Marsh One-Day Cup 2019
Marsh One-Day Cup preview: Tasmania
Tigers coach Adam Griffith takes a closer look at his squad ahead of the start of the Marsh One-Day Cup
18 September 2019, 07:51 AM AEST
After falling just short of the silverware last year, Tasmania will be chasing their first domestic one-day title in a decade in this season rebranded, revamped tournament, the Marsh One-Day Cup.
Having been played as a single block of matches at the beginning of the season for the past six years, this summer tournament will span more than two months from September 21 to November 26 and be split by breaks for the Marsh Sheffield Shield, while teams could also lose players during the tournament due to Australia T20 series against Sri Lanka as well as their T20 and Test campaigns against Pakistan.
The Tigers will be without Test stars Tim Paine and Matthew Wade for their opening two matches, although they will be hoping to have them back in the fold as the competition progresses.
Tasmania had a unique pre-season in Darwin, playing a total of 11 matches in both 20-over and 50-over cricket as part of the NT Strike League, giving them a valuable chance to play and train outdoors during the winter months ahead of their season opener against defending champions Victoria in Perth on September 23.
Cricket.com.au spoke to Tasmania coach Adam Griffith to preview the tournament.
Tasmania have named the following 14-man squad, which doesn't include resting Test stars Tim Paine and Matthew Wade, for their opening two matches in Perth: Jordan Silk (c), George Bailey, Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, Jake Doran, Nathan Ellis, James Faulkner, Jarrod Freeman, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Alex Pyecroft, Gurinder Sandhu, Beau Webster
CA contracts: Tim Paine, Matthew Wade. Tasmania contracts: George Bailey, Gabe Bell, Alex Bevilaqua, Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, Jake Doran, James Faulkner, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Simon Milenko, Alex Pyecroft, Sam Rainbird Tom Rogers, Gurinder Sandhu, Jordan Silk, Charlie Wakim, Beau Webster, Sean Willis. Rookies: Iain Carlisle, Jarrod Freeman, Lawrence Neil-Smith, Keegan Oates, Jack White, Macallister Wright.
Possible Best XI: Matthew Wade (c), Tim Paine (wk), Ben McDermott, Jordan Silk, George Bailey, Beau Webster, James Faulkner, Jarrod Freeman, Jackson Bird, Gurinder Sandhu, Riley Meredith
2018 result: Runners-up
Sep 23: v Vic at the WACA Ground (Cricket Network)
Sep 25: v Tas at the WACA Ground (Cricket Network)
Sep 29: v SA at Karen Rolton Oval (Cricket Network)
Oct 1: v SA at Karen Rolton Oval (Cricket Network)
Oct 23: v NSW at the SCG (Fox Cricket & Kayo)
Nov 18: v Qld at Blundstone Arena (Fox Cricket & Kayo)
Nov 20: v NSW at Blundstone Arena (Fox Cricket & Kayo)
The inside word with Adam Griffith
We were playing cricket outside for two-and-a-half weeks (in Darwin), which is brilliant for us at that time of the year. A lot of our senior players were away so it was a very young group and a good chance for some of our young kids to show us how they're going and what they're learning. The ability to play a lot of games and play guys in different spots in the team - in one game we reversed the batting order and let the bowlers have a hit - was priceless for us.
Gabe Bell and Tom Rogers have just had a couple of little setbacks through the pre-season. They're back bowling now but those setbacks have pushed their start back a little bit. But we're really confident with how they're travelling, they might just have a bit of an interrupted start to the season.
Riley Meredith is improving as we'd hoped and expected. He growing up, he maturing, he understanding what being a professional sportsman is and he preparing accordingly. He was pretty good up in Darwin, he's bowling pretty fast at the moment, but like everyone else he needs to perform when the pressure on in competition. I think he's set himself up pretty well this year and we want to see that continual improvement and him to start to become one of the leaders of our bowling group.
Player to watch
I've been speaking pretty regularly on the phone to James Faulkner (who been playing T20 cricket in England) and he been speaking to our medical staff every week about his bowling loads to make sure he's ready to go physically. We've been talking about some tweaks to make to his bowling action as well. He been as engaged as I've seen him in a long time. That being said, I'm not going to put any expectations on Jimmy. We know there some chronic issues there with his body and his knees in particular that we've got to be across. We got some good cricket out of him in the Big Bash last year and unfortunately, he had those issues with his knees at the end of the tournament, which hindered him a little bit. It 's incumbent upon us to give him opportunities through the season to rest and recover so he's fit and firing at the business end of the season. If that means he plays all our one-day games and all our Big Bash games and we start to look at him for Shield cricket later, so be it.
What's your team's biggest strength?
I think what we did well last year was bat deep and have some really good partnerships, especially through the middle of our innings, and we want to try and replicate that again this year. And last year we were pretty good through the middle and at the end with the ball, but we probably didn't take as many wickets as we would have liked at up front. But we're really excited about the new-ball options in our team and we think that could be a strength for us this year, as opposed to last year.
Who's the biggest threat?
It's really hard to say because if you're not quite on, every team can win. That's what so great about our competition. And it'll depend a lot on players coming back from international duty, and injuries as well. WA play a few home games early on, South Australia get a few and then we get a few during the tournament as well. It a cliché, but there are no easy games.
What do you make of the new-look schedule?
I love it, I reckon it's brilliant. And I still reckon it's half the old system and half the new one; we still play four one-day games up front, then three or four games through the season, so we're really excited about it. It tests the ability of our players too; if you're going from one format to another, your game has to be in good order to do both.