Captain Travis Head
Coach Jason Gillespie
R=Rookie, CA=Australia contract
Wes Agar, Jordan Buckingham, Kyle Brazell (R), Aiden Cahill (R), Alex Carey (CA), Bailey Capel (R), Jake Carder, Harry Conway, Brendan Doggett, Daniel Drew, David Grant, Travis Head (CA) Isaac Higgins (R), Henry Hunt, Spencer Johnson, Thomas Kelly, Ryan King (R), Jake Lehmann, Nathan McAndrew, Nathan McSweeney, Ben Manenti, Harry Mathias (R), Harry Nielsen, Lloyd Pope, Liam Scott, Henry Thornton, Jake Weatherald, Nick Winter
Harry Conway has some big shoes to fill, effectively replacing Dan Worrall who now plays for Surrey as a local and will not be returning to Australian state cricket. Sam Kerber, Corey Kelly and Ryan Gibson were released. It will be interesting to see Henry Thornton earn a contract after impressing for Adelaide Strikers in the BBL and then in a handful of Marsh Cup outings for Victoria, while Ben Manenti got off to a good start in the Marsh Cup.
Finally. In the final game of the competition, South Australia won their first Shield match in over two years when they chased 326 on the final day against New South Wales. Until then, it had been a season of small games amid defeats to Western Australia and Queensland. After making 492 in the opening game – a high-scoring tie against WA – they crossed the 300 mark only once in their remaining first innings.
Henry Hunt marked himself as one of the rising stars in Australian percussion with 610 runs at 42.92, including three centuries last season, followed by another hundred for Australia A in Sri Lanka. It won’t be long before the Test sides need at least one new opener and another strong summer should keep Hunt firmly in the frame. Two years after his Shield debut, Daniel Drew deserved another chance and marked it with a first century against Victoria. Liam Scott remains the makings of a promising all-rounder: the batting has yet to begin, but he took 13 wickets at 8.15pm last season.
Travis Head and Alex Carey should be available until at least mid-November, which will add significant power to the battle lineup. However, both will be in India when the league resumes in February unless Head’s poor return in Sri Lanka costs him a spot, but dropping out of the roster seems unlikely. Head averaged 44.00 in his six games last season, but Carey only came to 19.88 in his six appearances. It’s unlikely anyone else will push for international strife in South Australia unless a batting-injury crisis hits and takes Hunt further into the equation or Nathan McAndrew is further from Australia A.