Tasmania Marsh Cup Preview

Tasmania bowler Peter Siddle and Jordan Silk will play key parts for Tasmania this year. (credit Tasmania Tigers twitter)

Tasmania is without many experienced squad members for the Marsh Cup. The Tigers will be looking to improve on last years fourth place.

Tasmania will be looking to continue some good form in the Sheffield Shield through to the Marsh Cup when it takes on Western Australian in its opening Marsh Cup match of the season.

Tasmania is still without a full-time head coach after Jeff Vaugh resigned in August after becoming a Cricket Australia assistant coach. With Ali de Winter now stepping in for an interim period guided by Sydney Sixers BBL coach Greg Shipperd.

With many players in the UAE, Tasmania will need to reach into its pockets to find depth in the squad. Beau Webster will likely lead the team with both Matthew Wade and Tim Paine currently unavailable.

Last Season                    

Much like it was in the Sheffield Shield, Tasmania was so close but just needed something extra to get them into the final. Tassie finished fourth on the ladder but will be looking to improve once again this season.

Tasmania had an indifferent season last Marsh Cup, winning two matches from its five games. IT was a disappointing final match for the Tigers, with Tassie looking to win and a bonus point in the final match. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get there with WA running home 159 run winners.

Last season, Tasmania’s opening win came against the mighty Victoria, who were looking to get younger players experience at the domestic level through the Marsh Cup. Tasmania started well with the ball. Tom Andrews and Beau Webster were the best of them, with three and two wickets, respectively. With the bat, Mac Wright and Jordan Silk led the way with the ’60s each to secure the win.

Tasmania’s best win came against South Australia, coming home nine-wicket winners. The Tasmanian bowled the SACA’s out for only 104, with wickets coming to all bowlers except Nathan Ellis. Tom Andrews was once again the star with three wickets. Tim Paine then scored 54 to bring the win home to Tassie.

Jordan Silk was the leading man with the bat for Tasmania. The experienced right hand struck 175 runs across the tournament at an average of 58. He was well helped by Caleb Jewell, who scored 171 runs opening the batting. With the ball, it was once again Jackson Bird who led the way with ten wickets. Tom Andrews was also vital, with eight wickets at an economy of less than five.

Tom Andrews takes a wicket for Tassie as part of his 3-45 (credit cricket.com.au)

Team Strengths

Tasmania’s bowling ability will be the side’s primary key to success. With Wade and Paine not available for what could be the entire tournament, Tasmania’s experienced bowlers will need to lead from the front.

While Jackson Bird may miss the opening match as he did the opening shield fixture, the stars in Siddle and Meredith should be able to bowl Tasmania to many victories.

An underrated aspect of Tasmania’s bowling lineup Is its spin department. A mixture of Tom Andres, Beau Webster, and Jarrod Freeman will bowl crucial overs through the large middle period of 50 over matches. However, Jackson Bird will be a significant loss with the speedster having been the top ticket taker last season.

Peter Siddle was as good as ever in the two matches he played last season. He took four wickets, only going at 4.5 per over. Tasmania can bank a couple of wickets at a very cheap economy from Siddle if he plays every game.

Riley Meredith has also been named in the squad for the opening fixture. Meredith has come a long way in the last 12 months and will play a massive part for Tasmania. His extra pace will be too much for many, and with the opening game being played at the WACA, Meredith will look to use the pitch’s extra pace and bounce to his advantage.

Key Players

After being named as Tasmania Sheffield Shield captain last week, Beau Webster will be critical to the Tigers’ chances of winning the title this year. Webster has continued to grow, especially in T20 cricket. If he can replicate this form during the season, he will have a huge role to play. Last Webster took four wickets from four bowling innings; while he was expensive going at almost six per over, he chipped in with handy overs. Webster also averaged 46 with the bat across four innings he played.

Another key will be the leading run-scorer from the last campaign Jordan Silk. The batter continues to grow and struck an excellent century last week to prove he is in great form. Along with his outstanding fielding, he will continue to wow audiences with his skills. Last year he struck 175 at an average of almost 60. Silk will be critical to Tasmania’s chances of winning the title in 2021/22.

Player to Watch

Tom Andrews made the move from South Australia to Tasmania ahead of the season last year. He continued to go from strength to strength in the wide ball format. With Andrews, Tasmania has continued to show their willingness to take in players from other states, allowing them to improve their matches.

Andrews started his career with Tasmania in an impressive fashion, while wicketless his ten overs for 42 went a long way to keeping Tasmania competitive in that match. However, it was his second game, where he won man of the match and began an excellent run for Tasmania. He took 3-45 from 10 overs to secure a win for Tasmania, allowing the side to bowl Victoria out for only 222.

While his overall bowling average in List A cricket is 45, he made this drop dramatically last season. Taking eight wickets through his five matches and bowling the most maidens for the state. His best figures for the year came in the win against South Australia, where he took 3/29. Andrews won’t be the most exciting player, but he is one to watch as if he bowls well; Tasmania will win more than they lose.

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Who’s in for national selection?

The Australian captain Tim Paine will miss at least the next couple of weeks. As well as this, he will miss most of the season as he tries to captain Australia to winning another Ashes.

Although Matthew Wade is likely to miss out on Australian selection after falling out of favour for test cricket, he will be in the UAE for the World Cup as the first-choice keeper.

Nathan Ellis will also be off to the World Cup as he is a travelling reserve. He will miss at least two months of cricket before linking back up with the Tigers. Riley Meredith may also be in line for Australian selection later in the season when international white-ball cricket comes around.

Season Predictions

With so many experienced players out, it is fully expected that Tasmania will struggle through the tournament. However, the fight the team showed during its last Sheffield Shield match will be impossible to rule out.

Tasmania’s bowling will be a clear strength, and many games will come down to whether they can bowl their opposition out. With future fixtures still undetermined, it is unknown whether Jackson Bird can come back to bowl Tasmania to victory.

This may well be the season where we see Beau Webster stand up and take a position as one of Australia’s premier all-rounders.

The first match against a powerful yet depleted Western Australian at the WACA Tasmania will face their biggest test first up.

Full Squad

Squad: Tom Andrews, Gabe Bell, Jackson Bird, Jake Doran, Nathan Ellis, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Lawrence Neil-Smith, Tim Paine (CA contracted player), Sam Rainbird, Peter Siddle, Jordan Silk, Mac Wright, Matthew Wade, Charlie Wakim, Tim Ward, Beau Webster.

Rookies: Brad Hope, Mitch Owen, Nivethan Radhakrishnan, Iain Carlisle, Jarrod Freeman.

In: Brad Hope, Nivethan Radhakrishnan

Out: Alex Doolan, Keegan Oates, Alex Pyecroft, Tom Rogers, Jack White

Predicted XI

1.   Caleb Jewell

2.   Charlie Wakim

3.   Jake Doran

4.   Ben McDermott (wk)

5.   Jordan Silk

6.   Mac Wright

7.   Beau Webster (c)

8.   Tom Andrews

9.   Peter Siddle

10. Lawrence Neil-Smith

11. Riley Meredith

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