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Victoria Sheffield Shield Preview 2022-23

Last Season: 2nd

Prediction: 2nd

Welcome to the 5th Sheffield Shield 2022/23 preview for the Victorian Bushrangers. At full strength, they probably have the 3rd best squad. Behind WA and NSW and around the level Qld but where WA and particularly NSW and even Qld struggle, Victoria succeed. They have very few players in the mix for Australian selection and are primed to win a shield. They will likely make the final but if they come against WA, they will have a hard time winning.

Squad at Full Strength

1. Marcus Harris (Bat)

2. Will Pucovski (Bat)*

3. Travis Dean (Bat)

4. Peter Handscomb (Bat)

5. Nic Maddison (Bat)

6. Matt Short (Bat-AR)

7. Sam Harper (WK)

8. Will Sutherland (Bowl)

9. Mitch Perry (Bowl)

10. Scott Boland (Bowl)*

11. Jon Holland (Bowl)

At full strength, this squad is on a similar level to Queensland, maybe a tad better or at least more consistent in their batting line-up. Harris & Pucovski open the batting which could be the most destructive opening partnership when the test players are removed. Travis Dean comes in at number 3, one spot down from his traditional opener spot. Handscomb and Maddison are probably our 4th and 5th choice middle order players in the test setup and will play a full season which not a lot of teams have the luxury of. Short just edges out Maxwell but I imagine he will get his shot at some point. Harper keeps for them which was an easy pick. Scott Boland, Mitch Perry and Will Sutherland form a formidable pace attack and Jon Holland has been a terrific domestic spinner for close to 10 years now but Murphy is nipping at his heels. Pattinson retiring hurts depth but last season, Boland, Perry and Sutherland were all better.

Squad minus the Aussie players

1. Marcus Harris (Bat)

2. Travis Dean (Bat)

3. Peter Handscomb (Bat)

4. Nic Maddison (Bat)

5. Matt Short (Bat-AR)

6. Jono Merlo (AR)

7. Sam Harper (WK)

8. Will Sutherland (Bowl)

9. Mitch Perry (Bowl)

10. Todd Murphy (Bowl)

11. Jon Holland (Bowl)

Pucovski and Boland are the only two players from their full strength squad that will be in consideration for Australia. Maxwell is for the limited overs, hence his omission. Dean gets pushed up to the opener position and Merlo comes in at 6. He will have to be the third choice seamer here. I elected to go for two spinners here as I am a big believer in picking your best bowlers. In this case, Todd Murphy is a superior bowler to Victoria's 3rd best seamer which is probably Zak Evans or Cam McClure. James Pattinson would fill this void if he did not retire. Merlo is a good enough 3rd seamer anyway. If injuries occur, guys like Mackenzie Harvey and Jake Fraser-McGurk come into the picture.

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