New South Wales Blues captain Peter Nevill said the players have taken great confidence from their first JLT Sheffield Shield win in Perth for six years and would love to continue that momentum against South Australia at the SCG.
Currently second on the Shield table, the Blues will be searching for a third successive victory heading into the match beginning on Friday.
“It is quite difficult to win over in Perth, so to be able to go over there and defeat a very good WA side, (is) certainly very pleasing,” Nevill said.
“We’d love to continue that momentum by playing well in this match.”
The Blues skipper said it was fantastic to be back at the SCG for their second game this season.
“(It’s a) very special place, very close to all of our hearts. (We) love being able to pull on the Baggy Blue and get out on the SCG, it’s looking pristine as well,” Nevill said ahead of their last match before a break in the competition for the KFC Big Bash League.
The most recent fixture between the Blues and South Australia this season at the Adelaide Oval during round one ended in a rain interrupted draw. However, at one stage on the final day, it appeared the visitors may snatch victory.
South Australia was 6/74 late on day four in that match after Nevill earlier declared at 8/279 with a lead of 252.
Redbacks captain Jake Lehmann (33 not out) and lower-order batsman Joe Mennie (12 not out) defied the Blues attack for the rest of the day to save the match for South Australia.
Nevill said the key for the Blues in that match was the bowling attack.
“We’ll be looking to be able to replicate that, some quite similar plans I would think, for each of their batsmen.”
The inclusion of potential debutant left-arm quick Greg West in the 12-man squad, along with leg-spinner Daniel Fallins and left-arm orthodox spinner Steve O’Keefe, gives Nevill plenty of options in terms of his bowling attack for the match starting Friday.
“It’s wonderful to have those options,” Nevill said.
“Obviously, (West is) skilful with reverse swing as well … so depending on what the conditions present in the morning, we’ve got some options there to make a formidable bowling attack.”
If West was to make his debut on Friday against South Australia, he will become the 749th player to receive his Baggy Blue.
The SCG was last week used for the tour match between India and the Cricket Australia XI which saw plenty of runs scored throughout the three days.
Nevill said he had his fingers crossed that the SCG wicket can produce a result against South Australia.
“We’ll have to see how the wicket does deteriorate, looking at the amount of grass on it, we’re hopeful that towards the back end there will be some spin.
“Having Stephen O’Keefe in your side, obviously one of the best spinners in Australia, hopefully he can exploit that.”
NSW has played South Australia a total of 235 times in First Class cricket for 132 wins.
The match starts at 10.30am on Friday.
NSW Blues squad
Peter NEVILL (Captain)
*12th man to be named at the toss