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Philippe’s perfect response to Aussie axing

Philippe was in impeccable touch on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

West Australian batter Josh Philippe has continued his blistering form since being axed from the national side, bashing a crucial half-century in the Sheffield Shield clash with South Australia.

Philippe failed to impress in the recent tours of Bangladesh and the West Indies and was overlooked for Australia’s T20 World Cup squad but the snub doesn’t appear to have weighed on the wicketkeeper-batsman.

Best known as a stalwart of the BBL’s Sydney Sixers, Philippe showed he has plenty to offer in the longer form, too. With a masterful batting display, he poured cold water on South Australia’s hopes of recording its first win since February 2020.

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“I think I’m just really hungry to make some runs and perform well for Western Australia,” Philippe said afterwards.

“I’m just really enjoying my cricket and playing for Western Australia.”

Philippe admitted his year in the national side didn’t go to plan, but said he hoped he would be considered for a recall if he maintained his current form.

“It didn’t quite go as well as I would have liked, but plenty of learnings. Hopefully I can keep getting lots of runs and get back in the team,” he said.

Philippe knocked his eighth first class half-century. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)
Philippe knocked his eighth first class half-century. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

It would’ve felt like groundhog day for the Redbacks, who Philippe punished with a century in the One Day Cup clash earlier this week.

This time around, the 24-year-old partnered with Hilton Cartwright to steady the ship for Western Australia after the loss of Cameron Green and Shaun Marsh late on day one.

The Western Australians toyed with legspinner and Philippe’s BBL teammate Lloyd Pope on Friday, but the cult hero shook off his nightmarish first day to claim four wickets, including Philippe himself.

“The wicket’s starting to spin a bit so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out,” Pope said.

Pope’s bowling, and a freakish one-handed catch from wicketkeeper Alex Carey, were rare highlights for the Redbacks in the field, who now have their work cut out for them if they’re hoping to snap their winless run. Western Australia declared at 9/465.

After slogging his way to a century on day one, Green continued to prove just how much value he could add to the national team as an allrounder this summer.

The 6ft5 behemoth belted his third hundred from his past four Shield games on Friday but didn’t look out of place with the ball on Saturday, either.

After the West Australians declared, the Redbacks lost two wickets before the day was out. However, it appeared new recruit Jake Carder and Test star Travis Head were ready to light the way for the South Australians.

Coming off strong form playing List A cricket in England over the winter, Head will need to keep impressing on home soil if he’s to earn a Test recall this summer.

The 27-year-old last donned the baggy green in the 2020 Boxing Day Test. At stumps, his side had posted 164 runs and was two wickets down.

“There’s no reason why (Carder and Head) can’t both hit double hundreds, which I’d really like to see,” Pope said.

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