There are some fine fast bowlers, most notably James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who will feature in the Sheffield Shield final. And they will need to be at their best to prosper, with the captains of Victoria and Western Australia both predicting tough conditions for them at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena for the match starting on Saturday.
“I just had my first look at the wicket and I don’t think the bowlers from either team are going to be happy with what they see,” said WA captain Adam Voges. “It means it’s probably going to be a fight and a grind for five days. That isn’t a bad thing for us.
“I think we’ve shown throughout this season our fighting qualities at different times when things get tough, so hopefully we can get into a scrap with them over the next five days.”
Victoria captain Matthew Wade said the pitch, which was used during the recent stint of World Cup matches at the venue, was “drier than what we’re used to”.
The Bushrangers are confident veteran Chris Rogers, who is highly likely to retire from the shield after this season, would play despite the grade-one glute strain he suffered last Saturday while batting.
“He got put through his paces today. He’s pulled up really well. We’ll probably just sleep on it and wait and see how he goes overnight, but it’s all looking good for him,” Wade said.
The Bushrangers captain credited the role of his bowlers in the Bushrangers’ progressing from last to first this season. After collectively claiming 118 wickets at an average of 42.39 last season they have this season taken 160 at 28.32.
Wade also highlighted the impact of the three young players who have earned first-choice status this season: Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis and Scott Boland.
“I think our younger players have stood up. Stoinis, Handscomb and Boland have had terrific years. Petey Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis would have to be close to Australia A selection, if not pushing for Australian selection, after this World Cup,” he said.
“Going from last to first, those younger players have made a huge difference, and our experienced players have definitely played a lot better.”
In addition to the pitch conditions, Wade said the quality of WA’s batting line-up, led by shield player of the season Voges, would provide the Bushrangers’ bowlers with a stiff challenge.
“Three or four of their players are averaging above 60 so we’ve got to bowl well enough to dismiss them twice,” he said.
Wade said the imminent departure of coach Greg Shipperd, disclosed to the players earlier this month and then publicly on Friday, would motivate Victoria.
“‘Shippy’ has been with me since the start of my career … he’s going to be sorely missed, but I think he understands where the organisation are coming from,” he said.
“We’d just love to win a shield final for him and get him the respect he deserves.”
VICTORIA (from): Matthew Wade (c), Fawad Ahmed, Scott Boland, Daniel Christian, Peter Handscomb, John Hastings, Jon Holland, David Hussey, Rob Quiney, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Siddle.WA (from): Adam Voges (c), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Tom Beaton, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Marcus Harris, Michael Klinger, Simon Mackin, Shaun Marsh, David Moody, Nate Rimmington, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.