The Newtown Tigers first-grade team will promote its big hitters to the top of the batting order against the South Dubbo Hornets at Victoria Park on Saturday.
The Tigers strengthened its batting line-up in the off-season and Captain Mat Skinner believes the opening round one-day format might allow his team to get 2018/19 off to a flying start.
“We are going in with the same team that we had selected to play the two-day game,” he said.
“The week off might actually help us a bit because it allowed those players we had that had niggling injuries or would have been a little underdone, to get right for this week.
“Wayne Dunlop will now play and he will strengthen our batting, and Ben Patterson would have been a bit jet-lagged because he only arrived back in the country a couple of days before the first week, so there are two that will be better for us after the week off.
“I was carrying a niggling knee injury last week, so the extra week to prepare has done me a world of good.”
Skinner said he would change the batting order for Saturday’s Whitney Cup clash.
“Our batting line-up in one day games looks a little different to how we’d line up in a two-day game,” he said.
“So we will change the batting order to accommodate the change to the one day format. We will be putting our big hitters up the batting order a bit on Saturday.
“We were very hot and cold with the bat last year and we’ve looked to improve from last year and get a bit more consistent with the bat.
“Each batsman will have a role to play this season in our batting line up.”
But it is not just the Tigers’ batting that Skinner hopes has improved from last season.
“We have a mobile fielding unit this year and I think that will help us, we look good in all formats this year,” he said.
“We have four good quick bowlers who’ll trouble opposition batsmen, so coupled with good batting and good fielding we’re looking pretty good this year.
“However, you can look pretty good on paper, but if you don’t bring the form to the paddock, it doesn’t mean much.”
Hornets club president Adam Wells said the club is in a good position for the 2018/19 summer.
“I think we can win the opening game against the Tigers, everyone has been training well and can’t wait to get out and play,” he said.
“We have some exciting prospects on our list and if we are enjoying our cricket and having fun, then that's when we'll play our best.
“I’d say our goal is to make the finals, but we understand it’s a tough competition this summer.”