Alex Doolan says the fight Tasmania showed in its patient final-day endeavours against Victoria last week is a sign the Tigers are growing as a team as they chase successive Sheffield Shield final appearances.
Tasmania batted out the final day at Junction Oval to secure a draw, highlighted by Doolan's 88 from 202 balls, 41 from 116 from Jordan Silk, 36 from 125 from Charlie Wakim and an extraordinary 5 not out from 98 from Ben McDermott.
"We did really well to salvage a draw after the way we played the first two days,'' Doolan said.
"I don't know if I could pinpoint one specific difference, but we are gelling really well as a team and we have played a lot of cricket as a group, so what happened in Victoria at the Junction is something that we worked hard on in our training and something we are confident that we can pull off day in and day out."
The 33-year-old believed the inclusion of Tim Paine for the clash with Western Australia starting on Tuesday in Hobart could only enhance the prospects of the third-placed Tigers.
The Test skipper and Alex Pyecroft are back, with spinner Jarrod Freeman and left-arm quick Sam Rainbird out, while George Bailey is still recovering from his shoulder injury.
Doolan said the former skipper had "high hopes" of appearing for the Tigers again this summer.
We did really well to salvage a draw after the way we played on the first two days.Alex Doolan
"It is a different looking Western Australian team from what we have seen before, as they have few national representatives at the moment,'' he said about this week's match.
"But they are a proud state and they are going to come hard as they are in a good position to potentially make it as well. So it is going to be a good game and we are going to be playing on a wicket that is completely different from the last two games that we have played."
But one thing he said he wasn't a fan of was the use of the Dukes ball in the second half of the season, which he said "swung all day".
"If the wickets are going to get flat, it is good that the ball swings, but I think you have to be more of a well-rounded cricketer with the ball tailing in, and you can get more spin if you can get the foot marks.
"When we play a whole summer with the Kookaburra ball in the national team, I don't know really why we are playing with the Dukes and I'd like to see it go back to the Kookaburra the whole time, or go the other way with the Dukes the whole time."
Play will start at 10.30am on Tuesday.