Western Australia are poised to blood Rockingham-Mandurah teen Teague Wyllie for the must-win Sheffield Shield clash against Victoria at the WACA Ground starting on Wednesday.
It’s understood the 17-year-old is a strong chance to become the youngest WA debutant since Australian Test all-rounder Cameron Green four seasons ago and will slot into the middle order.
Wyllie has enjoyed a breakout summer for WA’s at second XI level and Australia at the ICC Under-19s World Cup, named in the team of the tournament in the latter.
While he wasn’t giving away the final XI, captain Shaun Marsh, who made his debut at the same age, said he was “ready to go” if given the opportunity and highlighted his stunning maturity.
“He’s been brilliant since he’s been in and around the squad over the last few weeks,” Marsh said.
“I’ve been really impressed with him and the way he’s gone about it, he’s scored a mountain of runs over the past two years and he’s a great young kid.
“If he gets his opportunity this week he’s ready to go. One thing I’ve certainly noticed is how mature he is for a 17-year-old and that speaks for his performances as well.”
WA need to win to make their first shield final appearance in seven seasons and have a chance to break a 22-year red-ball title drought.
Victoria only need a draw to host the final.
Marsh said there was a “tinge of green” to the WACA deck and was certain there would be a result.
He predicted WA’s bowling attack would remain similar to the one used last week’s rain-affected draw against NSW, despite the temptation of playing four seamers.
Marsh praised Nathan Lyon-like off-spinner Corey Rocchiccioli on his performance in that match.
“I thought ‘Rock’ bowled really well last week and I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes at the WACA,” Marsh said.
Victoria coach Chris Rogers’ pitch prediction was a little more extreme.
“I think it will have branches on it to be honest,” Rogers joked on SportFM 91.3.
“It’s going to be lively, there’s no doubt. I don’t think WA are going to die wondering, they need a result and I think they’ll roll the dice and have a really lively wicket.”
The Vics flew into Perth on Monday with luckless batter Will Pucovski cleared for his latest first-class return.
The 24-year-old, whose solitary Test for Australia came against India during the 2020-21 home summer, has batted four times for his Premier Cricket side Melbourne and Victoria’s second XI since coming back from his latest concussion.
“We’re looking forward to having him back, he’s a fantastic player and a wants to play cricket which is the most important thing,” Rogers said.