Marsh Sheffield Shield 2020-21
Star WA trio return for pivotal Shield weekend
Western Australia boosted by the inclusion of three big names ahead of their must-win Marsh Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania
1 April 2021, 04:27 PM AEST
Western Australia have recalled a trio of internationals for their pivotal match against Tasmania this weekend, putting the selection squeeze on a handful of big names as WA push for a spot in the Marsh Sheffield Shield final.
The return of skipper Mitch Marsh, young gun Josh Philippe and spin-bowling allrounder Ashton Agar could leave the likes of former Test No.3 Hilton Cartwright on the outer of a batting line-up that has posted 17 individual centuries in seven matches this season.
Already without internationals Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis and D'Arcy Short, WA could drop Cartwright and highly-rated youngster Jake Carder from their top six to accommodate Marsh and Philippe, who are set to play their first Shield games of the summer.
Having been in and out of bio-secure bubbles in four different countries since late August, Marsh and Philippe recently withdrew from the upcoming IPL, meaning they are available for the remainder of WA's season.
Given openers Cameron Bancroft and Sam Whiteman as well as gloveman Josh Inglis are coming off centuries against Victoria last week, and with veteran Shaun Marsh and star batter Cameron Green secure in the top four, squeezing the younger Marsh brother and Philippe into the No.5 and No.6 positions seems the most likely scenario for WA selectors.
However, with Agar also back in the side having batted at No.6 at the start of the season, and with Joel Paris coming off a hundred last week as well, WA could decide to leave out another batting star to accommodate an extra bowling option in a game they must win to guarantee a spot in the Shield decider.
Green, Inglis, Shaun Marsh, Bancroft and Whiteman have each scored three hundreds this season, underlining the depth of in-form and talented batsmen WA selectors have at their disposal.
Victory over Tasmania will see WA reach the Shield final for the first time since 2015, where they will likely play the winner of the NSW v Queensland match in Wollongong this weekend.
WA haven't won the Shield title since 1999.
Tasmania will be without former Test quick Peter Siddle for the clash at the WACA Ground, with a personal trip to the Gold Coast last week meaning the veteran has run afoul of WA's hard border for all recent visitors to Queensland following a recent COVID-19 outbreak in the state.
NSW will be without IPL-bound quartet Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, David Warner and Moises Henriques for their game against the Bulls, while skipper Peter Nevill will also miss the remainder of the season to be at the birth of his second child.
Left-hander Kurtis Patterson will captain the side in Nevill's absence and lead a bowling attack against Queensland that will include Test pair Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon.
Test quick Josh Hazlewood, who this week also withdrew from the IPL, will be available for the Shield final, should the Blues make it.
The Bulls have recalled leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson after his recovery from a serious neck injury, while the Queensland squad also features the likes of Marnus Labuschagne, Usman Khawaja, Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw and Michael Neser.
Victoria have named uncapped duo James Seymour and Todd Murphy for their game against South Australia, while the Redbacks have announced the match will be the last in the career of one-time Test bowler, Chadd Sayers.
Marsh Sheffield Shield – Round 8
All matches will be live streamed for free on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app. Play starts at 10am local time on Saturday April 3
Western Australia v Tasmania in Perth
Western Australia: Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Cam Bancroft, Jake Carder, Hilton Cartwright, Cameron Gannon, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis, Matt Kelly, Shaun Marsh, Lance Morris, Joel Paris, Josh Philippe, Sam Whiteman (three to be omitted)
Tasmania: Matthew Wade (c), Jackson Bird, Jake Doran, Jarrod Freeman, Caleb Jewell, Lawrence Neil-Smith, Tim Paine, Alex Pyecroft, Sam Rainbird, Jordan Silk, Charlie Wakim, Tim Ward, Beau Webster
New South Wales v Queensland in Wollongong
NSW Blues: Kurtis Patterson (c), Harry Conway, Trent Copeland, Jack Edwards, Matthew Gilkes, Liam Hatcher, Lachlan Hearne, Baxter Holt, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Jason Sangha, Mitchell Starc
Queensland: Usman Khawaja (c), Xavier Bartlett, Joe Burns, Brendan Doggett, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan McSweeney, Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Matthew Renshaw, Billy Stanlake, Bryce Street, Mitchell Swepson
Victoria v South Australia in Melbourne
Victoria: Peter Handscomb (c), Scott Boland, Travis Dean, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Jon Holland, Nic Maddinson, Jonathan Merlo, Todd Murphy, James Pattinson, Mitch Perry, James Seymour, Will Sutherland
South Australia: TBC