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Sheffield Shield 2023-24 – Wade, Inglis, Short, Johnson return to Shield cricket but Maxwell rests

Wade has been named to open the batting for ladder-leading Tasmania against Victoria while Short has been included in Victoria’s side on return from the New Zealand series.

Johnson and Inglis will also play their first Shield matches of the season for South Australia and Western Australia respectively but Aaron Hardie has been ruled out with his ongoing calf trouble.

Wade played two games for Tasmania earlier this season including making 105 in a record chase of 432 against Queensland, but has been unavailable since due to T20I commitments for Australia.

He hasn’t opened the batting in a first-class since he was asked to do it four times in his last Test series against India in 2020-21. Wade will replace the struggling Tim Ward at the top of the order for Tasmania. Ward has been dropped after three consecutive ducks.

Maxwell still has ambitions to play Test cricket again for Australia and remains on the radar for the tour of Sri Lanka next year but he will not play for Victoria this week. Maxwell has appeared in just two first-class matches since 2019 with both coming last year after returning from his broken leg. He hasn’t played a red-ball game since a one-off appearance for Warwickshire in July.

Inglis will make his first Shield appearance the season for WA against Queensland at the WACA ground having missed the first seven due to international white-ball commitments. But Hardie has been ruled out with the calf issue he suffered in the last match against Tasmania. There was a hope he might be able to play as a batter only but was not passed fit after also being ruled out of the T20I tour of New Zealand and the Marsh Cup final.

Johnson is in line to play his first match of the season and just his fifth first-class match overall after being included in South Australia’s 12-man squad to face New South Wales in Sydney. Johnson has not played a first-class game since Australia A’s tour of New Zealand last April. He took bags of six and seven in his first two Shield matches last summer.

New South Wales have included uncapped legspinner Smit Raval, who moved to Australia from India in 2018, in their squad as they aim to push for spot in the final.

Tasmania squad TBC

Victoria squad Will Sutherland (capt), Xavier Crone, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Campbell Kellaway, Nic Maddinson, Todd Murphy, Fergus O’Neill, Mitch Perry, Will Pucovski, Matt Short, Peter Siddle

Western Australia squad TBC

New South Wales squad Ollie Davies, Jack Edwards, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Ryan Hadley, Moises Henriques (capt) Daniel Hughes, Sam Konstas, Blake Nikitaras, Jack Nisbet, Smit Raval, Chris Tremain

Queensland squad Jimmy Peirson (capt), Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Jack Clayton, Angus Lovell, Ben McDermott, Gurinder Sandhu, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street, Mitchell Swepson, Callum Vidler, Jack Wildermuth

South Australia squad Wes Agar, Kyle Brazell, Jordan Buckingham, Brendan Doggett, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Spencer Johnson, Thomas Kelly, Jake Lehmann (capt), Ben Manenti, Nathan McAndrew, Nathan McSweeney, Harry Nielsen

Alex Malcolm is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo

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