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HomeAshesIs the make up of the Australia team more clear?

Is the make up of the Australia team more clear?

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Last Updated on 7 years by Charbel Coorey

An eventful second round of the Sheffield Shield has come to an end, with New South Wales and Queensland winning, and Victoria/South Australia playing out a thrilling draw.

The three Sheffield Shield rounds before the Ashes are an audition for places in the Australian batting lineup. Some positions are more open that they have ever been before. 
After two rounds, are we more clear on the make up of the side? Who has stepped up and who hasn’t?
This piece will go through each of the key candidates for a Test spot, rate their performance and their chances of a call up to the Test side.

New South Wales v Western Australia

What a game this was. 
Shaun Marsh and Cameron Bancroft put on 179 for the 1st wicket against the Australian attack, and it all went downhill from there. Beware, England – Mitchell Starc is on fire, taking two hat tricks in the match to lead New South Wales to a last-gasp win in Hurstville.
On the batting front, how did the key candidates go?
Daniel Hughes (NSW): Hughes has been spoken about as a potential option for Australia in the middle order, but didn’t have his best game, scoring 25 and 1. It will take something extraordinary from him in NSW’s next game for him to be considered for selection. For now, he will almost certainly miss out.
Peter Nevill (NSW): Nevill looked solid on the first day in challenging batting conditions, batting good time for his 32. There are plenty of calls for Nevill to take the gloves in the first Ashes Test, but he needs to convert his starts. In three innings this season, he has scored 20, 32 and 11*. His place in the Australia team is still uncertain, but a good third game can get him over the line.
Peter Nevill looked solid for his 32 but chased a wide one

Cameron Bancroft (WA): Other than Steven Smith, Cameron Bancroft was the best performer in this match. He showed patience and courage to bat through undefeated in WA’s first innings, and was also superb with Shaun Marsh in the second. Opening the batting against the Australian attack, his performance definitely has the selectors looking at him for that wicketkeeping role in the 1st Ashes Test.

Shaun Marsh (WA): There is a good possibility that Shaun Marsh will be opening the batting come November 23. He has been in good form recently – in his last three First Class matches, dating back to September in England, he has scored 78, 125* 63, 11, 2 and 91. He had NSW nervous with a brilliant 91 in the second innings. He has held his hand up the highest so far.

Shaun Marsh & Cameron Bancroft can’t be ignored

Hilton Cartwright (WA): The worst possible game for Hilton, making a pair. Can’t see him getting into the Australia side.

Victoria v South Australia:

A thrilling draw played out in Melbourne.
Throughout the match, there were strong performances from Ashes candidates:
Glenn Maxwell (VIC): Maxi did his chances of a no.6 Ashes spot for Australia no harm with two fifties. I was particularly impressed with his first innings effort, where he showed maturity and patience to bat 113 balls for his 60. After a scratchy first game against Queensland, he needs one more solid outing v Tasmania at the MCG for selection.
Glenn Maxwell staked his claim for an Ashes call up
Peter Handcomb (VIC): Pete Hanscomb is almost certain to line up for Australia, given the really promising start he’s made to his Test career. However, he has a habit of not converting starts – his last three innings in Shield cricket – 34, 43, 58. Something to work on.
Jake Lehmann (SA): Can “baby-boof” be ignored? What a game he had. 103 and 93 represents a special game but the selectors need to ask themselves if his dashing approach is what is wanted in the middle order. If the answer is yes, then his chances of a call up are high as he outplayed Glenn Maxwell in this game, even though Australia may want to give Maxwell the first chance. An average of 44.00 in 29 First-Class matches suggests Lehmann would not be out of place in the Australia XI.
Jake Lehmann had a great game v Victoria

Callum Ferguson (SA): A year ago, Callum Ferguson made his Test debut and was unlucky not to get another chance. He put his name in the spotlight here with a brilliant 182* in the 2nd innings. However, he needs a big third game v WA in Perth as he’s had two single figure scores and a 36 in his other innings so far.

Tasmania v Queensland

A tough game for the batsmen in Hobart. Not sure if you’ll see many Ashes candidates get a call up from this game:
Matthew Wade (TAS): Wade’s poor form continued with scores of 9 and 17. He looks shot for confidence at the moment – he needs something like a double hundred to put him in contention for a place.
Matthew Renshaw (QLD): Another incumbent struggling at the moment. Renshaw toiled for 125 balls in this match, scoring just 20 runs. More time in Shield cricket might be better for young Renshaw to help him find his form again.
Wade and Renshaw are both struggling for runs
Joe Burns (QLD): Solid 70 in the second innings, which was the highest score in the match. However, Burns has not been scoring enough runs in recent times to warrant a call up.
Usman Khawaja (QLD): Having a really solid season so far with scores of 40, 122, 27 and 28*. His brilliant record in Australia means he is a must for the first Ashes Test.
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Predicted Australia team after two rounds of Shield action:
1. David Warner
2. Shaun Marsh
3. Usman Khawaja
4. Steven Smith (c)
5. Peter Handscomb
6. Glenn Maxwell
7. Peter Nevill (wk)
8. Mitchell Starc
9. Pat Cummins
10. Nathan Lyon
11. Josh Hazlewood
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Is there any player I’ve missed who you feel should be in the Australia side. Leave a comment!
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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