Key members of Australia's Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy starting Thursday, December 6, fine-tuned their individual preparations and geared up for the stiff challenge against the no.1 ranked side in the world, India, with some telling performances during the ongoing Sheffield Shield round.
Peter Handscomb, Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja were all among the runs in Queensland's home encounter versus Victoria at the Gabba, while right-hand opening batsman Marcus Harris fell cheaply.
Handscomb struck a brilliant 81, and along with Finch (50), struck a crucial 116 runs third-wicket partnership. Before Victoria horribly collapsed, losing 8-45 in an absolutely bewildered innings display, to finish just 167 all out.
In response, Queensland ended the day 120/2 with Usman Khawaja batting fluently through his 41 on return after a knee surgery.
Khawaja looked unflustered during the 86-ball knock, striking five fours and a six before getting caught down the leg side off Chris Tremain, who picked up 2-20 and is part of the Test squad.
The left-hander shared a 108-run stand with ex-Test opener Joe Burns (71 not out) for the second wicket, with Matt Renshaw falling for just two.
"If higher honours come from it so be it but we are here to win a game for Victoria," said Handscomb on his chances of making it to the playing XI, "It was a bit disappointing the whole batting performance then to come out and bowl like we did, we just didn't execute."
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy kickstarts with the first Test at Adelaide on Thursday, December 6.
(Inputs from AAP)