As the 2023/24 Australian domestic cricket fixture kicks into full gear, the form of Tasmanian batter Charlie Wakim has been a major talking point thus far.
Often finding himself in and out of the side in recent years, the Tigers’ stalwart has taken his game to a new level to begin the season.
In four Sheffield Shield games to date, Wakim has amassed 411 runs (51.37 average), placing him second in the competition for runs scored.
Impressed by such scintillating touch has been captain Jordan Silk.
Speaking to the media ahead of his side’s November 11 Marsh Cup meeting with Victoria, the skipper praised the resilience on the part of his charge.
“He’s probably one that’s always been a little bit ‘in and out’ of our side,” he said.
“I just think probably this year, [there’s been] a shift in mindset for him, to go out and play a particular way that he wants to play.
“He’s been super impressive in red ball and it’s probably not a big surprise to a lot of our playing group. He’d been batting beautifully throughout the whole pre-season.”
Not nearly as prolific, Wakim’s one day campaign has also started in positive fashion, however.
Having been left out for the first two matches, the 32 year old returned to Tasmania’s Marsh Cup outfit with scores of 48 and 82 in wins over South Australia and Queensland respectively.
In Silk’s eyes, both performances were vital to the team’s fortunes, helping to build a solid foundation and set winning totals after back to back losses.
“[He was] left out of our one dayers at the start of the year, but then gets the opportunity off the back of some red ball stuff,” he told.
“He’s been getting us off to some great starts and [I’m] excited by what he’s done so far.
“He’s a popular member of the group and hopefully his good run can continue for a little bit longer.”
Eager to test Wakim’s mettle will be a Victorian side also fighting to keep momentum flowing.
Having won three out of four contests, the third placed visitors know a win in Launceston will result in a leap to the top of the table.
Conversely, a Tasmanian triumph would see the hosts remain well in the hunt for a top two finish, a fact Silk is acutely aware of.
“Every game’s probably like a final for us now after dropping our first two in a seven game season,” he said.
“We’re really process driven. The way we’ve played in our last couple of games is how we want to play as a unit.
“Whilst it is an important game, like any game, we won’t be seeing it that way. We’re going to go out there and play the way we have been over the last couple of weeks.
“Victoria pose a pretty strong competition, they’ve started this season well in the white ball format.
“They’re always a challenge and we look forward to taking them head on.”