Play the percentages.
That’s the message Orange coach Dave Boundy sent to the makeshift Blue Baggers side named to take on the Blue Mountains in Sunday’s opening game of the 2016-17 President’s Cup at Country Club Oval.
It’s been almost a decade since Orange last won Mitchell Cricket Council’s top honour, a period in which – outside making the final eight of the SCG Country Cup in 2010-11 – success has been fleeting for the Blue Baggers in all competitions.
After being forced to make seven changes from the side which lost out to Cowra in the Country Cup last month, Boundy conceded a change of focus is necessary this weekend as well.
“It’s a young side and there’s quite a bit of inexperience there as well, so yes, as a side they probably need to approach this game a bit differently,” Boundy said.
“It’s about playing the percentages and making sure they stay in the game and stay in the moment.
“For example, going out there all guns blazing with attacking intent with the bat is good in theory but it could also get a young side into a bit of trouble.
“So focusing hard on building a total, playing your role as a batsman, keeping wickets in hand and being smart about the way they bat is probably the best way to go about things in that regard.
“It’s not about being defensive, or negative, it’s about being smart in trying to get the result we want.”
Boundy said the Blue Mountains are somewhat of an unknown prospect no matter when a side comes up against them, but he expects there to be plenty of class in the Cattle Dogs’ line up.
“They always have plenty of good players but in reality we probably aren’t too sure what they’ll bring to the table,” Boundy said.
“This weekend will be a good opportunity for a few younger guys, who will probably play a lot of representative cricket, to get a taste of this level.
“A lot of them won’t have any fear, we’ve got Daryl Kennewell leading the side and you know he’ll always back his players and keep them fighting as hard as they can.”
Sunday’s game kicks off at 10am at Country Club Oval.
ORANGE: Daryl Kennewell ©, Matt Baker, Jock Cartwright, Josh Doherty, John Warrington, Tom Aggett, Charlie Mortimer, Ed Wright, Fletcher Rose, Lance Hearn, Chris Novak, Scott Kennedy.