20/04/2024

Peter Nevill and New South Wales will take on Victoria in their Sheffield Shield match starting Friday at the MCG. (Photo: NSW Cricket)

After a lean batting performance in NSW's first Sheffield Shield game of the season, wicketkeeper Peter Nevill remains confident in the young group to fix those issues come Friday.

New South Wales wicketkeeper Peter Nevill admitted that the batting group simply ‘wasn’t good enough’ against Victoria in their first Sheffield Shield hit out last week.

The Blues only managed a measly 285 runs across both their innings, out for 151 and 134 respectively.

Blues veteran Kurtis Patterson was about the only shining light with bat in hand, hitting 48 (143) from his first innings but falling for just four in his second.

Nevill sees the upcoming clash with their rivals at the MCG as a chance to work on those issues.

“There’s no shying away from the fact that our batting wasn’t good enough,” he told media on Thursday.

“The exciting thing about this match is that it presents an opportunity to rectify that. We’ve got a very talented young group of batters, but last week’s output wasn’t good enough. Looking for them to make their mark this match.”

The Blues took in a largely inexperienced group to the match including 22-year-olds Matthew Gilkes and Jason Sangha. They looked it, barely notching up 49 runs between them.

A combination of the pace of Scott Boland and Will Sutherland made life hard for the top and middle orders across the four days at Drummoyne Oval.

Nevill was quick to praise what he believes the young group can do at their best.

“I don’t think the batting in the last match is reflective of where this group… where the batting group’s at,” he said.

“Guys like Sangha and [Jack] Edwards a few seasons ago had a full season each, made 100s that season. Sangha made 100 in the Shield at the backend of last year and Edwards in the One Day Cup final.

“They’re definitely progressing. There definitely does need to be some patience when you’ve got a young group, but I’m confident that in the coming matches against Victoria we’re going to see a much better output than last week.”

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While the batting hasn’t yet been impressive to watch for the Blues, the bowlers will be looking to pick up the slack once again.

Sean Abbott was at his best, taking a combined eight wickets across both innings. Nevill and coach Phil Jacques will be looking to him to remove the dangerously in form Marcus Harris as quickly as possible once again, fresh off a second innings century.

“Sean’s been outstanding for a long period of time now, I can’t sing his praises enough,” Nevill said.

“He’s a test player in the making. Both his batting and bowling have gone to new heights in recent years, and it’s been gratifying to see that progress that he’s made.”

But like with the batters, the keeper will be looking towards the youngsters to make an impact as well.

Just days after his 19th birthday, Tanveer Sangha made his test debut in NSW colours. The leg spinner made a fast impression in his first innings, removing Sam Harper off just eight deliveries and taking three wickets overall.

While he couldn’t claim any further wickets in his second innings, he made good use of his 17 overs at an economy of just 1.71. Sangha was the only NSW bowler to finish with an economy under two runs.

Nevill couldn’t help but admire the confidence he played with.

“I think he always was going to [make an impression],” he said.

“Tanveer’s a very assured young man. I remember captaining a practice game at the beginning of last season, and he was a very confident young man. He knows exactly what he wants, which is great from a leg spinner.

“You like to have bowlers who have conviction in their fields, in their plans, and how they think they’re going to be successful. He definitely has that, and his skills are exactly where they need to be.”

Assuming the weather holds up with rain forecast across the weekend in Melbourne, Victoria and New South Wales will do battle at the MCG starting Friday, November 5 at 10:30am.

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