Apr 272013

Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon can expect a spike in form after moving to New South Wales, Ryan Harris says. Source: AFP

AS NATHAN Lyon and Daniel Christian depart South Australia, they will be encouraged by the success of Redbacks alumini who moved east.

News Limited exclusively revealed Test off-spinner Lyon was headed to New South Wales and Christian to Victoria in advance of Wednesday’s release of state team lists.

Former Australian allrounder Christian rightly felt undervalued – ignored at Shield level since November despite SA losing its final two games.

Lyon was never going to stay another season in a fruitless off-spin tandem with skipper Johan Botha that unbalanced the team and threatened his Ashes preparation.

Lyon’s seven wickets at 72 in five Shield matches last season for SA meant the grass would always be greener at the SCG.

Left-hander Mark Cosgrove was shipped off to Tasmania three seasons ago and has two Sheffield Shield titles as consolation.

Former Redbacks cricket director Rod Marsh sent Ryan Harris to Queensland in 2008. The popular speedster now has an array of Test caps and titles with Queensland and Brisbane Heat to prove he deserved a three-year deal denied in Adelaide.

“It has been an amazing move for both of us. I have been here for five years and only missed a final once,” Harris said of his escape from Adelaide along with former Northern Districts and SA teammate Cosgrove.

“It is just amazing to be able to move to a place like Brisbane, continue to make finals, scrap to the last minute and get in.”

South Australia inexplicably axed Cosgrove but preserved peers with thinner skinfolds and averages. The Redbacks are still searching for a homegrown batsman capable of averaging 40 at first-class level.

Brittle batting cost the Redbacks a Shield final berth this season with only Phil Hughes averaging over 40.

Cosgrove was the leading Sheffield Shield run-scorer in Tasmania’s 2010-11 title winning season with 806 at 53. Only legendary Ricky Ponting (911) eclipsed Cosgrove’s 2012-13 Shield run tally of 784.

“You get moved on, find a happier place and do well which has happened to me and Ryan. They were good moves for us,” said opener Cosgrove, with a first-class average of 43 for SA, Tasmania and Glamorgan.

“It is a pretty good set up here, a great place Tassie. I have another season to go on the contract the lads are fantastic, there’s so much talent in the rooms, it would be silly to walk away from that.”

Favourite son Darren Lehmann was overlooked for a coaching role with SA in 2010 and instead delivered the Big Bash, one-day and Sheffield Shield titles inside 18 months as Queensland coach.

The closest SA fans get to Lehmann is his statue behind the members stand.

“Even as a player and captain he was fantastic around the group so I could just imagine how good he would be as coach,” Cosgrove said.

“If ever the chance came up to coach Australia and he wanted the job he would be right up there I would think.”

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