South Australia is fresh off a strong four-day performance against Western Australia that was up for grabs until the final ball of the contest, with the end result a thrilling draw. Travis Head continued his fine run of form in that fixture, notching his maiden first-class double century. The skipper has now compiled 693 runs in the Shield season to date, the most of any player, at an average of 77.
NSW currently sit second in the standings after taking two wins, one loss and two draws from their five games to date. International stars Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon and David Warner are all expected to take their places within the NSW side captained by Peter Nevill.
Moises Henriques leads the way with the bat for NSW so far this season with 549 runs to his name at an average of 68.62. Batting at four for the Blues, Henriques already has three centuries, including a 167 and a 141. With the ball, Nathan Lyon has the most wickets for NSW, with his total of 21 just two behind the competition leader, Queensland's Mitch Swepson.
For the Redbacks, opening batsman Jake Weatherald and spinner Joe Medew-Ewen come into the squad that pushed Western Australia until the final ball, with Will Bosisto and Corey Kelly omitted. Both Weatherald and Medew-Ewen performed strongly for the Redbacks XI last week, forcing their way into the squad for the huge clash against NSW.
Speaking ahead of the clash, Redbacks Head Coach Jason Gillespie saw plenty of positives from his side’s performances in the west.
“The game in Perth was a really good example of what we are capable of. To score runs in the first innings, to go big and put a significant score on the board… and then bowl really well. I thought our lines and lengths were consistently better than the opposition, which is a sign of progress for me.”
Gillespie also spoke about the inclusion of left-arm wrist spinner Medew-Ewen.
“He’s performed well for Port Adelaide in Premier Cricket and he has taken a number of second team wickets, so he thoroughly deserves his opportunity. We are delighted to be able to offer him a chance on merit.”
The Redbacks last played a Shield clash at Adelaide Oval in March 2020, welcoming Victoria to the iconic stadium. Daniel Worrall was the pick of the bowlers during the contest, while Head and Harry Nielsen rallied in the final innings with the bat, but Victoria claimed the victory deep into the final session of the fourth day’s play.
The Redbacks Marsh Sheffield Shield clash against NSW runs from Saturday 5 March – Tuesday 8 March, with play commencing at 10.30am each morning. Entry is free for all fans, with food and beverage options available throughout the day’s play.
Travis Head (c)
Alex Carey (wk)
Peter Nevill (c)