Scorned Marnus to take anger out on Vics
AXED Test batsman Marnus Labuschagne says he will have a point to prove to national selectors when Queensland takes on Victoria at the Gabba from Tuesday.
Labuschagne will be a spectator for the opening Test between Australia and India in Adelaide next week after being dropped following a run of lean Sheffield Shield performances.
The 24-year-old earned a baggy green call-up during last month's two-Test series against Pakistan, but failed to reach 50 in four innings in the UAE.
Labuschagne needed some big performances since returning to Australia to retain his Test berth, but only managed one half-century in six digs and was last week overlooked for coach Justin Langer's 14-man squad for the India series.
Labuschagne believes he is not a spent force in the Test arena and wants to prove he can feature for Australia this summer.
"You could say there is (a point to prove), but runs is the only point you want to prove. The rest is history," he said.
"That's what the game is all about - performing in times of pressure. The last few games I haven't been able to do that.
"It hurts that you're not in that squad, but you can relax and play.
"There is a little bit of pressure off, but it's now about putting pressure back on those people that are in the Test squad. That's the only way you get back in.
"You're disappointed but at the end of the day it's about how you come back from it that determines the kind of player you are.
"It's all about putting in for Queensland and getting those wins on the board.
"For the guys who have missed out on this first Test selection, we have to give everything we have to the team."
While Labuschagne was the only current Queensland player dropped from the Test team, Bulls teammates Matthew Renshaw, Michael Neser and Brendan Doggett also missed out on selection after touring the UAE.
Bulls captain Usman Khawaja was the only Queensland player to retain his Test berth and will make his return from knee surgery against the Bushrangers.
The Shield clash has a number of interesting subplots with Victorians Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Chris Tremain and Peter Siddle all picked in the Test squad.
Harris and Finch will open for Australia and Labuschagne said he was unsure where the Victorians would bat Finch after former Test great Shane Warne slammed plans for Finch to bat down the order.
"I've read in the paper a few different things the Victorian team is going to do," Labuschagne said.
"I don't know what they're going to do.
"I'd assume if he's going to open in Test matches he would open for his state side.
"Every time I've played against Finchy in Shield cricket he's batted at five.
"He has stepped up into a new role and is probably a different player to what he was two or three years ago in the long format."
Queensland is still searching for its first win of the summer and a loss to Victoria would all but certainly end the Bulls' hopes of defending their 2017-18 Shield crown.
QUEENSLAND: Usman Khawaja (capt), Joe Burns, Luke Feldman, Sam Heazlett, Charlie Hemphrey, Marnus Labuschagne, Jimmy Peirson, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson, Jack Wildermuth.
VICTORIA: Scott Boland, Travis Dean, Andrew Fekete, Aaron Finch, Seb Gotch, Peter Handscomb (capt), Marcus Harris, Jon Holland, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Matt Short, Chris Tremain.