Advertisement

Burns set to take on the new ball for the Bulls // Getty

Matador Cup preview: Queensland

We're previewing each of the sides in the lead-up to the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, with a close look at the my FootDr Queensland Bulls

The squad: Jason Floros (c), Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Luke Feldman, Cameron Gannon, Peter George, Marnus Labuschagne, Chris Lynn, Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Nathan Reardon, Matthew Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson 

Best XI (possible): Burns, Renshaw, Lynn, Reardon, Floros (c), Cutting, Peirson (wk), Feldman, Neser, George, Swepson

Who they're missing: Star batsman and regular skipper Usman Khawaja is in South Africa for Australia's ODI series, while fellow left-hander Sam Heazlett will miss with a thigh strain. Hard-hitting batsman Chris Lynn had been named in the squad, but is unlikely to be available until later in the tournament due to a shoulder injury.

Matador Cup: Full schedule

The inside word, with coach Phil Jaques: "(Jason Floros) captained the boys well on a few occasions during the pre-season and has done some good things in the past in that role. We’re pretty comfortable giving him this responsibility and opportunity. We’re pleased to welcome Joe Burns back into the Queensland ranks in the wake of his Australia ‘A’ efforts. We all hope some strong performances can help him win back his position at the top of the order for Australia. We’ve had a pretty consistent pre-season. The boys are nice and fit (and) ... we’ve been able to get good playing time into the majority of the squad as well as some other players around the group." 

All the sixes of the 2015 Matador Cup

The talking point: All eyes will be on opener Joe Burns early in the domestic summer as he aims to regain his spot in Australia's Test team. Burns was dropped for the third Test of the recent tour of Sri Lanka and watched on as his replacement, Shaun Marsh, posted a fine century to put him in the box seat to retain the opening slot for the first Test of the summer. The right-hander started last year's Matador Cup with three low scores before responding with three consecutive half-centuries and made a composed 78 in a first-class match for Australia A earlier this month. 

Burns scores second consecutive fifty

The 2015 result: It was a disappointing campaign for the Bulls last year, winning just two matches and finishing above only the Cricket Australia XI on the ladder. A thumping nine-wicket loss to Tasmania on the opening day set the trend and while they recorded a gutsy win over Victoria in Blacktown, their only other victory came against the CA XI. Their tournament turned on a thrilling one-wicket loss to South Australia at North Sydney Oval, a match that was there for the Bulls to win, while a 146-run thumping to a star-studded NSW side in Drummoyne summed up their tournament.

The young gun: A member of the Cricket Australia XI last season, Mitchell Swepson will go into this year's Matador Cup as one of Queensland's biggest strike weapons with the ball. After a breakout domestic season last summer, the leg-spinner impressed when he stepped up a level in the winter 'A' series this winter, taking 14 wickets in three first-class matches against India A and South Africa A. With Cameron Boyce moving to Tasmania in the off-season, Swepson will be expected to step up as Queensland's No.1 spinner this summer, while skipper Jason Floros will provide good support with his off-spin. 

Swepson's four seals South Africa A's fate

The pressure is on: There's not exactly any undue 'pressure' on allrounder Ben Cutting, but a lot will be expected of him after a breakthrough performance in the Indian Premier League this season. Playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL final, Cutting clubbed four sixes in a 15-ball 39 and he also snared two wickets, including West Indian star Chris Gayle for 76, to secure the man-of-the-match award and an eight-wicket win for his side. Speaking to cricket.com.au last month, Cutting said the performance has given him renewed confidence as he pushes to win back a spot in Australia’s limited-overs sides. "It's the belief that I got out of it," he said. "I've always been happy with how I've been able to bat at the end (of an innings) ... but (the IPL final) was a really good confidence boost with the ball. Bowling in such good batting conditions on that big stage, it was a relief for me, I guess." 

Warner leads Sunrisers to maiden title

The fixtures:


October 1 v Cricket Australia XI, AB Field, Brisbane

October 3 v Tasmania, AB Field, Brisbane

October 6 v Western Australia, WACA, Perth

October 9 v South Australia, WACA, Perth

October 14 v NSW, Drummoyne Oval, Sydney

October 18 v Victoria, Drummoyne Oval, Sydney

2016 Matador BBQs One-Day Cup - broadcast matches:

Oct 5: SA v Vic, WACA Ground.

Oct 6: WA v Qld, WACA Ground.

Oct 7: NSW v CA XI, Hurstville Oval (free live stream on cricket.com.au and the CA Live App only).

Oct 8: WA v Vic, WACA Ground.

Oct 9: NSW v Tas, Hurstville Oval (free live stream on cricket.com.au and the CA Live App only).

Oct 9: QLD v SA, WACA Ground.

Oct 12: SA v NSW, Drummoyne Oval.

Oct 13: Vic v Tas, North Sydney Oval.

Oct 14: Qld v NSW (D/N), Drummoyne Oval.

Oct 15: Tas v WA, North Sydney Oval.

Oct 16: NSW v Vic (D/N), North Sydney Oval.

Oct 18: Vic v Qld, Drummoyne Oval.

Oct 19: NSW v WA, North Sydney Oval.

Oct 21: Qualifying final, (D/N), Drummoyne Oval.

Oct 23: Final, North Sydney Oval.

All broadcast matches will be shown live and free on GEM, except for the final, which will be shown live and free on Channel Nine. Matches broadcast on the Nine Network can also be live streamed on cricket.com.au and the CA Live App with a CA Live Pass.

Meg Lanning Steve Smith