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The backbone of Australian cricket is arguably their culture and the domestic framework that they have. Big Bash League and Sheffield Shield ensure that the scouts and selectors find battle-hardened players before they actually represent Australia. The ongoing Sheffield Shield will be an opportunity for the young cricketers to make their mark. Up next in the tournament are Tasmania set to take on New South Wales in a match, which is to begin on 20th March at Bellerive Oval, Hobart.
Led by Tim Paine, Tasmania isn't really having a good time in the tournament. After having played six matches, they are placed at the fifth spot on the ladder and are yet to win a match. They have just 12.43 points to their name and will be desperately looking for a win in this upcoming contest. The good thing is that they have still managed to draw three of their six matches.
Tasmania are recently coming off a narrow loss at the hands of New South Wales in the Marsh Cup, which is a different format. Having said that, most of their team is pretty much the same and the result of that match might have some impact on how they turn out in this upcoming match. As far as the longest format of the game is concerned, Tasmania last played a match against Victoria earlier this month and they managed to salvage a draw in that game. They were helped by inclement weather conditions as Victoria were always ahead in the match and will be disappointed by that result.
On paper, Tasmania have a decent side with experienced players available, but they do not have anyone with specializations in red-ball cricket. The likes of Jordan Silk, Beau Webster, Jackson Bird, and Nathan Ellis are known more for their T20 exploits and have found it a tad difficult in Sheffield Shield. The management would want those players to come good and if that happens, Tasmania could very well give even the best a run for their money.
Jordan Silk, Charlie Wakim, Matthew Wade, Caleb Jewell, Jake Doran, Tim Paine, Beau Webster, Jarrod Freeman, Jackson Bird, Peter Siddle, Sam Rainbird.
New South Wales are placed at a position exactly opposite to that of Tasmania. They are right behind Queensland, who are at the top of the table, and a win here for NSW could propel them to the top of the table and that is exactly what they'll be looking for. In the six matches played, New South Wales have won three and lost just one. They recently registered a win over Tasmania, albeit in a different format, and will be brimming with confidence.
In their last Sheffield Shield match, New South Wales did remarkably well with David Warner playing an important role as they chased down South Australia's total of 295. Given that they scaled the chase on the last day of the match, it was a remarkable feat to achieve, which speaks volumes about the kind of batting they have.
Apart from David Warner, NSW have Nick Larkin, Kurtis Patterson, Moises Henriques, and Sean Abbott available at their disposal and they all have been in terrific touch with the bat. However, it's not their batting that gives NSW the strength. It's the availability of world-class bowlers in Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc that makes them capable of picking twenty wickets against any batting lineup.
New South Wales are arguably the best-balanced side of the tournament and with the form they are in, getting past them is going to be immensely difficult for Tasmania.
Daniel Hughes, N Larkin, Daniel Solway, Kurtis Patterson, Jason Sangha, Peter Nevill, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc, Trent Copeland, Nathan Michael Lyon, Harry Conway.
Tasmania are led by one of the most experienced captains in Tim Paine and that is perhaps the only factor that weighs in favor of them. Otherwise, New South Wales are coming off remarkable victories in their previous matches and have the momentum. Besides, they have a better-balanced and more experienced unit and are, therefore, our pick to emerge on top in this all-important match.
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