Tasmanian batsman Beau Webster is upbeat about what his side can achieve this season.
The state has endured a lean run in recent times, finishing in the bottom half of all three competitions last season and going without silverware for the past five years.
But a new coach and a refreshed squad has brought hope that when the domestic season kicks off in two weeks’ time, the Tigers will be challenging at the top of the table.
Speaking as part of the Tigers’ community blitz statewide tour, Webster said his side had high expectations for its 2017/18 campaign, starting with the JLT one-day series.
“We fancy ourselves as a big chance in that,” he said.
“We’ve got a really good squad together and everyone’s going really nice after a good pre-season.
“We are a little bit hurt by some of the losses with the Australian team being picked and Jimmy (Faulkner) and (Tim) Paine and (Matthew) Wade being away with the one-day team, but every state has those issues with their Australian representatives going away.
“We’ve got a really good squad and everyone’s (tracking) really well so we’re aiming high for the JLT series as well as for the Shield season.”
The Tigers squad completed the last clash of a five-game pre-season tour of Sunshine Coast on Monday, bagging three wins, a draw and a loss from matches against South Australia, Queensland, Papua New Guinea and a national performance squad.
Webster said the pre-season had allowed the team to get a better look at its talent stocks.
“We’ve had a couple of young guys come through in the bowling, Riley Meredith in particular on the rookie list is bowling fast and he’s getting better every year.
“His body has let him down in the past couple of seasons but he’s tracking really nicely this season and going really well.
“The other guy coming from interstate is big Nick Buchanan, he’s getting through his bowling stuff really well as well as Charlie Wakim who’s come straight into the squad and hasn’t looked out of place, he’s going really nicely and I’m sure the boys are really excited to see those guys get an opportunity to perform for Tassie.”
After making his first class debut for the Tigers in 2014, Webster got his first real crack in the one-day line-up last season, batting in the lower-than-normal number 7 spot and sending down some useful overs of off-spin.
The 23-year-old will look to cement his spot in all three formats of the game this season, starting by performing for the one-day side in October.
“My goal is to get picked and to perform if I do get the opportunity.
“It’s obviously a short tournament so it’s quite important you’re on the ball as soon as you get there.
“Once that finishes we’re straight into red ball cricket for five games before the Big Bash so it’s quite a condensed little period until Christmas time.
“It definitely has its challenges going from one-day cricket to Shield cricket then back to Big Bash but I suppose in these modern days of cricket we’ve got all the facilities and we’re full-time dedicated professionals now, so there’s no real excuse not to prepare for the upcoming game.”