With only one Marsh Sheffield Shield match in the foreseeable future to move his case forward for a long-promised test call, Michael Neser had to hope for more favorable bowlers than those encountered at Karen Rolton Oval in recent days.
But the still-pragmatic fashion designer also acknowledges that, in the midst of a cricket schedule constantly redesigned by COVID-19 travel restrictions, there is an impending event around which he can shape all of his other more fleeting plans.
He and his partner Olivia are expecting their first child on October 21 and he will forgo Queensland’s next scheduled game against South Australia from the Adelaide Oval on Friday – to make sure he is at home in Brisbane for birth.
At this point, the 31-year-old plans to play the Marsh One Day Cup match against SA at Rolton Oval on Wednesday before heading back to Queensland.
When the Shield schedule was first released earlier this year, the Bulls were due to start their title defense against Tasmania in late September and play their second game in Perth October 14-17 before returning to Brisbane for a reunion with SA October 25.
But all that has changed with the worsening COVID situation on the east coast in recent months, and Neser’s plans have been hastily changed in accordance with Cricket Australia’s revised, albeit truncated, schedule.
With the current men’s national game not inked beyond the second round of the Shield competition, Neser’s pressure for a call-up from Ashes and the three-year-waving Baggy Green Cap is currently his only outing for the summer. Australian to date.
But despite coming back 2-60 from nearly 25 overs of thankless labor as Tasmania stacked 6 (Dec) -500 on the Rolton Oval Flat Bridge, Neser believes his winter stint in county cricket Briton prepared him well for a test start if he came. during the Ashes campaign.
“I have played cricket a lot over the past six months and I couldn’t risk not getting back (to Brisbane) on time,” Neser told cricket.com.au of his decision to miss the match next week against the Shield. Adelaide.
“I hope to be in this team (Ashes) obviously, but I can’t look that far ahead, especially the way things are going right now.
“It’s a little frustrating not knowing where or when we could play after next week, but that’s how it is.
“And I have other things to focus on.”
Given the likelihood of Australia selecting an expanded Ashes team to cover COVID eventualities, Neser can rightly expect to be among the names of the first test which begins at Gabba on December 8.
This potential is heightened by the fact that the Right Gunsmith has been a part of every Australian Test Team chosen since the 2019 Ashes Series in the UK, having been added to the test setup for the 2018 campaign against the UK for the first time. Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Australia have played 22 tests and fielded a total of 25 players since that Pakistani series, but Neser has yet to find his way into a starting XI, largely due to the glut of quick bowlers available. during this period.
He showed his efficiency with the Dukes’ ball by winning 23 wickets at an average of 16.78 in five first-class outings for Glamorgan, with his season-best time 5-39 against Yorkshire in Cardiff, including the wickets of test hitters Adam Lyth, Gary Balance and Dom Bess.
However, upon his return to Shield cricket and the Kookaburra ball that will be used in the upcoming Vodafone Men’s Ashes, he found himself faced with quite different conditions in which his usual swing and stitch weapons were rendered ineffective. by the placid hitting surface.
As a result, Neser turned to the tricks he had used when Shield’s previous summer had started in equally benign conditions on the Adelaide pitches during the early-season “hub”, where he regularly expected to hit the ball in the box and change pace with sensors deployed in front of the wicket.
“It’s definitely a different setup than what we’re used to at the Gabba,” he said after being the only frontline crimper to maintain a save rate of less than three points per set during the glut of round one at Rolton Oval. .
“But we have a lot of experience in these conditions, we have played a lot of cricket in the last 12 months under these conditions.
“It was pretty flat, but (hitting) can be hard work because it can be pretty hard to score if you play in good areas, being so slow and low.
“Once the ball gets a little softer, you feel like you can hold on for a bit.
“There’s also probably that time (around 30 overs) where the ball is still pretty tough, and it’s just starting to reverse.
“This is probably the most dangerous time (for hitters).”
While Queensland were mmaking hesitant forays into the intimidating total of Tasmania this afternoonNeser’s Australian contender Alex Carey was warming up for Wednesday’s One-Day Cup match a few hundred yards away.
On the adjacent park court 25 (No.1), Carey hit 82 of 35 balls, including eight limits and six sixes, as Glenelg chased Sturt’s target of 187 with seven balls left in the first round of the competition. T20 from SA Premier Cricket today.
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