Con­sis­tency key to Tassie turn­around

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport - ADAM SMITH

A BREAK­THROUGH vic­tory last round re­leased the pres­sure valve on Tas­ma­nia’s Sh­effield Shield side but con­sis­tency, rather than striv­ing for con­sec­u­tive wins, re­mains the mea­sur­ing stick for cap­tain Ge­orge Bai­ley.

The Tigers opened the sea­son with a pair of out­right losses, be­fore rain on day four ru­ined a push for points against Vic­to­ria in round three at the MCG.

Last week the group tasted suc­cess for the first time in more than a year with a com­fort­able de­feat of South Aus­tralia in Adelaide, with at­ten­tion now turn­ing to NSW start­ing at Blund­stone Arena to­day in the last round be­fore the BBL break.

While the bowl­ing unit con­tin­ues to im­press and keep the out­fit in games, Bai­ley knows the bats­men must start pulling their weight by putting a big first in­nings to­tal on the board when given the chance.

“I still feel like the key for us will be con­sis­tency and the first two games weren’t very good but the last two were much bet­ter,” Bai­ley said.

“It would be great more than any­thing, re­sults aside, just to have three good games in a row.

“Cer­tainly with things are im­prov­ing.

“Still plenty to work on with the bat, we ob­vi­ously bat­ted well in the sec­ond in­nings in Mel­bourne but our first in­nings we were knocked over for 180 on a good bat­ting wicket and then on a good bat­ting wicket last week, only get­ting 280 and 240 to show for it.

“It is great we are knock­ing sides over and stay­ing in the con­test, the next thing is to re­ally put a big score to­gether with the bat.”

The fore­cast for the first two days of the clash with the Blues doesn’t look promis­ing, but Bai­ley’s ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing in Eng­land has taught him not to keep an eye on the weather.

What he does know, how- the ball ever, is even if day one is af­fected not much cricket will be lost, but that will present new chal­lenges to his play­ers.

“It is dif­fi­cult at Bel­lerive be­cause you don’t know what rain you are go­ing to get on that side of the river com­pared to the rest of Ho­bart.

“There is not much you can do but the thing is if there is rain on day one, if you lose all of day one, you ac­tu­ally only lose three hours of the game.

“It just makes for three re­ally long days which presents some other chal­lenges in your men­tal ap­pli­ca­tion and fa­tigue through­out the day.”

Tas­ma­nia is likely to field an un­changed XI, with Jack­son Bird re­leased from Test du­ties to take his place.

OP­TI­MISTIC: Ge­orge Bai­ley

LIN­ING UP: Jack­son Bird

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