Consistency key to Tassie turnaround
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