Image courtesy of cricket.com.au
Tasmania and New South Wales meet in the Ryobi Cup on Monday, with both teams decimated by international call-ups. Although the Blues are out of contention for a top two finish that would earn them a place in the decider, the Tigers would jump from fifth to third with a win and remain a chance of reaching the final for the fourth successive season.
Australian Twenty20 skipper George Bailey is one of the several players unavailable for Tasmania as the national team continues its preparation for Wednesday’s T20 International against the West Indies in Brisbane. In the absence of him and several other senior players, the likes of Ricky Ponting and Tim Paine will have to take on additional responsibility at the top of the order, while Jason Krejza is the most experienced bowler in at attack missing Xavier Doherty, Jackson Bird, Ben Hilfenhaus and James Faulkner.
While the Tigers are without several key men, the Blues have been hurt even more by international selections. In addition to the six players in Australia’s squad for the tour of India, New South Wales is also without Brad Haddin, Josh Hazelwood and Ben Rohrer, who are in the squad for the 20 over bash against the Windies. Like their opponent, the Blues will rely heavily on a core of experienced players in the match, with the likes of Doug Bollinger and Nic Maddinson set to play a key role.
New South Wales suffered a humiliating 111 run defeat to Western Australia at its most recent outing on January 30, while a washout at the Gabba in their last scheduled match means that the Tigers haven’t played a 50 over fixture since defeating the Warriors by 85 runs on December 1.
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