Jhye Richardson has taken five-wicket hauls in the past two Sheffield Shield matches.
Jhye Richardson has taken five-wicket hauls in the past two Sheffield Shield matches.

Now we just need some batsmen: Aussie quick takes 8-47

IF Australia need to call on any pace reinforcements for the Test series against India, they may want to turn their attention toward Jhye Richardson.

However, he's far from the only quick putting his hand up with Australia's pace stocks in rude health.

The WA paceman was the star of the show on the opening day of the maiden Sheffield Shield match at Perth Stadium on Tuesday, snaring career-best figures of 8-47 in 20.3 overs.

NSW were bowled out for 261, with Kurtis Patterson (107 not out) and Sean Abbott (69 off 89) ensuring the visitors made it past 200.

WA batted for three minutes late in the day, reaching 0-1 at stumps. The Blues were struggling at 6-131 at tea, with Richardson going to the break with outstanding figures of 5-13 from 13 overs.

Patterson and Abbott combined for a 104-run stand to get NSW back into the contest.

But the day belonged to Richardson, who has already played four ODIs and seven T20s for Australia, and appears destined for a Test call-up in the not-too- distant future.

"I think I bowled quite well today, but I wouldn't say it's my best," Richardson said.

"I actually thought I bowled quite well last week, first innings in Adelaide (where he took 5-47).

"Cricket's a weird game - a bit of it is luck, and a bit of it is bowling well."

Jhye Richardson took eight wickets against NSW.
Jhye Richardson took eight wickets against NSW.

NSW were looking solid at 1-67 before Richardson started his wave of destruction.

The 22-year-old snared the scalps of Nick Larkin (39) and Moises Henriques (0) in quick succession before lunch, and he produced a peach of an inswinger to remove Jason Sangha shortly after the break.

Sangha tried to leave the ball, but could only watch on in panic as it swung wildly back in to take the top of middle and leg stump.

Patterson helped steady the ship as NSW moved to 4-130, but Richardson produced another double blow just before tea to put WA back in command. NSW captain Peter Nevill was out for eight after edging a Richardson bouncer, and Jack Edwards was trapped LBW three balls later.

Richardson added tailenders Trent Copeland, Nathan Lyon, and Harry Conway to his list of victims in the final session.

It was a performance that highlighted the incredible depth of Australia's pace stocks right now. It is worth remembering Richardson's name barely came up among the list of contenders for the Test squad against India, despite being a 22-year-old who can bowl 150km/h with a first-class average of 25.88.

He missed out on selection to the big three of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, veteran seamer Peter Siddle and baggy green hopeful Chris Tremain, who has taken 169 wicket at 22.47 in the Sheffield Shield since joining Victoria in 2014.

There is plenty of depth in the pace bowling department outside of the big three.
There is plenty of depth in the pace bowling department outside of the big three.

Despite the absence of Siddle and Tremain, Victoria's attack remains a menacing prospect. James Pattinson, comfortably among the country's best bowlers when fit, has returned to duty and Scott Boland looks set to eclipse the 38-wicket haul he took in last summer's Sheffield Shield. He has already taken 26 this season at 16.69 runs apiece.

In the absence of Chadd Sayers (calf), Joe Mennie (24 wickets at 16.37) has stepped up for South Australia. Mennie is showing the form that earned him his Test call-up in 2016, with 21 Shield wickets at 17.42 this season. Mennie's SA teammate Daniel Worrall has already taken 14 wickets (average of 13.57) this summer and he is only playing his second game.

Jackson Bird (17 at 21.82) continues to be his reliable self for Tasmania, while NSW veteran Copeland (16 at 16.37) has thrived whenever given a chance.

And it's not just the veterans making waves with the red ball, with WA youngsters Cameron Green (13 wickets at 17.30) and Matt Kelly (13 at 23.53) both thriving. Green is only 19 years old, while Kelly is 23.

Scott Boland has taken 26 wickets at 16.69 runs apiece this season.
Scott Boland has taken 26 wickets at 16.69 runs apiece this season.

The Shield match is being used as a crucial trial for the Perth Stadium deck ahead of the second Test between India and Australia, starting on December 14.

The Perth Stadium pitch has performed well in a handful of one-dayers and T20s played at the venue, but it remains to be seen how it will crack up over a four or five-day contest.

News Corp Australia

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