Cricket: Australian Cricket 2012-2013: team in focus: XXXX Gold Queensland Bulls

2011-2012 Season

Ryobi One-Day Cup: 4th

Bupa Sheffield Shield: 1st

Everything points to another good season for the Bulls.  Finishing top three in the Sheffield Shield every season since 2008-2009, and winning the trophy last season, Queensland has some of the most talented cricketers in the country.  

Captain James Hopes, 34, has represented Australia and is still an extremely handy all-rounder.  A knee injury was the cause for his restricted season (14 wickets @ 24.85 in 5 Shield games).  He has been the workhorse through several ups and downs over the past two seasons, and I expect that if his body holds up, his leadership will be instrumental in getting the Bulls to another Shield final.

Ryan Harris is in a similar position.  Capable of flinging the ball down at 140kph, the well-built pacer is also extremely capable of putting a ball over the fence.  After a run of injuries, he re-established himself as a test player in fine style, capturing 11 wickets against Sri Lanka before a hamstring strain cut his tour short.  If Harris is able to stay fit for an extended period of time, the damage he could do is immense.

The Bulls have a swathe of other excellent players, such as Nathan Reardon, Chris Hartley, off-spinner Nathan Hauritz and Ben Cutting, but it will be interesting to see if top order batsman Peter Forrest can continue his stellar form for the Bulls and the Australian test and one-day teams.  581 runs in the Sheffield Shield with 3 centuries before the 2011 Christmas break touted him as an excellent candidate for the Aussie team.  And he hasn’t disappointed, cracking a century in just his fourth one-day game.

The Bulls have a strong side heading into 2012-2013.  A second Shield final is within definite grasp.

Look out for: Chris Hartley, Alister McDermott

Bupa Sheffield Shield: 1st

Ryobi One-Day Cup: 3rd

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