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State-By-State Squad Breakdown: NSW


They’re always strong at first glance, but the sheer quantity of international cricket this summer will mean New South Wales will turn to youth once again with their star players unavailable.

With a mix of veterans providing invaluable experience and youth rising up the ranks, the Blues have a promising squad. But can they live up to that promise? Let’s put the squad under the microscope and find out.

Last season in numbers

Sheffield Shield: fifth (two wins, two draws, three losses)

Leading wicket-takers
Chris Tremain (24 wickets at 15.96)
Tanveer Sangha (17 wickets at 32.18)
Trent Copeland (13 wickets at 29.46)

One-Day Cup: runners-up, second on ladder (two wins, no losses, four wash-outs)

Leading run-scorers
Hayden Kerr (90 runs at 30.00)
Moises Henriques (82 runs at 41.00)
Matt Gilkes (71 runs at 35.50)

Leading wicket-takers
Tanveer Sangha (5 wickets at 13.80)
Adam Zampa (5 wickets at 16.80)
Hayden Kerr (5 wickets at 18.00)

New South Wales 2022-23 squad

Sean Abbott, Trent Copeland, Pat Cummins*, Oliver Davies, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Matt Gilkes, Ryan Hackney, Ryan Hadley, Liam Hatcher, Josh Hazlewood*, Lachlan Hearne, Moises Henriques, Baxter Holt, Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon*, Kurtis Patterson, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Steve Smith*, Mitchell Starc*, Chris Tremain, David Warner*, Adam Zampa*

Rookies: Liam Doddrell, Blake Nikitaras, Jack Nisbet, Lachlan Shaw, Will Salzmann, Hunar Verma

*Cricket Australia contract

Ins and outs

Ins: Hayden Kerr, Liam Doddrell (rookie), Blake Nikitaras (rookie), Lachlan Shaw (rookie), Will Salzmann (rookie)

Outs: Josh Baraba (delisted), Harry Conway (SA), Peter Nevill (retired)

The Blues have opted for youth, giving rookie contracts to several youngsters. There’ nothing to speak of in the recruiting department, but after a few years around the squad, Hayden Kerr has earned himself a contract. The bigger news is in the outs, with fast bowler Harry Conway departing for South Australia in hopes of more opportunities, while stalwart wicketkeeper Peter Nevill has retired after 125 first-class and 77 List A matches.

Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Squad breakdown

Batters: Oli Davies, Ryan Hackney, Lachlan Hearne, Moises Henriques, Dan Hughes, Kurtis Patterson, Jason Sangha, Steve Smith*, David Warner*, Blake Nikitaras (Rookie)

All-rounders: Sean Abbott, Jack Edwards, Hayden Kerr, Daniel Sams

Keepers: Matt Gilkes, Baxter Holt

Fast bowlers: Trent Copeland, Pat Cummins*, Ben Dwarshuis, Mickey Edwards, Ryan Hadley, Liam Hatcher, Josh Hazlewood*, Mitchell Starc*, Chris Tremain

Spinners: Nathan Lyon*, Tanveer Sangha, Adam Zampa*

Analysis

The squad is a relatively young one, with only a few older heads, as well as those with Cricket Australia contracts. The squad possesses good balance and there are a plethora of depth options with domestic experience, but their success will likely depend on some of their talented youngsters showing their potential, as the seasoned campaigners in Hughes (33), Henriques (35) and Copeland (36) look to hand over the baton. The Blues came second in the One-Day Cup last season – mostly thanks to the weather – but despite being an exciting white-ball side, they struggled in the Shield, finishing above only South Australia.

One positive, however, was the blooding of young talents such as Ryan Hackney, Baxter Holt, Blake Nikitaras and Lachlan Hearne last season. They will want to continue to build their experience at state level. Players such as Jason Sangha and Jack Edwards will shoulder more responsibility in the middle order, while Hackney will likely be given more opportunities to partner Hughes at the top of the order despite his below-average return of just 60 runs at an average of 10.00 in his three Shield appearances last season.

Yet while the time feels right for Hackney to finally cement himself at the top of the order, that spot could very well go to the rookie-listed Nikitaras, who impressed on his Shield debut, hitting 100 runs across his two innings at the top of the order against South Australia. Kurtis Patterson will be looking to redeem himself after the Blues skipper posted just 253 runs at 28.11 last season and will need to take more responsibility this season.

The NSW Blues in the Sheffield Shield.

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

In the wake of Peter Nevill’s retirement the gloves are also up for grabs, with Baxter Holt looking to pry the spot away from the incumbent Matt Gilkes. The Blues also have strong all-round options headlined by Sean Abbott and will have their fingers crossed that he is available in the early stages of the season. Hayden Kerr has been a star at club level for several years and showed he has what it takes with a standout season both in the BBL and at state level, and NSW will be looking to utilise all-round talents throughout the season and possibly in a variety of roles.

Harry Conway is a big loss in the fast-bowling department, and opportunities could present themselves for players such as Mickey Edwards, Ryan Hadley and particularly Liam Hatcher, who has impressed on numerous occasions over the past few seasons. The Blues will also hope that veteran Chris Tremain continues his terrific form from last season, but don’t expect Copeland to play too many games, as the Blues look to give further opportunities to youth.

Their spin stocks are arguably the strongest in the country when at full strength, but it is unlikely that we’ll see Adam Zampa in sky blue too often during the season due to the amount of international white-ball cricket being played this summer. Nathan Lyon should be available in the early stages of the season before he joins the Test squad at the end of November and could also return for the back-end of the season, but it will be the prodigious Tanveer Sangha, who will take on the majority of the workload, who will be hoping to build on his strong form from last season, which saw him gain selection in both the Australian T20 and Australia A four-day squads. Even with Lyon available, the Blues will look to play the two in tandem, especially at home.

Predicted Sheffield Shield XI
Daniel Hughes
Ryan Hackney
Kurtis Patterson (c)
Moises Henriques
Jason Sangha
Jack Edwards
Baxter Holt (wk)
Sean Abbott
Chris Tremain
Nathan Lyon
Tanveer Sangha

Predicted One-Day Cup XI
Daniel Hughes
Matt Gilkes (wk)
Moises Henriques
Kurtis Patterson (c)
Jason Sangha
Jack Edwards
Hayden Kerr
Daniel Sams
Sean Abbott
Liam Hatcher
Tanveer Sangha

*Warner, Smith, Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc and Zampa excluded due to national team commitments

How they’ll go

They should go well again in the One-Day Cup, with a tremendously versatile and talented side that can match it with the best on their day, and they’ll be hoping the rain stays away so they can actually get out on the park after playing just three games, including the final, for the tournament last season.

There will hopefully be improvement when it comes to the Sheffield Shield but probably not anything drastic. Consistency will go a long way, and if they can get the whole team pulling their weight on a consistent basis, as opposed to just two or three players, they will definitely show signs of improvement.

Shield prediction: fourth.
One-Day Cup prediction: third.

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