Jackson calls on Southland team to dominate

Last updated 07:59 22/02/2014

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The requirements for Southland in this weekend's Hawke Cup game against Otago Country at Queens Park in Invercargill are minimal.

First-innings points, a washout or a drawn match without any result would be enough to put Southland on track to a Hawke Cup challenge against Manawatu or Canterbury Country. Southland coach Steve Jackson said if his team were genuine Hawke Cup contenders they needed to be showing that against Otago Country - scraping through would not be not good enough.

He felt a commanding performance was what they needed.

"This is the dress rehearsal and as a result we have to be playing our final [southern zone] game as the dominant team around. "So we have to be clinical and set our standards high in the field, bowling and batting." Jackson has issued a challenge for his batsmen this weekend to show they can bat time and plenty of it. If Southland were to challenge for the Hawke Cup, and have hopes of winning, a first-innings total of 300-plus was vital.

"This is the time the guys have really got to start putting away some of the shots that get them out and be prepared to bat for several hours.

"We talked at length about Brendon McCullum and the length of time he batted for in that test match and that's what needs to be done in Hawke Cup matches.

"Our guys get in the habit of just batting 45 minutes or an hour but that's not good enough at the next level up, which is a Hawke Cup challenge," Jackson said.

This weekend's Hawke Cup fixture will have a special touch to it as the Southland Cricket Association celebrates 150 years of representative cricket in the province.

Many past and present players, administrators, coaches and supporters will be in attendance.

"A lot of those old players are going to be there watching and talking about what it was like in their days," Jackson said.

"But we've got to focus on the game. We can socialise and talk with them . . . after the game but certainly in the duration of the game our sole focus has got to be on the cricket we're playing."

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- The Southland Times


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