Redbacks bite in way of Warriors glory
Redbacks' bite in way of Warriors glory

Mike Hussey and the Warriors feel like they can make the Sheffield Shield final, but will have their ambitions sternly tested against second-placed South Australia next week.

Anchored to the bottom of the table at the start of the season, the Warriors have turned their fortunes around with two wins from the past two matches, putting them in the running for next month's final.

Sunday's thrilling two-wicket win over Tasmania has them placed fourth, only eight points behind the ladder-leading Victoria, with two games to play.

With a band of new faces, including Sam Whiteman, Ashton Agar and Burt Cockley, leading the way, Hussey says the squad isn't placing any limits on what can be achieved.

"We're a chance, definitely, but we've still got plenty of cricket to play," he said. "The tough one is obviously going to be against South Australia in the next game, and then we'll probably have a much better indication of how we're going to go then.

"It's pretty much like a quarter-final for us in the next game.

"They've been playing some really good consistent cricket and deservedly are right up the top end of the table.

"We'll get a good understanding of where we're at and if we can beat them, we'll certainly have a lot of belief and a lot of confidence that with one more really good performance we're a chance to make the final.

"There's certainly a lot of motivation for the boys."

Hussey said Agar, who has taken 12 wickets and averaged 45.50 in his first three first-class games, would be best served playing more domestic cricket at this stage of his career.

"Test cricket is tough, there's a lot of pressure, a lot of stress, a lot of spotlight on the players," Hussey said. "I guess in a perfect world you'd like to be able to get some good first-class cricket under his belt where he feels really comfortable with his game, really confident with his game, and then make the huge step up from there.

"But it's a great experience just for him to be around the (Australian) team and around the squad to see how they prepare, how they train.

"He's been brilliant in all facets of the game, really. It's an easy game at the moment."

The West Australian

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