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SA axe Cosgrove from Shield team

South Australian batsman Mark Cosgrove is upset at being axed just days after playing a key role in a season-opening Sheffield Shield win.

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Cosgrove made 46 and 78 in SA’s victory against Queensland yet has been dropped for Phil Hughes for the day-night fixture against NSW starting on Saturday at Adelaide Oval.

“Mark is disappointed … while he was upset, he understood the decision,” SA coach Darren Berry said on Friday.

“Phil Hughes was coming in and someone was going to miss out.

“The sign of a good side is when you have to leave good players out and that was a very tough decision.”

Hughes returns to open the batting while paceman Gary Putland is ruled out with a calf strain, replaced by uncapped quick Cameron Valente.

Fellow fast bowler Daniel Worrall also made the squad at the expense of batsman Sam Raphael, who was 12th man last start.

The Blues, who lost their opening Shield game against Victoria, have been strengthened by the return of Test squad members Mitchell Starc and Steve O’Keefe.

But Test tweaker Nathan Lyon will miss the match to spend time with his newborn girl – his partner Mel giving birth to the couple’s second child on the final night of the second Test in Abu Dhabi.

NSW omitted novice spinner Patrick Jackson and were unable to select Josh Hazlewood, who will join Australia’s one-day squad.

SA: Johan Botha (capt), Tom Cooper, Callum Ferguson, Travis Head, Phil Hughes, Tim Ludeman, Andrew McDonald, Joe Mennie, Chadd Sayers, Cameron Valente, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa (12th man to be named).

NSW: Peter Nevill (capt), Ryan Carters, Harry Conway, Scott Henry, Josh Lalor, Nick Larkin, Stephen O’Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Ben Rohrer, Gurinder Sandhu, Will Somerville, Mitchell Starc (12th man to be named).

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