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Test stars named in Shield squads

Eight Test players available for red-ball return as Shield competition resumes on Thursday

Eight members of Australia's Test squad to tour South Africa will tune-up for the four-match series when the JLT Sheffield Shield resumes on Thursday.

Skipper Steve Smith (rested) and stand-in T20I captain David Warner will miss NSW's match in Perth, as will pace trio Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, while wicketkeeper Tim Paine has been rested for Tasmania's game in Brisbane and Usman Khawaja has been ruled out due to a thumb injury

But Cameron Bancroft, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Jhye Richardson (all Western Australia), Peter Handscomb, Jon Holland (both Victoria), Nathan Lyon (NSW) and Jackson Bird (Tasmania) are all available to return to the first-class arena ahead of the showdown with the Proteas.

The Shield competition will resume with less than 12 points separating first-placed NSW and last-placed Victoria with five rounds to go before the final at the end of March.

Every match of the JLT Sheffield Shield will be live streamed on the Cricket Network

Western Australia v NSW Blues at the WACA Ground

The Blues have named five fast bowlers in a 13-man squad for their trip west, as well as Test spinner Nathan Lyon.

Following the retirement of Doug Bollinger and with their three Test quicks unavailable, NSW have named young paceman Charlie Stobo alongside uncapped right-armer Mickey Edwards.

The side will be captained by former Test wicketkeeper Peter Nevill, who pointed out the NSW squad has been back in red-ball mode longer than their WA-based opponents because of the Sydney clubs early exit in the BBL|07 season.

"With the BBL break there is no real momentum for any side, everyone starts fresh," Nevill told reporters in Sydney. "We get to take stock, reassess and hit thr ground running. We've had more red-ball preparation than our opponents, so in that sense we are the best prepared we can be.

"There's some exciting potential there (in the fast-bowling line-up), I'm very much looking forward to seeing what they can produce at this level."

Western Australia's 13-player squad includes Mitch Marsh - who captains to captain the side - alongside fellow Test squad members Shaun Marsh, Cameron Bancroft and Jhye Richardson, while Jonanthon Wells also returns to WA’s line-up after helping Adelaide Strikers claim the KFC Big Bash title. 

Towering young quick Alex Bevilaqua and talented batsman Clint Hinchliffe have been named in the extended squad after joining the Warriors rookie list during the 2016-17 season, while injured quick Joel Paris remains unavailable for selection after sustaining a quad strain during the BBL.

Western Australia: Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Turner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Alex Bevilaqua, Will Bosisto, Hilton Cartwright, Clint Hinchcliffe, Josh Inglis, Matt Kelly, Simon Mackin, Shaun Marsh, Jhye Richardson, Jonathan Wells. 

NSW Blues: Peter Nevill (c), Harry Conway, Trent Copeland, Ed Cowan, Mickey Edwards, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Nick Larkin, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Kurtis Patterson, Gurinder Sandhu, Charlie Stobo

South Australia v Victoria at the Adelaide Oval

The Bushrangers have named Peter Handscomb as captain before he heads to South Africa alongside Jon Holland, who is the sole spinner in Victoria's squad.

With batsmen Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch on T20 duty, Eamonn Vines could make his debut while paceman Jackson Coleman is also a chance to play his first game at first-class level for the Vics.

Victoria, the defending champions, currently sit winless and last on the JLT Sheffield Shield table, but the state's chairman of selectors Andrew Lynch was confident of pushing up the table in the hunt for more silverware.

"We know it's going to be tough to work our way back up the table and fight for a spot in the final, however we also know what it takes to go all the way," Lynch said. "The players can't wait to get back to four-day cricket and push for another title."

Meanwhile Harry Nielsen, the son of former Australia coach and South Australia wicketkeeper Tim Nielsen, is poised to make his first-class debut after being named as the sole gloveman in the West End Redbacks' 12-man squad for their JLT Sheffield Shield clash against Victoria.

The 22-year old’s inclusion follows first-choice wicketkeeper Alex Carey’s call-up to Australia’s T20 squad for the Gillette T20 INTL tri-series against England and New Zealand.

West End Redbacks: Tom Cooper (c), Tom Andrews, John Dalton, Jake Lehmann, Joe Mennie, Harry Nielsen, Alex Ross, Chadd Sayers, Kelvin Smith, Jake Weatherald, Nick Winter, Daniel Worrall

Victoria: Peter Handscomb (c), Scott Boland, Jackson Coleman, Travis Dean, Seb Gotch, Marcus Harris, Jon Holland, Matthew Short, Peter Siddle, Chris Tremain, Eamonn Vines, Cameron White

Queensland v Tasmania at the Gabba

The Bulls named their squad last week, with captain Usman Khawaja ruled out of action due to a thumb injury before he heads to South Africa.

Khawaja's brilliant maiden Ashes century

Fast bowler Brendan Doggett is also under an injury cloud and will be assessed in lead-up to the match, while batsman Lachlan Pfeffer will make his debut. A left-handed top-order player, Pfeffer could open with Renshaw if Khawja opts to remain at No.3. Pfeffer has been in hot form in Queensland Premier Cricket with four centuries this season for Valleys, as well as a ton in a Toyota Futures League match.

The Tigers are without Test wicketkeeper Tim Paine who has been rested before the South African tour, and will also miss Jordan Silk after he broke his collarbone with the Sydney Sixers in the BBL.

"I'd love to be playing but I also realise the benefit I'd get from having 10 days at home and getting away from cricket a little bit," Paine said on Monday.

"I've had a big summer," the 33-year-old added. "I suppose getting back into international cricket ... it's probably taken the edge off me mentally."

Queensland: James Peirson (c), Brendan Doggett, Luke Feldman, Sam Heazlett, Charlie Hemphrey, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Lachlan Pfeffer, Matthew Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson, Jack Wildermuth

Tasmania: George Bailey (c), Gabe Bell, Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, Jake Doran, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Simon Milenko, Sam Rainbird, Tom Rogers, Matthew Wade (wk), Beau Webster

TEST PLAYERS TO PLAY ROUND SIX OF SHEFFIELD SHIELD

Available: Cameron Bancroft, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Jhye Richardson, Peter Handscomb, Jon Holland, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird.

Unavailable: Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Tim Paine (all rested), Usman Khawaja (thumb), David Warner (T20 series).


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