Marsh One-Day Cup 2021-22
Strong WA side eager to end Shield drought
A deep Western Australian men's squad is eyeing off a long-awaited Sheffield Shield crown
21 September 2021, 12:41 PM AEST
Western Australia are primed to launch their tilt at ending a Marsh Sheffield Shield drought that has now extended to 21 seasons, but will start their summer with a one-day game in Adelaide.
WA will have their World Cup squad members Mitch Marsh, Ashton Agar and Josh Inglis available for Wednesday's Marsh One-Day Cup opener, with Inglis set to back up and play the Shield fixture two days later before flying off to the UAE for the World Cup.
The visitors will be without Marcus Stoinis, who is at the IPL, and the injured Aaron Hardie, but otherwise have a fully fit squad and Jhye Richardson's decision to skip the IPL means he is in line to play his first Shield game since November 2019.
Inglis' selection in Australia's T20 World Cup squad will mean long-awaited red-ball opportunities as a wicketkeeper-batter will arrive for Josh Philippe some 18 months on from his last first-class fixture.
And young spinner Corey Rocchiccioli will be in line for a Shield debut as the state's front-line spinner while Agar is away, although Ashton Turner and D'Arcy Short should provide enough slow bowling in the Marsh Cup games.
The state has enjoyed a pre-season largely unaffected by the pandemic, playing a series of white-ball practice matches before a three-day red-ball contest last week, but are bracing for the uncertainty interstate travel will bring.
"I'm really keen to avoid quarantine as much as we possibly can, but understand that we've got obligations to try and make the season go as best we possibly can," head coach Adam Voges told cricket.com.au.
"I think if we do learn the lessons from last year it's that if we can avoid quarantines, that's really important, or certainly an important consideration.
"But we are keen to play, we're keen to get a season in, so we'll do what we need to.
"We know we've got these games against South Australia coming up. What it looks beyond that, we're not actually sure."
WA will again look to open with Sam Whiteman and Cameron Bancroft in Shield cricket with Shaun Marsh at No.3 ahead of Cameron Green.
Hilton Cartwright, Ashton Turner, D'Arcy Short and Philippe are all in contention to fill middle-order roles in the Shield set-up, but Josh Inglis is expected to take the gloves for the opening round after striking a century in the three-day practice match.
Richardson will lead a pace attack with Joel Paris, Cameron Gannon, Matt Kelly, Liam Guthrie and Lance Morris vying for berths.
In the Marsh Cup, WA will bring in Jason Behrendorff and Andrew Tye to their attack, while Whiteman made a play for inclusion after striking an impressive ton opening in a practice match.
Squad: Ashton Agar*, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Cooper Connolly, Sam Fanning, Cameron Gannon, Jayden Goodwin, Cameron Green*, Liam Guthrie, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Bryce Jackson, Matthew Kelly, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, David Moody, Lance Morris, Joel Paris, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson*, Corey Rocchiccioli, D'Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman. * = Cricket Australia contract
Sheffield Shield: Third.
One-Day Cup: Second.
Fixtures (to date)
24-27 September: Sheffield Shield v South Australia, Karen Rolton Oval, 10.30am AEST
The inside word with head coach Adam Voges
"We've had a strong pre-season, which has been really nice, we've got some strong availability, so it's more about trying to fit everyone in.
"Josh Inglis is dead keen to play as much as he can coming out of quarantine after his trip to the UK, he's been back home two weeks now, and scored a hundred in our red-ball practice game so he's going really well.
"Cameron Green has had a bit of a stop-start pre-season, he copped two weeks home quarantine post the CA camp in Brisbane, he also got sick and spent a week and a half at home.
"But around those things, he's trained really strongly, scored a hundred in a practice game and has done some really good work with his bowling.
"I imagine that we'll still have some guidelines around what he does with the ball. As an allrounder, you don't expect them to have the same workload as your out-and-out bowlers anyway.
"But I think what we'll see is some more flexibility and potentially higher numbers in what Cam can do in-game.
"We learned some good lessons last year around just being able to roll with the punches as best you can, to plan and then be flexible enough to be able to change those plans.
"We'll be prepared for whatever the season throws at us. There's no doubt there's going to be plenty of challenges and we're just going to have to be able to be flexible with what comes our way."
"Only Marcus Stoinis is away with the IPL, and Aaron Hardie is unavailable after having elbow surgery. But outside of that we've got full availability to choose from for the squad (for the opening fixtures against SA).
"Our World Cup contingent of Mitch Marsh, Ashton Agar and Josh Inglis are all available for the Marsh Cup rounds until they leave, but there's discussion around the potential involvement in the Shield game.
"Hardie battled with his elbow for a fair majority of last season and it got to a point where he was really quite sore at the back end of the year.
"We were hopeful that with an extended period of time off, that would be able to resolve the issue but unfortunately, it hasn't been able to so he's gone in and had some minor surgery in the last month to clean a few things up.
"We're hopeful that he'll return as a batter in the next three weeks, and then fully as an allrounder within the next couple of months.
"This is just a minor setback. We obviously regard Aaron really highly as an all-round cricketer. So hopefully, the surgery does what it's intended to and fixes the problem once and for all and he can get a really clear run at consistent cricket."
"We don't expect to see much of Ashton Agar this summer, so we'll give some good opportunities to Corey Rocchiccioli this year.
"He's a tall right-arm off spinner who gets good shape on the ball, gets good revs on the ball.
"He reminds me a little bit of Nathan Lyon. If he turns out to be half as good as Gaz he'll be going really well.
"He's still learning his craft, and that's what we're really excited about – he could potentially become a really important part of our teams in all formats.
"He's been up to Darwin this winter and played in the series there, so he's managed to get some good cricket under his belt.
"He's just looking for some opportunity and I'm sure he's going get that at different times this year."
"If you saw Shaun Marsh moving around in the practice games you wouldn't think he's 38 years old. He's still going really well.
"He's still got real hunger and desire to play to play well for WA and and he's obviously been the domestic player of the year the last couple of years.
"He's been outstanding for our group, and we'll look to him fill that leadership role, particularly in Shield cricket with Mitch being away, so he's going to be important again for us."