The “squad mentality” prepares Redbacks for a surprise

Underdogs trying to cause the final uproar over the conceited WA

While admitting his team is still a few years away from reaching the peak of their powers, South Australia captain Jake Lehmann believes the Redbacks have enough players on form to cause a Marsh Cup boil-over.

Their opponents – an undefeated West Australian side with 11 international players in their 13-man squad – are frenzied favorites heading into tonight’s Marsh One-Day Cup final at WACA (12.05pm AWST).

It will be South Australia’s first appearance at the finals since the 2017/18 50-over decider – also against WA – and the state have since anchored themselves at the bottom of the table, winning just 12 of 68 games in both men’s competitions before turning tide this season .

Lehmann concedes that it “always takes someone’s best play to beat WA,” and the resurgent Redbacks outfit will seize the opportunity to continue developing his budding roster.

“Over the past few years we’ve really tried to build a team mentality and not rely (alone) on Travis Head and Alex Carey and those types of players to give us wins,” Lehmann told reporters in Perth.

“I think we’re going a long way with that now, with the likes of Daniel Drew, Wes Agar and Spencer Johnson coming along massively this year, even Nathan McSweeney (together) putting together a couple of good seasons in a row now.

“We feel like we’re building and hopefully this is a stepping stone to building something strong.”

But the 30-year-old, who was named Redbacks captain just 11 days ago after Henry Hunt resigned to focus on his hitting, also believes his side is “there for a reason” and not just them Numbers would invent in today’s final.

“We all know that WA is probably the strongest white ball team we’ve seen in the last five or six years,” he said.

“But we feel like we probably have good individual players at the moment and if we can play as a team then obviously we have a chance.

“When you come to WA and you beat a strong WA team in a finals… that inspires confidence not only for the last Shield game (of the season) but for next year and years to come.

“It’s tremendous for our group and we truly believe we have the group here to challenge WA.”

It will certainly be a strong WA side they face at WACA today as Mitch Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar and Josh Inglis all leave after the game to follow Australia’s squad in India for the three ODIs to join the Border Gavaskar test in Thursday’s season finale.

The only players unavailable to the reigning champions are Lance Morris and Cameron Green, who are already in India with the Test squad, and Jhye Richardson, who should be part of that one-day international streak before rejoining the left hamstring injured Premier Cricket last Saturday.

Veteran Shaun Marsh is also unavailable with a finger injury but has not played one-day cricket this summer to focus solely on the Marsh Sheffield Shield in what may be his last season for WA.

WA skipper Ashton Turner said it was a “really rare situation” and he couldn’t recall the state ever having had a full list to choose from in the last four years.

“There will be a lot of challenges for the selectors to put a final starting XI on paper but that’s obviously the challenge of being part of a good team,” Turner told Unplayable podcast before the final.

“It’s then the responsibility of the 11 selected players to go out there and fulfill their potential and we’ve talked a lot about wanting to appear in big games and we’re really happy to have the opportunity to play in another final with one.” play an opportunity to win another one-day trophy for Western Australia.”

Should WA secure an unprecedented 16th one-day title today, they will keep alive the possibility of a rare clash of all three men’s national competitions after the Perth Scorchers won a second straight KFC BBL title last month.

“We expect ourselves to win every competition we enter and this year is no different,” Turner said.

“We feel we played really good cricket and we deserve the right to be given the opportunity to play in a final and we know that if we show our skill we will be really hard to beat. “

Marsh Cup Finals Squad

Western Australia: Ashton Turner (c), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Cameron Gannon, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Mitch Marsh, Josh Philippe, D’Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye

South Australia: Wes Agar, Jake Carder, Daniel Drew, Henry Hunt, Spencer Johnson, Jake Lehmann (c), Ben Manenti, Nathan McAndrew, Nathan McSweeney, Harry Nielsen (wk), Liam Scott, Kelvin Smith, Henry Thornton The “squad mentality” prepares Redbacks for a surprise

Russell Falcon

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