Victoria are looking to their Sheffield Shield match against South Australia as an opportunity to both buttress their position atop the table at the halfway mark of the season and also for revenge against the Redbacks for eliminating them from the Matador Cup.
“It’s pretty tight among second, third and fourth … so if we win this it’ll set up a decent gap,” the Bushrangers’ Glenn Maxwell said, of the match against the second-placed Redbacks starting at the MCG on Sunday.
“South Australia had the better of us during the Matador, outplayed us in those two games … their bowling attack just had something over us. We’ve got a bit of work to do to turn the tables on them.”
Victoria regain Josh Hastings from a shoulder injury that has sidelined him from their past three matches, while SA are unchanged.
Bushrangers opener Travis Dean enjoyed a record-breaking start to his first-class career, making 154 not out, 109 not out and 84 in his first three innings. His next three, however, have produced only 25 runs, with the 23-year-old falling for a golden duck in the second innings of their match last week away to Western Australia.
Maxwell reckoned Dean’s recent experience had demonstrated that “first-class cricket isn’t the easiest thing in the world”.
“I can imagine what he was going through after those first two games – they were incredible innings, and to show that amount of patience was absolutely outstanding and showed his maturity,” Maxwell said. “He’s got a couple of good balls since, but you can just tell by the way he’s training that he’s ready to go. He’s got a really good head on his shoulders. I don’t think it’s going to affect him too much.”
Victorian fast bowler Scott Boland will play in the match, despite being named as a standby member of Australia’s squad for the first Test against the West Indies. Should one of Australia’s fast bowlers be ruled out of the match, starting next Thursday at Blundstone Arena, due to injury or workload, Boland will fly to Hobart and be replaced in the Bushrangers’ line-up.
VICTORIA (from): Aaron Finch (c), Fawad Ahmed, Scott Boland, Dan Christian, Travis Dean, Peter Handscomb, John Hastings, Glenn Maxwell, Clint Mckay, Rob Quiney, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Tremain.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA (from): Travis Head (c), Nick Benton, Tom Cooper, Mark Cosgrove, Callum Ferguson, Jake Lehmann, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Alex Ross, Chadd Sayers, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa.
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