WIMMERA-MALLEE Cricket Association under-17 coach Chris Leith hopes his evenly-balanced Country Week side will enjoy success on the field next week in Warrnambool.
Wimmera-Mallee has been fixtured to open its tournament against Grassmere on Monday, before facing Warrnambool Gold on Tuesday and South West the following day.
Leith said he believed this year’s team, with a number of experienced senior cricketers, was stronger than in previous years.
“We’ve got a fairly even side this year and probably a stronger side than last year,” he said.
Leith highlighted Wycheproof’s Tom Trewin, who will captain the side, and co-vice captain Eddie Landwehr, from Donald, as important players.
“Tom should lead by example,” he said.
“He’s been opening the batting in A Grade for Wycheproof and Eddie’s been opening the bowling and batting first drop for Donald.”
Landwehr will be one the leaders of the bowling attack, with the left-hander capable of swinging the ball both ways.
Leith also tipped Beulah product Cooper Morris would bowl a few overs, with the young off-spinner making his way up from the under-15s.
The Wimmera-Mallee squad has three wicket-keepers, including Marnoo keeper-batsman Brylie Cameron, who Leith expected would feature heavily at the top of a strong batting order.
“Brylie’s probably our first drop,” he said.
“I think our strength’s probably in our batting. I reckon we bat down to our middle and lower order.”
The Wimmera-Mallee coach said above all, he hoped his team would enjoy the experience and develop match sense.
“It’s all about improving the game sense and game awareness,” he said.
“Like I said to the boys at a practice game a few weeks ago, it’s about enjoying the cricket.”