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Rookies take centre stage

Saturday, 2nd November, 2013

Key batsmen Central skipper Jarred Paull (left) and West vice-captain Matthew Handberg (right) go head-to-head when their teams meet today.PICTURES: Gavin Schmidt Key batsmen Central skipper Jarred Paull (left) and West vice-captain Matthew Handberg (right) go head-to-head when their teams meet today.PICTURES: Gavin Schmidt

By By Ethan James

Central skipper Jarred Paull will be relying on his rookie brigade in the 45-over grand final rematch against West at Alma Oval today.

The Magpies have made five changes to their 11 from last week and are missing a number of key batsmen including opener Cam Wells.

“They always train well, the young blokes. They can be a bit nervous but we’ll just chuck them in the deep end and see how they go,” Paull said.

Paull has yet to be dismissed in three innings this season but doesn’t feel any added pressure as chief batsmen.

“We just look at in terms of whoever is in our best team on the day - we back them to do their best,” he said.

He expects a fast outfield and despite “not winning a toss all year” is hopeful of batting first on a deck expected to yield plenty of runs.

Paull says the key to success against the West top order is slowing the scoring rate.

“If we can lessen their impact early then it can be hard to get runs late in the day at the Alma.”

Meanwhile, West vice-captain Matthew Handberg says his side is still adjusting between the shorter and longer formats of the game.

“I’ve only played two games so far but I’ve probably been a little too aggressive with the bat,” he said.

“I’m hitting a few in the air when I prefer to go along the ground.

“I think we’re probably still adjusting to the turf wickets after training on synthetic all off season.”

The match between Central and West starts at 12:30 at Alma Oval, while North meet South at Jubilee Oval at the same time.

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