Minus their six Test representatives, Sheffield Shield heavyweights NSW will be up to the task against Queensland, says seamer Trent Copeland.
NSW will need to consolidate their spot near the top of the Sheffield Shield ladder minus six Test stars against Queensland this weekend.
A heavily under-strength Blues squad, missing six players to the Test team facing England in the Ashes opener, will take on a Queensland side they humiliated just a week ago.
But former Test bowler Trent Copeland says the experienced players they’ll be without, including the likes of Test captain Michael Clarke and vice-captain Brad Haddin, is almost matched by that which they’re bringing in.
Fellow Test batsman Steve Smith played a crucial role in the 150-run win, scoring 69 and 36 in last week’s one-sided match.
But Copeland points to the experience of veteran duo Ben Rohrer and Peter Nevill, who will captain the side, as reason for optimism.
“I think we’ve got the depth,” Copeland told News Corp Australia.
“We’re not really losing anything in terms of debutants or anything like that.
“We’re bringing in experienced players.”
The unusual nature of the back-to-back Shield matches against identical opposition could work in the Blues’ favour, with Queensland still smarting from the heavy loss.
The Blues are sitting in second spot in the Shield ladder, with one outright win and gaining first-innings points in their other two matches.
Copeland, who enjoyed match figures of 7-99 at Alan Border Field, said they viewed this as another opportunity to grab an outright victory against a Bulls team missing key fast bowler Ryan Harris.
“It’s a rare opportunity two weeks in a row to play the same opposition,” he said.
“I think we’ve got some good performances on the board last week. Hopefully we can back that up.”
Squad: Peter Nevill (capt), Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Ryan Carters, Trent Copeland, Moises Henriques, Scott Henry, Nic Maddinson, Steve O’Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Ben Rohrer, Gurinder Sandhu.