India calling: Whats at stake in the Sheffield Shield this week

India calling: What\s at stake in the Sheffield Shield this week

Sheffield Shield: Aaron Finchs opening call new dawn for subservient states

While Australia's 14-man Test squad for next week's first Test against India has been named, there is still plenty to play for in the last round of Sheffield Shield matches before the blue-chip series of the summer begins.

The frontline pace attack of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood has been rested but the uncertainty surrounding the batting line up means there is plenty of intrigue in the three Shield matches, beginning on Tuesday.

Warner trains with Aussie bowlers David Warner has batted against Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in the SCG nets, under the eye of Australian coach Justin Langer.12 hours ago00:32 Australia celebrates WT20 triumph The Women's World Twenty20 trophy is back in Australian hands after the Southern Stars beat England in the tournament final. 12 hours ago00:23Kohli finishes the dealVirat Kohli slams a boundary off Andrew Tye to give India a six wicket win in the third T2021 hours ago00:25 Taylor also took aim at Warne’s comments that Victoria needed to put the interests of the national side first, suggesting that such an approach would represent a change of thinking from the side that has won the Sheffield Shield in three of the last four years.

Usman KhawajaThe Bulls skipper will step out for the first time since he tore a meniscus while warming up during the second Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi. The silky left-hander will be keen to prove his fitness with at least one long innings. Australian coach-selector Justin Langer says Khawaja could yet retain his opening role in the Test side, rather than slip back to his customary No.3 spot, where he has had so much success in Australia.

“That’s interesting that Warney should say that, because over a number of years Victoria have been more focused on winning trophies at state level than other states have been, and it’s worked out well for them because they won the Sheffield Shield three years in a row before last summer,” Taylor said.

Aaron FinchWill finally get to play red-ball cricket after a month leading his country in one-day and Twenty20 internationals. Does not open for Victoria but Shane Warne has been vocal in calling for him to head to the top of the order as that is where he will bat come the first Test in Adelaide. Has tinkered with his technique to deal with the swinging red ball. Has had a miserable run since the Test series against Pakistan, reaching double figures only four times (top score 41) in his past 10 innings, and will be desperate for big knock.

Peter HandscombWhile he is in the Test squad, it seems he needs a big score in Brisbane to perhaps bump Travis Head and force his way into the XI. Thumped a century against South Australia earlier this month but had two failures against Tasmania in Hobart. Should he fire against the Bulls, the No.4 Test spot could be his.

“He’s been playing T20 matches for the last couple of weeks, but performances there don’t make a lot of difference in my opinion. It has little bearing on what he’ll be doing at the Adelaide Oval next week.

Marcus HarrisLanger has declared he likes the synergy Finch and Khawaja have had as an opening combination but why would Harris have been picked for Adelaide if it wasn't to open? Has an unbeaten 250 against NSW and two half-centuries in his past five knocks and will be keen to rubber-stamp his Test spot against the Bulls.

Finch is likely to open for Australia in next week’s first Test against India in Adelaide, but won’t be at the top of the order for Victoria this week, with Marcus Harris and Travis Dean expected to occupy the positions.

Chris TremainThe leading wicket-taker in the Shield last season, the lanky quick has enjoyed a strong start to the summer and deserves his Test call up. Almost certainly won't play in Adelaide but will be keen to ensure he is the next man in should there be an injury leading into the series opener on Thursday week.

Peter SiddleThe consummate professional, Siddle is in the Test squad as much for his ability to do a job with the ball as for his veteran nous and strong locker-room presence. Like Tremain, almost certainly won't play in Adelaide unless the hosts unexpectedly field four frontline quicks but a strong performance at the Gabba could have him edge Tremain as the next man in.

“Some people say that’s a good thing. One of the reasons Pat Howard is no longer at Cricket Australia is because some people believed he focused too much on the Australian outcome and not enough on state cricket.

Matthew RenshawOverlooked for Adelaide, the Bulls opener needs a big score to begin the road back and remain in Test calculations should the incumbents be hurt or struggle.

That decision caused Warne to label his former side a “disgrace,” calling for “common sense” to prevail and Victoria to “do what’s best for Australia.”

Glenn MaxwellReady to play his first Shield match … since March, because of international short-form selection. Needs to readjust and find a way to produce a long innings that the selectors have been demanding.

“There’s word that Finch will bat at three for Victoria, which is OK. What he needs more than anything is good runs in first-class cricket to get his confidence up for the first Test.

Mitch MarshHas scores of 151, 1 and 44 in his first three first-class knocks since a dire series against Pakistan. While he is Test vice-captain, he was fortunate to retain his spot. Has three wickets in the two Shield games and will hope to head to Adelaide on the back of a strong all-round performance.

Shaun MarshFinds a way to survive when under fire and has done that this summer, with a crisp century against South Africa in the one-day international in Hobart and an unbeaten 163 against South Australia last week. Will look to maintain that groove.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s a disgrace. I don’t think it’s quite that important,” Taylor told Wide World of Sports.

Nathan LyonComing off a match haul of nine wickets against Queensland in Canberra (and a 4-88 in his previous innings against Tasmania), Australia's greatest off-spinner will seek maintain his bowling "shape" – and hope to avoid injury.

Marcus StoinisThe robust all-rounder, dubbed the Hulk, remains firmly in Test calculations but is likely to need Mitch Marsh to get hurt or be injured to force his way into the squad.

Travis HeadThe Redbacks skipper impressed during his debut Test series, against Pakistan, but had endured a tough run to start the summer before his 87 against WA last week. Has the support of Warne to retain his spot against India. Hes a good young player … to me, Head got a 60-odd in the UAE and done OK so I hope he gets the nod for that first Test match," Warne said. That being said, Handscomb could yet pinch Head's spot.

Tim PaineThe Australian skipper will seek to fine-tune his glove work and have a solid innings with the bat – while avoiding finger injuries.

Jon Pierik is a sports writer with The Age, focusing primarily on AFL football, cricket and basketball. He has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.

Finch is poised to open the batting alongside Victorian teammate Marcus Harris in the first Test against India starting December 6.

But the partnership wont be replicated in the final Sheffield Shield hit-out before the first Test, with Finch to bat at No.3 against Queensland at the Gabba.

The ladder-leaders will retain their established opening partnership of Harris and Travis Dean – a decision spin king Shane Warne labelled a disgrace.

Finch has publicly accepted his fate but debate continues to rage about whether Victoria coach Andrew McDonald should fall in line with national counterpart Justin Langer and skipper Tim Paine ahead of a crucial Test series.

Relations between the states and CA were scrutinised in the Longstaff review which criticised interventions in the Shield and said CAs high-performance unit had been given virtual carte blanche in its quest to produce a winning national team.

Unfortunately, the focus on winning and the success of the Australian mens team has pushed the rest of Australian cricket into a subservient role, the report stated.

The sensibilities of Sheffield Shield teams can be overridden … not for the benefit of the Shield side but for that of the national team.

There is a sense that the recent turmoil at CA has emboldened the states to be more assertive in their dealings with the governing body, as exemplified by the loss of support for chairman David Peever which prompted his resignation.

Limited-overs captain Finch is set to represent Australia across all three formats this summer, a feat only David Warner achieved last season. Finch scored 181 runs at 45 as a Test opener in the UAE but facing the new ball in Australian conditions is a different challenge altogether to the docile decks of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Questions remain about how Finch will fare against the moving ball given his limited success when trialled as an opener for Victoria.

Finch on Monday said he had not faced a red ball since the Pakistan Tests but was not concerned where he batted for Victoria.

Having (opened the batting) for such a long time in the shorter forms, I dont think it makes too much of a difference, Finch told SEN radio.

I havent batted with Marcus Harris a huge amount of times so thatd be nice … (but) time in the middle is going to be the most important thing leading into that first Test.

Victorias refusal to bat Aaron Finch as an opener has highlighted the conflicting interests of state and nation amid recent turmoil at Cricket Australia.

Finch is poised to open the batting alongside Victorian teammate Marcus Harris in the first Test against India starting December 6.

But the partnership wont be replicated in the final Sheffield Shield hit-out before the first Test, with Finch to bat at No.3 against Queensland at the Gabba.

The ladder-leaders will retain their established opening partnership of Harris and Travis Dean – a decision spin king Shane Warne labelled a disgrace.

Finch has publicly accepted his fate but debate continues to rage about whether Victoria coach Andrew McDonald should fall in line with national counterpart Justin Langer and skipper Tim Paine ahead of a crucial Test series.

Relations between the states and CA were scrutinised in the Longstaff review which criticised interventions in the Shield and said CAs high-performance unit had been given virtual carte blanche in its quest to produce a winning national team.

Unfortunately, the focus on winning and the success of the Australian mens team has pushed the rest of Australian cricket into a subservient role, the report stated.

The sensibilities of Sheffield Shield teams can be overridden … not for the benefit of the Shield side but for that of the national team.

There is a sense that the recent turmoil at CA has emboldened the states to be more assertive in their dealings with the governing body, as exemplified by the loss of support for chairman David Peever which prompted his resignation.

Limited-overs captain Finch is set to represent Australia across all three formats this summer, a feat only David Warner achieved last season. Finch scored 181 runs at 45 as a Test opener in the UAE but facing the new ball in Australian conditions is a different challenge altogether to the docile decks of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Questions remain about how Finch will fare against the moving ball given his limited success when trialled as an opener for Victoria.

Finch on Monday said he had not faced a red ball since the Pakistan Tests but was not concerned where he batted for Victoria.

Having (opened the batting) for such a long time in the shorter forms, I dont think it makes too much of a difference, Finch told SEN radio.

I havent batted with Marcus Harris a huge amount of times so thatd be nice … (but) time in the middle is going to be the most important thing leading into that first Test.

Cricket could feature at the 2022 Commonwealth Games after the International Cricket Council submitted an official bid on Monday.

The bid, which has been made in partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), is for the inclusion of T20 womens cricket in Birmingham.

The ICC said via a media release on Monday that the application for T20 womens cricket is part of the global strategy for cricket to inspire and empower women and girls around the world.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said: Creating a new partnership between womens cricket and the Commonwealth Games demonstrates the commitment both organisations have to growing womens sport and delivering greater equality, fairness and opportunity in sport across the Commonwealth.

This partnership has the potential to go way beyond a sporting event that can be enjoyed by hundreds of millions of fans in Birmingham, the UK and the rest of the world.

Theres a saying that you cant be it if you cant see it – imagine the impact of millions of young girls around the world watching womens cricket in the Commonwealth Games and being empowered with the knowledge that they too can play cricket, represent their country and compete on a global stage.

The old versus new battle being waged by Shane Warne and Usman Khawaja has swung in the formers favourite after another poor batting display by Australia.

India claimed a series-saving win in the third and final Twenty20 at the SCG last night after ripping through the Australian top-order with three wickets in six balls.

Australia ended its 20 overs at 6-164, with all but two of its wickets coming from questionable sweep shots to spinners Krunal Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav.

Khawaja had in the first match taken a dig at former players – such as Warne – for criticising batsmen who move around the crease and attempt high-risk shots such as ramps or lap sweeps.

Its expected. You train for it, you play for it, you do it all the time, Khawaja said on Fox Cricket of the new shots batsmen attempt.

I hear you guys talking a lot about the classic cricket shots. The games changed, we do play different shots now.

The Queenslander later called such shots as the new cover drives for todays players who regularly practice them.

But speaking in Fox Cricket commentary on Friday night, Warne was having none of Khawajas argument. He said he isnt against innovative strokes, but they shouldnt be used to justify cheap wickets.

I dont think any of us from yesteryear watching the modern day player from any country mind innovation. I think its fantastic, he said.

But I dont want to see them use that as an excuse for when it doesnt work and theyve used it at the wrong time.

He added: What disappoints me is they say thats the way I play. I reckon thats a cop out. I reckon thats an excuse.

After a strong opening stand, Aaron Finch handed India the breakthrough by top edging his mistimed sweep to short fine leg.

His opening partner DArcy Short fancied the same stroke but was trapped in front by Pandya just five balls later.

That didnt deter No.4 Ben McDermott from trying his luck on the sweep with his first delivery. It was the only one he faced as he was also given lbw.

Glenn Maxwell bucked the trend, although he fell into Pandyas trap by gifting Rohit Sharma the simplest of outfield catches at long mid-on while trying to clear the ropes.

Alex Carey fell into a similar trap when his sweep comfortably picked out Virat Kohli at deep extra cover.

The wickets put Australia on the backfoot at 5-119 after being 0-68. Kohli brought up the winning runs for India with just two balls to spare.

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