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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Current WA squad could be one of the best ever

Adam Voges’ team made history with a nine wicket win over Victoria in the Sheffield Shield final last weekend, becoming the first ever state to win all three domestic titles for two consecutive summers.

Former Australian spinner Bryce McGain believes that the current WA squad is one of the best in history.

McGain told Sports Breakfast the depth in WA cricket was unlike anything he had ever seen.

“It is a pretty incredible lineup. I was part of a Victorian team that secured every point in one season, that was a pretty amazing team and I might be a little biased around that, but at this stage, there’s no match for the WA group,” McGain said.

“There’s a lot of players that aren’t amongst it either, they’re off on Australian touring duties as well.

“It’s pretty phenomenal.”

Ashton Turner claimed player of the match honours for scoring 128 in the first innings, his highest ever first class score and his first red ball century for more than five years, with the final only his second game since being recalled to the side after a two and a half year absence.

McGain said the hundred was a tribute to Turner’s ability to remain calm under pressure.

“He’s just such a wonderful cricketer, and he had to play a different way. It wasn’t what he does with the Scorchers, it was more composed,” he said.

“It still had the aggression, it still had boundaries, he still hit a six, so it still had that power game in there, putting away any loose deliveries, but it was also really patient.

“It goes to show just what a talent he is and what a terrific leader he is as well.”

The Victorians have ended up on the losing side for the second Shield final in a row but making the decider was a strong achievement, with their place sealed after five consecutive wins following a slow start to the summer.

Peter Siddle has confirmed a return to his home state after a three year stint with Tasmania, but McGain said much of the squad’s improvement would come from within.

“I think that they’ll keep working on the development stage, the development of their younger players. There were some good signs in the final,” he said.

“Ashley Chandrasinghe … his game, there’s further development there, and young Campbell Kellaway, he gets an opportunity in this New Zealand/Australia A series as well. Matt Short had a terrific end to the season and Will Sutherland showed his credentials with both the bat and the ball as an allrounder in the Shield final as well and has done throughout the whole season, he’s been superb.

“I think it’s just consistent improvement and that young bowling attack to keep learning more tricks and keep growing.”

The domestic season is over but the cricket will roll on for some of WA’s stars, with English county Somerset announcing yesterday that the Shield’s leading run scorer Cameron Bancroft has joined the club for an early season stint and Aaron Hardie being selected for an Australia A tour of New Zealand starting next month.

Joel Paris was initially part of the squad for the pre-Ashes camp but he has pulled out due to back soreness and will be replaced by South Australia’s Jordan Buckingham.


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