Victorian coach Chris Rogers is ready to ride the rollercoaster of a Sheffield Shield season with the youngest squad he’s seen and potential to lose players to bigger Test squads this summer.
The Vics picked an 18-man group with the potential for six debutantes in the first four rounds of the competition which will all be played in Adelaide.
Victoria will have a delayed start to the season, which officially begins on Saturday, and play their opening match against NSW on October 19, the day after they exit two weeks of quarantine at the Adelaide Oval hotel which began on Monday.
Stalwarts Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and James Pattinson are away playing in the Indian Premier League while senior bowlers Peter Siddle and Chris Tremain have moved interstate giving Rogers a group with potential, but also the potential for some up and down performances.
“We’ve got 14 guys who are 22 or younger, and only one of them is actually 22. We have a really young squad,” Rogers said.
“There’s no doubt there is some incredible talent. Victorian cricket, in four or five years time, you’ll see some really exciting players making big names for themselves. We just have to help them learn as quickly as possibly.
“They’ll get opportunities, just the way squads will be picked, particularly over the next period with COVID still prevalent, big squads for Australia, that’s going to have a ripple effect and a lot of theses young guys will get opportunities. It’s going to be a rollercoaster.”
Former Test batsmen Peter Handscomb and Marcus Harris will lead the charge but could, along with Will Pucovski and even Nic Maddinson, who made 148 in a warm-up game last week, be called away by national selectors to form extended Australian squads.
Our #SheffieldShield squad is in 🔒
The 18-man squad arrived in Adelaide on Monday and are undergoing a quarantine period before the season opener later this month.
That could see the likes of Jake Fraser-McGurk, who made his Shield debut last season as a 17-year-old, scoring a half-century, potentially playing more game.
Rogers coached Fraser-McGurk in the Australian Under 19s and knows what he is capable of.
“Jake will be a classic, you’ll see some really amazing things from him, and then there will be other times where he can be a little bit frustrating,” Rogers said.
“That’s part and parcel with young, precocious talent. But just enjoy it.”
Chris Rogers is the new Victorian coach Picture:Wayne LudbeySource:News Corp Australia
Peter Handscomb (Captain), Scott Boland, Xavier Crone, Travis Dean, Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Seb Gotch, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Jon Holland, Nic Maddinson, Simon Mackin, Todd Murphy, Jono Merlo, Mitch Perry, Will Pucovski, Matt Short, Will Sutherland
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