elite first-class competition; Gladys Elphick Park (also known as Park 25), Adelaide Oval No.2, Karen Rolton Oval and Glenelg's ACH Group Stadium. Cricket Australia is yet to confirm where the rest of the Shield season will unfold after the KFC BBL break.
When does it start?
This Saturday! South Australia face Western Australia and Queensland take on Tasmania in the opening round, with Victoria and NSW not beginning their seasons until October 25. That's because Victoria must quarantine for two weeks due to South Australia government's COVID-19 rules. They began their isolation in Adelaide earlier this week, while NSW will arrive in Adelaide today.
How can I watch?
Right here! Cricket.com.au and the CA Live App will be live streaming all matches of the Marsh Sheffield Shield through our match centre and Apple TV. It's simple to do and doesn't cost you a cent – CA Live app users tap 'More' in the bottom bar then 'Sign Up' in the top right. On desktop or mobile web, just click here, fill in a few basic details and enjoy some live cricket!
In a bonus for subscribers, those streams will also be able to be watched through Kayo Sports.
What about live scores & highlights?
Cricket.com.au and the CA Live app will have live scores for every game of the Marsh Sheffield Shield as well as wicket replays in the match centre to go with extended video highlights, reports and interviews from our reporters on the ground throughout the competition.
Can I head along to watch?
You can, but only for matches at Karen Rolton Oval and Glenelg's ACH Group Stadium. These games will be COVID safe events and capacity is limited to the first 1000 spectators, with all attendees required to register for contact tracing when they arrive. Patrons are urged to stay at home if you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms and maintain physical distancing inside the venue. Entry is free!
Are the big dogs playing?
Some are, some are not.
First, the bad news. The postponement of the Indian Premier League, which is normally held in April-May, to September-November means most of Australia's top brass (think Steve Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch) are in the UAE playing T20s.
The good news is that those players who do not have IPL deals should be available for the majority of the first four rounds given Australia are not expected to begin their international season until late November. That means we can expect to see the likes of Mitchell Starc (who opted out of the IPL this year), Nathan Lyon, Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Wade and Travis Head in the Shield action. Further, the likelihood that Australia will play white-ball games before the Tests against India begin means that Test-only players like Tim Paine, Joe Burns and Travis Head could be available for all four of the opening rounds.
What about the medium-sized dogs?
It's the next rung of players down that offers the most intrigue. While Australia's Test line-up looks fairly settled, head coach Justin Langer has said it will be hard to ignore players if they are banging the door down in the Shield.
On the batting front, keep a close eye on how the likes of Usman Khawaja (Queensland), Cameron Green (WA), Nic Maddinson and Will Pucovski (both Victoria) fare in the coming weeks as they look to push their Test cases.
With the ball, Michael Neser (Queensland) will be eager to show he remains the country's best quick outside the Test squad's current star pace quartet, while Chris Tremain (who has moved from Victoria to NSW), Chadd Sayers (South Australia) and Jackson Bird (Tasmania) are perennially among the leading wicket takers and on the fringe of the Test team.
What else should I look out for?
Forget spicy Gabba and Bellerieve seamers, teams are preparing for a different kind of challenge this season. It is expected the four Adelaide venues will offer more to spin bowlers, which is a departure from the norm during early Shield rounds.
That could present opportunities for spinners like Mitch Swepson (Queensland), Ashton Agar (WA) and Jon Holland to show why they should be considered Australia's second spinner behind Nathan Lyon (NSW).
Read more on how pitches could favour spin HERE
Who won last year?
While there was no final last year due to the onset of the pandemic, New South Wales were crowned champions after finishing more than 12 points clear on top of the standings.
How does the points system work again?
Teams get six point for an outright win, one point for a draw, plus 0.01 of a bonus point for every run over 200 they score during the first 100 overs of their first innings (ie: 350 after 100 overs nets you 1.5 bonus points) and 0.1 of a bonus point for every wicket a team takes during the first 100 overs of their opponent's first innings (ie: 10 wickets before 100 first-innings overs elapses nets you 1 point).
What's the low-down on my state?
Click the links below for a closer look at each state heading into the opening round on Saturday.
Queensland: Usman Khawaja (c), Xavier Bartlett, Joe Burns, Blake Edwards, Benji Floros, Matthew Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Lachy Pfeffer, Matt Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street, Mitchell Swepson, Jack Wildermuth
Western Australia: Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Hilton Cartwright, Cameron Gannon, Cameron Green, Liam Guthrie, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Shaun Marsh, David Moody, Lance Morris, Liam O'Connor, Joel Paris, D'Arcy Short, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman.
Victoria: Peter Handscomb (c), Scott Boland, Xavier Crone, Travis Dean, Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Seb Gotch, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Jon Holland, Nic Maddinson, Simon Mackin, Todd Murphy, Jono Merlo, Mitch Perry, Will Pucovski, Matt Short, Will Sutherland.
Tasmania: Tim Paine (c), Tom Andrews, Gabe Bell, Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, Jake Doran, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Nathan Ellis, Sam Rainbird, Peter Siddle, Jordan Silk, Matthew Wade (to join squad ahead of Round Three), Charlie Wakim, Tim Ward, Beau Webster, Mac Wright.
South Australia: Travis Head (c), Wes Agar, Tom Cooper, Brad Davis, Callum Ferguson, Henry Hunt, Conor McInerney, Harry Nielsen, Lloyd Pope, Luke Robins, Chadd Sayers, Liam Scott, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald, Nick Winter.
NSW: Peter Nevill (c), Daniel Hughes, Nick Larkin, Kurtis Patterson, Moises Henriques, Daniel Solway, Jason Sangha, Matthew Gilkes, Sean Abbott, Trent Copeland, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain, Nathan Lyon, Liam Hatcher, Harry Conway, Jack Edwards, Tanveer Sangha.