Marsh Sheffield Shield 2020-21
Test bats to lead Bulls' charge in Adelaide
Labuschagne and Burns join captain Khawaja in Queensland's 15-man squad for opening four Sheffield Shield rounds
30 September 2020, 08:52 AM AEST
Test incumbents Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns will be part of a formidable batting order for Queensland in the opening rounds of the Marsh Sheffield Shield in Adelaide.
The Bulls are the first state to announce their 15-player squad for the competition, which begins on October 10, with all six teams to be based out of the South Australian capital due to COVID-19 precautions.
Test opener Burns is set to be partnered by promising young opener Bryce Street, who scored two hundreds in his maiden Shield campaign last summer and is coming off an unbeaten 173 for Sandgate-Redcliffe last weekend.
With captain Usman Khawaja at three, the ICC’s No.3-ranked Test batsman Labuschagne at four, and likely Matthew Renshaw to be experimented with at five, the Bulls could well boast 90 Tests' worth of experience among their batting order.
Meanwhile, Australian limited-overs quick Michael Neser has been named having made a successful return from a groin injury last weekend for the Gold Coast Dolphins. The issue had cost him a chance of being part of Australia's recent white-ball tour of the UK.
Queensland's leading wicket-taker last summer was sidelined during the off-season with osteitis pubis and was targeting the opening of the Shield as his return date as he again seeks that elusive Test cap.
"I'd have been pushing it to make that (UK) tour, and then (his injury) would've stuck around for the whole season and affected my four-day cricket," he told cricket.com.au last month.
"I'd love to be part of that white-ball set-up but I still want to play Test cricket and four-day cricket so I'm looking at the bigger picture.
"I've got that goal, and that desire to play international cricket … but I've just got to wait my turn, I guess. If I keep doing the right things, it'll happen."
Wynnum-Manly paceman Benji Floros, a Bulls contracted player for the first time this season, and left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann are the only uncapped players in the squad, while the two wicketkeepers selected – Jimmy Peirson (Redlands) and Lachy Pfeffer (Valley) – have racked up four centuries between them in the opening stages of the Queensland Premier cricket season, with Pfeffer's knock of 216 the highest score in the history of the one-day competition.
The squad will begin a self-quarantine period next Monday and travel to Adelaide later in the week.
The Bulls opening game is against Tasmania at Park 25 in Adelaide from October 10.
Queensland Bulls Squad: Usman Khawaja (c), Xavier Bartlett, Joe Burns, Blake Edwards, Benji Floros, Matthew Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Lachy Pfeffer, Matt Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street, Mitchell Swepson, Jack Wildermuth.