Tallangatta are backing their star recruit Shoaib Shaikh to come good after a disappointing first half of the season.
Shaikh, the former IPL batter, smashed 836 runs for New City in 2020/21, averaging 59.71 and scoring at a strike rate of 99.1 on his way to three centuries and four fifties.
But his numbers at the turn of the year are lower than the Bushies would have expected, with Shaikh putting just 117 runs on the board from eight innings.
He started the season with 56 in a second-grade match against Howlong but since then, has scratched around for any sort of score.
Aside from 48 in the win over Wodonga Raiders, his card reads 0, 1, 23, 0, 13, 22 and 10 but coach and captain Matt Armstrong believes it's only a matter of time before Shaikh clicks into gear.
"I've got no qualms or problems with Shoaib," Armstrong insisted.
"He's been a real good influence around the team, in particular at training and helping the young guys.
"He's a class player and the runs will come.
"He's really struggled to get firing but that's probably the nature of T20 cricket.
"We've been comfortable with what he's produced so far and I'm confident he'll pick up the numbers in the 50-over format, where he's got a bit more time to feel the game and there's a few more loose balls.
"I've no doubt he'll have a couple of big numbers next to his name by the end of the season."
Tallangatta sit second-bottom on the provincial ladder, nine points off the top six, but reinforcements are on the way.
"Sam Stephens is the obvious inclusion," Armstrong said.
"He's been the leader of our bowling attack for a long time so he's the most obvious one to come straight back in, now that the COVID stuff has changed.
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"He's a former leading wicket-taker for the competition, a representative cricketer and a left-handed bowler who swings it, which is pretty unique in this competiiton.
"We're very positive on the English guys too, with the types of visas that have opened up.
"They can come on a working holiday visa, which is something that wasn't available until around December 15.
"They're in train now and we'll just see what happens with immigration.
"We're probably 60/40 of seeing a couple more UK-based players coming out in January to play for us.
"It helps with the depth in B-grade as well and it creates a bit of interest around the club.
"Having overseas players there is good for the kids too.
"It's just about organising times and flights and as soon as the Australian Government says it's OK to come, they're really keen and ready to rumble."
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