On a day where he blasted the third fastest half-century in Australian domestic 50-over cricket, South Australia batsman Jake Lehmann says he’s can’t wait for the start of the JLT Sheffield Shield.
Lehmann’s whirlwind fifty against Victoria on Thursday was brought up in just 22 balls, beaten only by Glenn Maxwell’s 19-ball effort in 2011-12 and David Hookes (21 balls) in 1990-91 as the fastest seen at state level in Australia.
The left-hander, who hit boundaries to all parts of North Sydney Oval, finished with 63 from 25 balls as the Redbacks secured a vital win to move into second place on the JLT One-Day Cup points table.
While he was chuffed speaking about his remarkable knock after the match, Lehmann was beaming when he was asked about the upcoming first-class season ahead of the iconic Magellan Ashes.
“I love playing Shield cricket, I love playing for SA,” Lehmann said.
“We’re chomping at the bit to play Shield cricket after this is done and right some wrongs.
“Two Shield finals and losing both of them really cuts you deep at the end of the day.
“It’s the reason you rock up to training the next week and day after day.”
The two Shield final defeats Lehmann laments have come at the hands of Victoria, the state that has won the past three first-class titles in this country.
While team success is what Lehmann ultimately desires for South Australia, on an individual level there is a No.6 spot in the Australia Test team up for grabs.
The 25-year-old will have no better opportunity to impress Australia’s selectors – including head coach and father Darren – and the leadership duo of Steve Smith and David Warner when the Adelaide Oval hosts NSW in the first Shield match of the summer under lights.
Lehmann says a good score against an incredible Blues fast bowling attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Patrick Cummins – the likely Test trio of quicks – could see him in the good books of the national captain.
“It will be interesting, but the best thing about it is we’ve made two Shield finals, we want to stand up and play against the best sides,” he said.
“If anyone gets runs against them I’m sure Smithy (Test skipper Smith) will be happy to put his hand up and say that’s a pretty good knock with that kind of attack rolling around.”