Matt Short reels off maiden first-class century as he eyes ODI spot

Matt Short has further strengthened his case for a national call-up after single-handedly dragging Victoria into a winning position with his maiden Sheffield Shield ton.

As Cricket Australia confirmed veteran opener David Warner would head home from India to rehab his fractured elbow, Short continued a golden run which has ensured his name enters the conversation for Australian selection.

On the back of earning BBL player of the tournament honours, which should ensure he’s a candidate to replace retiring Australian T20 captain Aaron Finch at the top of the order, Short has shown his capacity to dominate all three formats.

He defied the carnage around him at the Junction Oval, where 28 wickets fell in just two days, to peel off his first Shield century in the second innings after coming to the crease at 3-23.

A Cricket Australia statement said Warner, who was struck on the elbow in the second Test in Delhi and sustained a hairline fracture, required “a period of rehabilitation” which will rule him out of the rest of the series.

While it’s hoped he could yet be available for the three-match ODI series to follow, the door could be open to Short.

The 27-year-old said he had received a phone call from Australian selector Tony Dodemaide at end of the Big Bash for a “general chat”, but was excited just to be on the radar of the national team.

“It’s good to be noticed for all the hard work you put in. I think now it feels like it’s coming all together, and the consistency is there at this stage – I’m just focused on trying to keep it going,” Short said.

“Hopefully a call-up comes, but I’m not really thinking about that too much right now.

“It was good to have that conversation with him and see where things were at, and just know that you’re in their minds.”

Short began 2023 on the fringes of Victoria’s red-ball outfit and without a century in any format, but now he has reached the milestone in all three.

He said he was “thinking about where my career was at” after finding himself on the outer in the Sheffield Shield earlier this season.

“It’s funny; you’re in form in one format and then you always think, ‘I should just stick with this,’” he said.

“I think for now, (the plan) is just playing all three formats and going from there.”

Victoria held a lead of 340 runs over South Australia at stumps on day two, with Short’s fellow BBL sensation Spencer Johnson claiming a five-wicket haul on his first-class debut to leave the Vics on 8-285 at close.

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