Analysing Western Australia’s 2022/23 squad

Western Australia were an unstoppable force in 2021/22, as they stormed their way to both the One-Day Cup and Sheffield Shield titles.

Their squad has only gotten stronger, and the dual reigning champions possess a scary amount of talent and depth yet again. With other states also improving, repeating last season’s feats won’t be easy, but the amount of elite talent in their squad will be hard to match. With that, let’s see how the side is shaping up for the 2022/23 season.

Last Season In Numbers:

Sheffield Shield: Winners, 1st on ladder (three wins, two draws, two losses)

Leading Run-Scorers:
Sam Whiteman (641 runs at 58.27)
Hilton Cartwright (601 runs at 42.93)
Cameron Bancroft (502 runs at 35.86)

Leading Wicket-Takers:
Joel Paris (24 wickets at 20.71)
Jhye Richardson (23 wickets at 13.43)
Lance Morris (20 wickets at 27.05)

One-Day Cup: Winners, 1st on ladder (four wins, two losses)

Leading Run-Scorers:
Josh Philippe (265 runs at 37.86)
Ashton Turner (242 runs at 40.33)
Cameron Bancroft (219 runs at 109.50)

Leading Wicket-Takers:
Andrew Tye (15 wickets at 19.00)
Jason Behrendorff (8 wickets at 27.25)
Matthew Kelly (8 wickets at 32.00)

Australian opening batsman Cameron Bancroft walks out of the dressing rooms

Cameron Bancroft(AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Western Australia 2022-23 Squad: Ashton Agar*, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Sam Fanning, Cameron Gannon, Cameron Green*, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis*, Bryce Jackson, Matthew Kelly, Mitch Marsh*, Shaun Marsh, David Moody, Lance Morris, Joel Paris, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Corey Rocchiccioli, D’Arcy Short, Charlie Stobo, Marcus Stoinis*, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman, Teague Wyllie

Rookies: Cooper Connolly, Jayden Goodwin, Sam Greer, Hamish McKenzie

*Cricket Australia contract

Ins and Outs:
Ins: Sam Greer (rookie), Hamish Mckenzie (rookie), Teague Wyllie
Outs: Liam Guthrie (Queensland)

There are very few changes to last season’s squad, with just fast bowler Liam Guthrie departing after being offered a contract by Queensland. Teague Wyllie’s incredible rise last season saw him pushed straight into WA’s top six for the Shield final, combining a debut appearance with a Sheffield Shield title and has been rewarded with a main contract to boot. Not too shabby from the 18-year-old. After dominating WA Premier Cricket last season with 58 wickets at 12.86, left-arm wrist spinner Hamish McKenzie has earned himself a rookie contract, as has young fast bowler Sam Greer.

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Squad Breakdown:
Batters: Cameron Bancroft, Sam Fanning, Shaun Marsh, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman, Teague Wyllie, Jayden Goodwin (rookie)
All-Rounders: Ashton Agar*, Hilton Cartwright, Cameron Green*, Aaron Hardie, Mitch Marsh*, D’Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Cooper Connolly (rookie), Hamish McKenzie (rookie)
Keepers: Josh Inglis*, Josh Philippe
Fast Bowlers: Jason Behrendorff, Cameron Gannon, Bryce Jackson, Matthew Kelly, David Moody, Lance Morris, Joel Paris, Jhye Richardson, Charlie Stobo, Andrew Tye (uncontracted)
Spinners: Corey Rocchiccioli

Bancroft and Whiteman have formed a formidable opening partnership in recent years. The latter’s reinvention as an opening batter has paid dividends, while Bancroft has been quietly impressive in both red and white-ball cricket. 39-year-old Shaun Marsh surprised many by opting against retirement following the Shield final last season, but fans will be blessed with his grace and effortless power for one more season as his distinguished career nears its end. After a few seasons in the wilderness, Ashton Turner reminded fans why he’s never really left the national selectors’ minds, leading from the front in the One-Day Cup last season. Wyllie showcased his incredible ability at the under-19 World Cup last season, finishing with 278 runs at 69.50 from 6 matches, and should be thrust straight back into the fold if players are unavailable. Former NSW product Sam Fanning’s rapid improvement last season saw him finish as the leading run-scorer in WA Premier Cricket last season, making 867 runs at the top of the order for Perth in 2021/22, and is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Shaun Marsh

Shaun Marsh (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The squad is absolutely stacked with quality all-rounders, with Cameron Green being the best of the lot. Unfortunately for Western Australia, they might not see too much of Green, as his involvement with the national team continues to increase. Mitch Marsh, Stoinis and Agar are others likely to be unavailable for parts of the season, but the depth in the squad should be able to account for these losses. Cartwright features as more of a batter nowadays as opposed to an all-rounder but had an outstanding 2021/22 campaign that seemingly flew under the radar. Aaron Hardie is as underrated as they come and announced himself to the cricketing world with an unbeaten 174 to go with 3/54 with the ball against Victoria in the Shield final to see his side over the line. Primed for a big season as he takes on more responsibility. D’Arcy Short will be looking to reassert himself in the national fold after falling out of favour, but will need to recapture his dominant form from 4-5 years ago if he wants to get his name back on the selection table.

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Inglis has been earmarked as Alex Carey’s back-up in Australia’s Test and ODI sides, and also has a handful of T20 international appearances to his name, though with Matthew Wade in the side he has predominantly been used as a batter. The Yorkshire-born keeper still has so much potential and will be hoping to add to his international tally on home soil this summer. Yet even without Inglis, Western Australia has the prodigious Josh Philippe to fill the void in his absence. Aaron Finch’s ODI retirement leaves a spot open at the top of the order, and Philippe will be keen to stake his claim to fill the opening. Had another fantastic season in 2021/22, and somehow just keeps managing to get better and better.

Much like the rest of the squad, Western Australia is spoilt for choice when it comes to fast bowlers. Jhye Richardson leads the pack and has pace, swing and genuine x-factor that not many other fast bowlers can match. A full, injury-free season is all that is stopping him from being unleashed on the international stage. There will be a tussle for spots in the Shield, with tearaway Lance Morris, underrated quicks Matthew Kelly and Joel Paris, and the experienced Cameron Gannon all looking to nail down a spot in the side. Stobo and Moody are no strangers to the domestic scene, but will need to impress at second XI and club level to climb the pecking order. Behrendorff remains a key figure in Western Australia’s white-ball set-up, as does Tye, even without a contract.

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The spin situation is an interesting one, particularly with Agar’s availability, which has been sporadic over the past few seasons. 24-year-old off-spinner Corey Rocchiccioli was given an opportunity last season, playing 4 games and taking 5 wickets in his maiden Shield campaign. Hamish McKenzie would be a more left-field option, but could potentially make his way into the side if he continues his form from last season, and offers something different with his left arm wrist spin. D’Arcy Short will likely be the go-to option in white-ball cricket, but the Shield situation remains unclear.

Predicted Sheffield Shield XI:
C Bancroft
S Whiteman
S Marsh (c)
C Green
H Cartwright
J Philippe (wk)
A Hardie
J Paris
J Richardson
M Kelly
C Rocchiccioli

Cameron Green celebrates.

Cameron Green celebrates after claiming the wicket of Zak Crawley. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)

Predicted One-Day Cup XI:
J Philippe (wk)
D Short
S Whiteman
C Bancroft
A Turner (c)
H Cartwright
A Hardie
J Richardson
M Kelly
A Tye
J Behrendorff

*Agar, Inglis, M Marsh and Stoinis excluded due to selection in Australia’s T20 World Cup squad. Green is not in the World Cup squad (as of yet) but will have limited availability at the beginning of the season due to involvement in white-ball squads.

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How They’ll Go: Expect another dominant season from Western Australia, with the squad continuing to go from strength to strength, and players like Philippe and Hardie developing into genuine match winners. Agar’s absence won’t worry them too much, and their pace attack is more than good enough to compensate for any weaknesses in the spin bowling department. Even with a large group of players unavailable for parts of the season due to national team commitments, their depth will see them competing again.

Shield Prediction: Winners.
One-Day Cup Prediction: Runners-Up.

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