DAN Christian’s move from South Australia – to be finalised on Friday – will place the onus on Adelaide-bound Andrew McDonald to find elusive durability next season.
The Advertiser revealed last week that Test off-spinner Nathan Lyon was being pursued by New South Wales before cricket’s recruiting period ends on Anzac Day with Christian also on his way.
Christian, 29, has become the latest in a line of former Australian players including Mark Cosgrove, Ryan Harris and Darren Lehmann to be surplus to requirements in playing or coaching capacities with South Australia.
Christian had been receptive to linking with Brisbane Heat team-mates and coach Lehmann in Queensland if a deal could be worked to release him from the final year of his contract in Adelaide. However, a switch to the MCG could appease a Victorian unit that wanted cover for four-Test allrounder McDonald.
McDonald, 31, is a formidable force when fit but last season added just two to a 91 game first-class tally that’s delivered 4573 runs at 39.7 and 201 wickets at 28.
A serious hamstring strain hobbled McDonald last season with the Bushrangers while his 2010-11 first-class campaign realised just six games due to a calf injury.
Christian’s fall from favour was as swift as it was disconcerting having been 12th man for Australia against India in the 2011 Boxing Day Test.
Christian conceded he had to “weigh things up” in any effort to continue with SA having played just four first-class games last season despite winning a Big Bash League title with the Heat.
Passionate performer Christian had been overlooked for Sheffield Shield selection since being suspended in November for damaging dressing room equipment.
Christian, who played the last of his 17 one-day games for Australia against Pakistan last September in the United Arab Emirates, feared he would not be picked in SA’s opening games next season and was disappointed at being snubbed when he could have made a difference in late season Shield games.
Christian is away all off-season on duty with Indian Premier League side Bangalore Royal Challengers before fulfilling a T20 deal with county side Gloucestershire.