New South Wales have made the bold decision to drop their captain and two-Test batter Kurtis Patterson from their Sheffield Shield team for the final match of the season against South Australia as the Blues try and avoid a winless season.
Since starting the Shield season with scores of 72 not out, 3, 40, 25 and 122 not out, Patterson has scored just 155 runs at an average of 14.09 in his last 11 innings with one half-century. Eight of those scores have been single figures including 1 and 9 in NSW's last Shield loss to Victoria in Albury.
Stand-in coach Greg Shipperd, who took over from Phil Jaques in late November after the former Test opener was sacked following a horror start to the season, made the bold decision to drop Patterson alongside the NSW chairman of selectors and head of male cricket Michael Klinger.
"Our batting group have been inconsistent recently in delivering the runs necessary to establish the match positions we were looking for," Shipperd said.
"We recognise it is a difficult decision to pass on your captain but we are confident Kurtis will regather and draw purpose from this call into the future.
"It was decided to support consistent and inform batters in this season's last fixture, with the currency being runs."
Moises Henriques will stand in as captain for the match against South Australia at Karen Rolton Oval.
The Blues look set to make five changes. Blake Nikitaris has also been dropped while Trent Copeland has retired. Daniel Hughes has a calf injury and Liam Hatcher is out with a foot issue.
Jason Sangha, Ryan Hackney, Ryan Hadley and Ben Dwarshuis have been included in the squad while last week's 12th man Blake MacDonald is in-line to make his Shield debut.
Shipperd emphasised the selection changes were based on performance at the lower levels.
"Ryan Hackney has been in the Blues team previously and has averaged over 65 in Second Xl this season," Shipperd said.
"Blake MacDonald was in the squad with us for the last match, although he didn't play. He has had a phenomenal summer, scoring consecutive Second Xl centuries for ACT / NSW Country as well as 177 not out against the touring West Indies side. This week in the match between NSW Metro and NSW/ACT Country he scored in the 90's twice.
"He was given feedback earlier in the season and asked to score more runs and he has more than done that. Those two guys completely demanded selection.
"Similarly, Jason Sangha was left out of our last match and went away and scored plenty of runs in this week's Second Xl match.
"Ryan Hadley is another who has put the form on the board with an extremely dominant Premier Cricket season."
NSW Shield squad vs South Australia: Ollie Davies, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Ryan Hackney, Ryan Hadley, Moises Henriques (c), Hayden Kerr, Blake MacDonald, Jason Sangha, Chris Tremain