Matador Cup preview: South Australia

We're previewing each of the sides in the lead-up to the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, starting with the youthful Redbacks

South Australia

The squad: Callum Ferguson (c), Wes Agar, Tom Andrews, Nicholas Benton, Alex Carey, Tom Cooper, Michael Cormack, Alex Gregory, Jake Lehmann, Tim Ludeman, Kane Richardson, Alex Ross, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald.

Best XI (possible): Weatherald, Ludeman, Ferguson, Cooper, Lehmann, Ross, Gregory, Richardson, Andrews, Valente, Benton.

Who they're missing: Unusually for South Australia in recent times, they're set to suffer at the hands of national selection; Travis Head, Adam Zampa and uncapped quicks Joe Mennie and Daniel Worrall are all in South Africa with the Australia ODI side.

Matador Cup: Full schedule

The inside word, with paceman Kane Richardson: "We're going to be pretty depleted with Joe, Daniel and Zampa gone. But it's a good opportunity for a couple of young kids and I'm looking forward to leading the attack – it's going to be a pretty big challenge against some very good batting line-ups. We had that underdog mentality in last year's tournament and we wanted to prove a few people wrong, which we did. We've still got Callum Ferguson running around, Tom Cooper, and the rest are young kids who are capable of anything, which is exciting. There probably won't be a lot of expectation around us but there wasn't last season, either. You never know what can happen in one-day cricket."

The talking point: A raw bowling group. Sheffield Shield regular Chadd Sayers was a surprising omission from an attack that will be led by Richardson and boasts little else in the way of List A experience. Left-arm orthodox spinner Tom Andrews is a Darwin product who bowled well in last year's tournament, taking nine wickets, while on the pace front, Nick Benton, Cameron Valente and Wes Agar, the younger brother of Ashton, look set to battle it out for two spots alongside Richardson. Michael Cormack is an off-spin option while allrounder Alex Gregory's medium-pacers could help him earn a start in the XI.

The 2015 result: Runners up. The Redbacks were unfancied last Matador Cup but defied the odds to make a charge to the final, where they were beaten by a star-studded New South Wales outfit. Head hit a double century early on in an incredible run chase against WA, while experienced pair Ferguson and Cooper both passed 300 runs for the tournament. Richardson was the standout quick, taking 15 wickets, while Australia leg-spinner Zampa snared 11.

The Redbacks after their final loss to NSW in last year's Matador Cup // Getty
The Redbacks after their final loss to NSW in last year's Matador Cup // Getty

The young gun: Jake Weatherald is another Darwin product who impressed in last summer's Shield final – just his fourth first-class match – with scores of 66 and 96. At 21, the left-handed opener's future looks particularly bright, and his aggressive style appears well-suited to the 50-over game.

Weatherald succumbs to triple-figure lure in Shield final

The pressure on: Ferguson is captaining the Redbacks in Head's stead and the stylish right-hand batsman is also returning from a lengthy layoff owing to a knee reconstruction. The 31-year-old is a composed character and will need to be if he's to effectively manage an inexperienced bowling group through what is always a highly-competitive tournament. With the bat, Ferguson has hit the ground running, posting a century in Premier Cricket recently as he continues to harbour ambitions for a return to national colours.

Ferguson will captain the Redbacks in this season's Matador Cup // Getty
Ferguson will captain the Redbacks in this season's Matador Cup // Getty

The fixtures:

October 2 v Western Australia, WACA, Perth

October 5 v Victoria, WACA, Perth

October 9 v Queensland, WACA, Perth

October 12 v New South Wales, Drummoyne Oval, Sydney

October 15 v Cricket Australia XI, Hurstville Oval, Sydney

October 19 v Tasmania, Hurstville Oval, Sydney

2016 Matador BBQs One-Day Cup - broadcast matches:

Oct 5: SA v Vic, WACA Ground.

Oct 6: WA v Qld, WACA Ground.

Oct 7: NSW v CA XI, Hurstville Oval (free live stream on and the CA Live App only).

Oct 8: WA v Vic, WACA Ground.

Oct 9: NSW v Tas, Hurstville Oval (free live stream on and the CA Live App only).

Oct 9: QLD v SA, WACA Ground.

Oct 12: SA v NSW, Drummoyne Oval.

Oct 13: Vic v Tas, North Sydney Oval.

Oct 14: Qld v NSW (D/N), Drummoyne Oval.

Oct 15: Tas v WA, North Sydney Oval.

Oct 16: NSW v Vic (D/N), North Sydney Oval.

Oct 18: Vic v Qld, Drummoyne Oval.

Oct 19: NSW v WA, North Sydney Oval.

Oct 21: Qualifying final, (D/N), Drummoyne Oval.

Oct 23: Final, North Sydney Oval.

All broadcast matches will be shown live and free on GEM, except for the final, which will be shown live and free on Channel Nine. Matches broadcast on the Nine Network can also be live streamed on and the CA Live App with a CA Live Pass.

Meg Lanning Steve Smith