CRICKET: There's never been a better time for a top order batsman to put their name in front of state selectors, but Sunshine Coast Scorchers coach Ashley Holznagel says there's only one way to do it.
As his side prepares for day two of its two-day Queensland Premier Cricket match with Toombul at Buderim, the coach, who has returned to the Coast from Sandgate-Redcliffe this season, is desperate for his top-six to fire and claim first-innings points.
"There's opportunities in Queensland cricket if you put your hand up, but if I'm honest with you, that's why you play cricket, to score as many runs as you can and win games of cricket,” he said.
"The other stuff takes care of itself.”
Case in point is Toombul's Matt Renshaw, who proved he can mix it with the country's most promising, backing up from his 50 at Buderim last weekend to score 100 for Queensland against South Australia, alongside one of the only Australian batsmen to find some runs this summer, Usman Khawaja.
There has now been calls for Renshaw to be catapulted into Australia's test side for the third test against South Africa starting in Adelaide on Thursday.
Toombul will resume play at 5/242 after wild storms called an early end to play at John Blanck Oval last Saturday. Play is expected to start an hour earlier (9am) today.
Holznagel believes it will be another "typical Scorchers wicket”, which last weekend favoured the batsmen, despite the cloudy and humid conditions before the weather set in.
Skipper Sam Gardiner is certain to hope Holznagel's prediction rings true, having opted to send Toombul in last weekend.
The Scorchers will need to find five quick wickets if they are to have any hope of chasing down Toombul's total and claim first-innings points.
"We get to take the new ball, which will hopefully help,” Holznagel said.
"Toombul will come out and play aggressive straight-up but at the end of the day if we get chances, we've got to take them.”
James Bazley is still recovering from a side strain and will not bowl this morning, but is expected to pad up if required.
Holznagel said opener Brendan Mahaffey and youngster Angus Lovell - who will now bat at no.5 - could be key men.
Lovell has struggled for form since the under-17 national titles, but Holznagel was quick to give supporters a reality check.
"Everyone's got to remember he's still only 17,” he said.
"He's quite young by grade standards ... we've got to be patient with him.”
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