Sheffield Shield: Joe Burns returns for Queensland

Former Test opener Joe Burns will make a timely return from a hamstring injury when Queensland’s Sheffield Shield campaign resumes against Victoria at the MCG on Thursday.

Burns has been sidelined since suffering the injury while playing for the Melbourne Stars on the opening night of the 2022-23 BBL season on December 13.

However, he was this week cleared to return, much to the relief of a Bulls side missing star batting trio Marnus Labuschagne, Usman Khawaja and Matt Renshaw, who are on Test duty in India.

Labuschagne, Khawaja and Renshaw also missed last Saturday’s BBL final in Perth.

However, six of their Brisbane Heat teammates – Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Xavier Bartlett, James Bazley, Matthew Kuhnemann and Max Bryant – who played in the loss to the Scorchers are backing up for Shield duty.

Queensland’s squad also includes former Western Australia left-arm paceman Liam Guthrie, who is yet to represent the Bulls at Shield level.

The Bulls are currently equal on 21 points on the Shield ladder with second-placed Tasmania.

Victoria is five points further back in fourth spot.

The Victorians will be captained by all-rounder Will Sutherland in the absence of batsman Peter Handscomb, who is also in India for Australia’s four-Test series.

Bulls: Jimmy Peirson (c), Xavier Bartlett, James Bazley, Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Jack Clayton, Liam Guthrie, Matthew Kuhnemann, Michael Neser, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street, Sam Truloff (12th man to be named).

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