Fekete dropped as Tigers wield axe

Tasmania have made a raft of changes to their Shield squad to play New South Wales

Fast bowler Andrew Fekete has gone from the cusp of a Baggy Green to being dropped by his state after Tasmania wielded the axe after their seventh straight Sheffield Shield defeat.

Fekete's axing was one of four changes to the squad for their Shield clash with New South Wales at Bankstown Oval.

Fekete, opening batsman Dom Michael and wicketkeeper Tim Paine have all been dropped from the Tigers’ 12-man squad for the game starting Saturday, while fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus has been rested.

Fekete’s demotion comes after he was selected in Australia’s Test squad for last month’s postponed two-Test tour of Bangladesh.

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The 30-year-old collected seven wickets at 43 in Tasmania’s two Shield 2015-16 losses to date, following a below-par Matador BBQs One-Day Cup campaign where he took 4-30 in the Tigers’ first match but took just two more scalps from his next five matches.

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Michael was dropped after scoring 43, 4, 0 and 2 at the top of the Tigers’ order, while wicketkeeper Paine scored 27 runs across his four Shield innings to date.

The Tigers have instead looked to their youth, calling in right-arm medium-fast bowler Hamish Kingston (24), wicketkeeper Tom Triffitt (24), batsman Beau Webster (21) and left-arm spinner Clive Rose (26) into the squad as Tasmania hunt for their first win of the Shield season following losses to Western Australia and Queensland.

"(He's) had a big 18 months and he's been struggling a bit with his body and that's affected his technique," Tassie coach Dan Marsh told reporters on Thursday.

As the Tigers search for their first win of the Shield season, Fekete will remain in Hobart working to overcome the problem.

"Where he's delivering the ball from, he's collapsing a little bit and he needs to get up a lot higher when he releases the ball," Marsh said.

"He needs to get more upright and that comes through his jump.

"We're not happy with losing games of cricket and we need improvement across the board."

Making his return from injury last match, Hilfenhaus was always going to skip round three, the coach said.

"Hilf was never going to be able to get through back-to-back games.

"We're just a little bit disappointed with his pace. We just need that to progress as we go through."

Ben Dunk would have been the obvious choice to replace Paine as `keeper, but Marsh will keep Dunk as a batting opener and doesn't want him overloaded.

Instead, Triffitt will take the gloves.

Spinner Rose has been brought into the squad to complement Xavier Doherty on the Bankstown pitch where the ball is known to spin and keep low.

Tasmania currently sit on the bottom of the Shield table without any points, after being penalised two for maintaining a slow over rate in the loss to Queensland.

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Earlier this week Tim Coyle, who coached the Tigers to three Shield titles between 2006 and 2013, said he was concerned by the team’s form slump.

"I am concerned like most Tasmanian cricket followers by what’s happening — seven games in a row is very un-Tasmanian," Coyle told the Examiner.

"Losing is no different to winning, they are both habits you get into. I can remember seasons where winning came easily because when you have that momentum it is hard to stop."

Meanwhile towering fast bowler Billy Stanlake is in line to become the 497th first class player to represent Queensland after being named in the Bulls' 12-man squad for their Sheffield Shield clash against South Australia.

Stanlake took seven wickets at 25.42 in four Matador BBQs One-Day Cup matches in October and previously represented Australia at the under-19 World Cup in 2014.

The 21-year-old has been called into the squad alongside James Hopes in place of quick Peter George and Michael Nesser, who was 12th man against Tasmania last week.

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Standing at 204cm, Stanlake is taller than George and former Australia quick Bruce Reid, who both stand at 203cm.

Last month, Queensland bowling coach Ashley Noffke tipped the young quick as a player to watch this domestic season.

"Billy has had a few weeks to get some good bowling under his belt since the one-dayers and it is a good opportunity to bring him in alongside James Hopes," Queensland selector Justin Sternes said.

"Pete was a little tight in the hamstring, which is the one he injured in the pre-season, and so the selectors felt it best to give him more time to recover.

"Michael will have the chance to play some Premier cricket on the weekend and keep mounting a case for future selection."

The West End Redbacks have made one change to their 13-man squad, with fast bowler Kane Richardson ruled out due to a strain in his right quadraceps.

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Elliot Opie has called called into the squad in his place and could make his first-class debut after enjoying a strong West End Premier League campaign earlier this year, taking 14 wickets across eight matches for the Eastern Edge. 

SACA high performance general manager Tim Nielsen said he didn’t want to risk Richardson after the nail-biting finish against Western Australia on Monday.

"Kane’s been feeling quite sore in his upper leg so we’ve decided to rest him for the clash against the Bulls to avoid any potential further injury later in the season." 

Daniel Worrall will remain on the sidelines for the Redbacks after missing last week’s match due to a hamstring strain.

Sheffield Shield teams

Tasmania Tigers: George Bailey (captain), Alex Doolan, Jackson Bird, Xavier Doherty, Jake Doran, Ben Dunk, James Faulkner, Hamish Kingston, Sam Rainbird, Clive Rose, Tom Triffitt, Beau Webster.

myFootDr Queensland Bulls: Chris Hartley (captain), Ben Cutting, Jason Floros, James Hopes, Sam Heazlett, Scott Henry, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Reardon, Matthew Renshaw, Billy Stanlake, Mark Steketee, Jack Wildermuth.

West End Redbacks: Travis Head (captain), Nick Benton, Tom Cooper, Mark Cosgrove, Callum Ferguson, Jake Lehmann, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Elliot Opie, Alex Ross, Kelvin Smith, Chadd Sayers, Adam Zampa.