Australia’s summer of cricket kicks off with the JLT One-Day Cup tomorrow at Allan Border Field in Brisbane where the CA XI and South Australia will open the tournament.
South Australia are tipped to take the points in this one, the CA XI have a development-type squad that has a lot of youth which can be easily exposed against the State teams. They were so badly exposed last year that they didn’t win a game for the entire tournament, finishing dead-last which wasn’t a huge surprise in all honestly. It’ll be another challenging year for them in terms of winning games, they’re up against some pretty stiff competition with state veterans that have seen it all, along with some future stars aspiring to make the national team. For many avid cricket followers, there would be very-little recognizable names apart from Queensland’s Mark Steketee who also represents the Brisbane Heat in the BBL. The CA XI have lost former captain Will Bosisto, Josh Inglis, Sam Harper, Matt Short, Ryan Gibson and Arjun Nair who all played a crucial part in last years Matador Cup. They will seek guidance from former Australian batsman Matthew Elliott who will coach the side in this years JLT One-Day Cup, a wealth of knowledge & experience should hold the CA XI in good stead. Max Bryant looks a promising prospect at the top of the order for the CA XI after he scored a fluent-67 for the Australian Under 19’s side against Sri Lanka’s youth team in Hobart earlier this year. Some more youth is expected to rise to the challenge in the batting order with Param Uppal who scored a century in the first under 19’s youth ODI and Jonathan Merlo who looks like a promising lower order batsman. Tasmania’s Beau Webster should be a handy inclusion for the CA XI, the 23-year-old represented the Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL last year which included an unbeaten 67 against the Strikers at Adelaide Oval. Mark Steketee and Victoria’s Jackson Coleman look set to lead the CA XI’s bowling attack this year.
The Redbacks have an array of talent in their side despite the absence of Travis Head, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa who are all currently representing Australia in India. I really like the look of South Australia’s opening combination, two very-attacking batsmen who can strike the ball just as cleanly as anyone in the competition which makes both Jake Weatherald and Alex Carey massive threats against an inexperienced CA XI. The batting doesn’t slacken off after those two, the likes of Callum Ferguson, Tom Cooper and Alex Ross are all notable prolific scorers in domestic cricket and can’t be given any free lives by the fielding team, they’ll score heavily if the CA XI don’t make the most of their opportunists early. The most dangerous of the three has to be Alex Ross though, he’s a prototype of Australia’s Glenn Maxwell with his erratic shot selection at times which tends to score most of his boundaries, his specialty is the slog-sweep which has been on display quite a few times in the BBL. His unique stroke-play is accompanied by a solid technique, while Ross likes to sweep anything & everything, he can play every shot in the book when the opportunity is there which makes him an X factor for the Redbacks in the middle order. All-rounder Cameron Valente had a very-productive Matador Cup last year with both bat & ball and should feature regularly in this line-up once again. There’s no doubting that South Australia’s strength is in the batting department, the bowling is a bit light with the likes of Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa missing from the squad.
Top 5 fantasy picks | CA XI | JLT Cup | 1st match | Brisbane
- Beau Webster
- Mark Steketee
- Param Uppal
- Max Bryant
- Jackson Coleman
Top 5 fantasy picks | South Australia | JLT Cup | 1st match | Brisbane
- Alex Carey
- Callum Ferguson
- Cameron Valente
- Joe Mennie
- Jake Weatherald
CA XI (possible) – 1. Max Bryant 2. Jake Carder 3. Param Uppal 4. Clint Hinchliffe 5. Beau Webster 6. Harry Nielsen (wk) 7. Jonathan Merlo 8. Mac Wright 9. Mark Steketee 10. Henry Thornton/Daniel Fallins 11. Jackson Coleman.
South Australia (possible) – 1. Jake Weatherald 2. Alex Carey (wk) 3. Callum Ferguson (c) 4. Tom Cooper 5. Alex Ross 6. Jake Lehmann 7. Cameron Valente 8. Joe Mennie 9. Tom Andrews 10. Daniel Worrall 11. Nick Winter.