Clint McKay has been added to the Victoria squad in anticipation of a well-grassed pitch that will encourage seamers © Getty Images
Victoria have added Clint McKay to a 13-man squad for the Sheffield Shield final, in anticipation of a well-grassed pitch for the competition decider against a South Australia combination that has not played in a draw all season.
The Redbacks surged late in the season to claim the top spot on the ladder as the Bushrangers faded, largely through the strong work of the seam bowling trio of Joe Mennie, Chadd Sayers and Daniel Worrall. Their final victory was a two-day romp over Tasmania on a surface that offered some help to the seamers at Glenelg Oval, the same venue where the final will be played, starting on Saturday.
While a stalemate will secure the Shield for SA and Victoria need an outright result, the inclusion of McKay suggests the Bushrangers are half expecting the kind of pitch that will encourage seamers, after they used the twin spin of Fawad Ahmed and Jon Holland in Alice Springs against New South Wales.
“Clint McKay comes in as it is important to cover all options until we have a look at the wicket,” Andrew Lynch, the chairman of selectors, said. “It was nice to get a tough, hard game under our belts last week and the boys have freshened this week and will be ready to go.
“It was great to see Cam White and Marcus Stoinis in the runs, so, hopefully, the rest of our batters can follow their lead as we are confident we have the bowlers to claim 20 wickets.”
The Bushrangers and Redbacks have traded outright results this season, SA victorious at the MCG while the Victorians prevailed at the Adelaide Oval. They were also successful in their one previous visit to Glenelg last season.
SA are expected to name the squad for their first Shield final in 20 years on Wednesday morning.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo