Tasmanian Tigers fast bowler Sam Rainbird says Western Australia will still be a dangerous side despite missing many of their first-choice line up for tomorrow’s Sheffield Shield match.
The Warriors are missing a host of stars due to international commitments with the Marsh brothers, Cameron Bancroft, Ashton Agar, Jhye Richardson, Marcus Stoinis and Andrew Tye just some of the names absent from the squad.
“WA has a very strong squad with a lot of Australian players but I think the guys coming in for them will be quite hungry and looking to put their best foot forward,” Rainbird said.
“It’s hard to plan for players that you haven’t seen before. We won’t have seen as much footage or played against these players as much so it can be dangerous.
“They’ve still got some very good players – Hilton Cartwright and Ashton Turner have both had really good seasons so it’s going to be a big challenge for us but we’re looking forward to it.”
Rainbird said the team was looking forward to rectifying some of the issues they faced in Brisbane, where they were beaten by Queensland last week.
“It was disappointing at the Gabba. We had momentum before the Big Bash and probably lost it a bit during that game, so we’ll probably need to win three out of the next four to make the Shield finals,” he said.
“But we’re just looking to play good cricket at the moment. We know the ladder is tight so if we win this game we’re right back in the mix, but it’s more about our processes and the brand of cricket we want to play.”
The added challenge of extra swing caused headaches for the Tigers in Queensland, with the Dukes ball swinging further and longer in Brisbane than the traditional Kookaburra product.
However, Rainbird says he doesn’t mind playing with the different cricket ball.
“They’re obviously quite different to the Kookaburra balls – they swing a lot longer and more consistently, so there’s an advantage for the bowlers,” he said.
“When you play with them it’s about tinkering your game a bit, especially for the batsman because you don’t get a period in the game where it’s really nice to bat.”
Rainbird has had a great season for Tasmania in the red ball game, capturing 22 wickets in six games in the 2017-18 Sheffield Shield to sit sixth overall on the wicket-takers list.
“Things have been going to plan this year. Adam Griffith and I sat down before the season and talked about what’s ahead for me and trying to keep things simple,” he said.
“I think we’ve done that pretty well and I’m just trying to continue that.”
Both the Tigers and Roar are in action tomorrow, with the Tigers playing at Blundstone Arena from 10.30am and the Roar playing New South Wales at Lindisfarne Oval from 10am.
Tasmania Shield Squad: George Bailey (C), Alex Doolan, Jake Doran, Andrew Fekete, Hamish Kingston, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Simon Milenko, Sam Rainbird, Tom Rogers, Matthew Wade, Beau Webster
WA Shield Squad: Ashton Turner (C), Alex Bevilaqua, Will Bosisto, Jake Carder, Hilton Cartwright, Liam Guthrie, Matthew Hanna, Clint Hinchliffe, Andrew Holder, Josh Inglis, Simon Mackin, Josh Philippe, Jonathan Wells