Squad depth key to WA's continued success
Despite the squad being depleted by international duty and injury, WA started their campaign for a Sheffield Shield three-peat in
exceptional fashion, defeating Victoria by an innings and 53 runs at the WACA Ground.
WA spinner Corey Rocchiccioli says strength in depth will be the key to continuing the state’s success.
Roccihcioli told Sports Breakfast he was especially pleased with the performance of fast bowlers Cameron Gannon, Charlie Stobo, and debutant Liam Haskett, none of whom featured in last year’s final.
“We talk about it all the time, it’s not just writing on the wall, we’ve got a squad mentality,” Rocchiccioli said.
“When we have our players who aren’t the noted players coming in and playing, we expect them to perform.
“Ganno and Charlie were able to get themselves into the game, Hask on debut, it’s one of the better debuts I think I’ve seen … his ability to come in and influence the game the way he did, he’s six foot six and built like a mountain, he was able to bowl extended spells and build the pressure.
“It was an incredible bowling performance, especially considering it was the first game of the year and those guys aren’t necessarily always playing in our Shield side.”
After bowling first and dismissing the visitors for 256, the game was set up by a second-wicket partnership of 193 between Cameron Bancroft and Teague Wyllie, with the pair batting together for the majority of the second day.
Despite some commentary about their low scoring rates, Roccihcioli said the pair had done their job to a tee.
“That partnership from Bangers and Teague was incredible,” he said.
“We were able to catch up at the back end knowing we had Hardie, Turner and Phillipe at five, six, and seven, they can bat the way they bat.
“They were able to wear them down. 160 overs in the dirt, that’s a really long time to bowl.”
Despite the WACA’s reputation as an unfriendly ground to spinners, Rocchiccioli has been the competition’s leading tweaker over the last twelve months, grabbing match figures of 6 for 53 in the summer’s opening game to go with 25 wickets last season.
After comprehensively outbowling Test spinner Todd Murphy, who finished with figures of 1 for 141, the 26-year-old said the ground presented some unique challenges.
“That’s the one thing you’ve got to do, you’ve got to beat the batter in the air,” he said.
“I identified that I needed to bowl more of a top-spinner, I haven’t really bowled that too much over the last 12 months.
“I used my whole offseason working on that, it was pretty mundane at times but that helped me bowl how I did during the week.”
WA backed up the Shield win by continuing a perfect start to their One Day Cup campaign, beating Victoria by seven wickets at the WACA Ground yesterday.