EMULATING last year’s Bradman and Kookaburra Cup campaigns will be a tough ask for Western when the tournaments get underway this Monday but given the association’s depth of junior talent you wouldn’t write it off.
Western flew through the 2018 Kookaburra Cup with an unbeaten record in the under 14s event while their 16s counterparts were stopped one game short of achieving the same feat in the Bradman Cup.
Going in as defending Kookaburra Cup champions undoubtedly puts a target on Western’s backs across the Albury-Wodonga tournament and it’s going to be a new-look under 14s team attempting the rare back-to-back title run, as most of that team have moved up to play Bradman Cup.
Western’s Kookaburra Cup coach Greg Rummans said, following the combined two-day camp for the zone’s teams, that his new-look side are looking sharp ahead of Monday’s opener against Riverina.
“We’re pretty well balanced. Power is probably something we lack but, as Warney says, ‘spin to win’. We’ve got five spinners in our team and our five quicks go alright as well,” he said.
“Two of our younger quicks [Riley Keen and Ty Sissian] are pretty impressive and our three older ones go alright too with a bit of toe and height. Rudy Peet is probably the quickest of the lot and Connor Whale and Angus Parsons are the other two of the older crew.
“You could throw the new ball to any of those five and they’ll very likely do a great job.”
Bathurst’s Blake Kruezberger was named as captain for the Kookaburra Cup side but will miss the competition due to a back injury.
The campaign also throws in a pair of Twenty20 matches on Tuesday.
Rummans’ side has flexibility in the batting department and that will come in handy for the change in formats.
“We’ll have a different batting order for the T20s. We’ve got a couple of aggressive players,” he said.
“One of our spinners Ted Murray is a good left-hand bat, who’s probably in the development stages, but has been looking a million bucks. He’s one of the only kids I’ve seen switch hit well.
“They’re all fairly adaptable batsmen. We’ll run with a set of openers on the first day and see how that goes. We’ve got Angus Parsons from Bathurst and Anthony Atlee there. Anthony was going to originally bat in the middle order but Blake Kruezberger is out with injury, and that’s unfortunate for him because he worked really hard over winter.”
KOOKABURRA CUP: Hugh Sienkiewicz, Ty Sissian, M Fisher, RJ Keen, A Parsons, Rudy Peet, Anthony Atlee, T Murray, Lochlan Rummans, J Fuller, Harrison Quinn, B Kreuzberger and C Whale.
BRADMAN CUP: Lochie Endacott, Blake Weymouth, Koda Sissian, Tom Coady, Ben Schofield, Hugh Middleton, Jesse Spang, Ben Rosenbaum, Harry Bayliss, Kieran Rosenbaum, Harry McGregor, Joe Cant and George Cumming.