South Australia sits in sixth spot without a win on the series table but still has time to turn its season around.
Although the Redbacks’ 0-4-2 record doesn’t look pretty on paper, the side has put itself into winning positions in multiple matches without capitalising for outright points.
Drawn matches at home against New South Wales and Queensland presented early opportunities, while brilliant individual performances from Western Australia’s Shaun Marsh and Tasmanian duo Jordan Silk and Jackson Bird also rid the Redbacks of their momentum.
Ladder leader Victoria is a strong favourite to feature in its fourth Shield final from the last five seasons. The Vics are more than eight points clear at the top of the table with three wins from six matches.
Second-placed New South Wales and fifth-placed Tasmania are separated by less than four points, underlining just how tight the table is heading into the pointy end of the season.
Teams will compete with the English-made Dukes ball in another intriguing ingredient added for the remainder of the Shield fixture, introduced to prepare players for this year’s Ashes series.
With six points on offer for outright victory plus bonus points available to reward aggressive play, South Australia can still launch back up the ladder in the final four matches if the Redbacks’ can pair their effort and intent with consistency and composure.
The Redbacks host 2017-18 runner-up Tasmania at Adelaide Oval from Saturday. Play begins daily from 10:30am. Public entry is free.