QUEENSLAND batsman Peter Forrest knows he is fortunate to be playing for the Bulls in today's opening Sheffield Shield match against South Australia in Glenelg.
By his own admission, Forrest's form last season was "shocking".
He managed just one century - 119 against Victoria - and a fighting 56 in the Shield final against Tasmania, but compiled just 395 runs in 11 matches at an average of 19.75.
His form against the white ball was also below par. He averaged only 23 from eight 50-over games for the Bulls and failed twice for the Brisbane Heat in the recent Champions Trophy in India.
He was subsequently left out of Queensland's Ryobi Cup squad for its matches in Sydney, including Sunday's thrilling victory in the final against NSW.
But after making 88 for his club side University against Norths in the Brisbane grade competition last weekend, Forrest said he was excited about the opportunity to cement a place in the powerful Bulls line-up by making more runs against the Redbacks.
"I wanted to play (in the Ryobi Cup) but I knew after my shocking season I hadn't done enough," he said.
"I felt I could have contributed, but that's the way it goes. I've got to score some runs first. The only currency we've got is runs."
Forrest, who became the first Australian player to pass 50 in three of their first four ODIs for Australia in the Tri Series against Sri Lanka and India in early 2012, said he hadn't given up hope of earning a recall to the national side. But he admitted that was a long way off given his drop off in form.
The 27-year-old, who arrived in Adelaide yesterday morning, said he had no idea what to expect from the wicket at the Glenelg Cricket Club ground where the match will be played while the Adelaide Oval undergoes an upgrade in preparation for the return of AFL matches next year.
But he said the depth and balance of the Bulls squad would help deal with whatever conditions were presented.
"The good thing about the squad is we've got all bases covered," Forrest said.
"We've got two good spinners (Nathan Hauritz and Cameron Boyce) if we need them, and plenty of quicks if we need to leave out a batsman."
The Redbacks squad is a mixture of youth and experience, with coach Darren Berry considering handing rookie batsman Kelvin Smith and bowler Elliot Opie their Shield debuts.
South Australia was the big improver in the Shield competition last season, thanks largely to the efforts of Chadd Sayers who led the competition with 59 wickets at 20.25 in his debut season.
Despite Queensland's clear superiority on paper, Forrest said the players would not go into the match over confident.
"They've got a dangerous squad. I assume they'll know the conditions better than us and we're not taking them lightly," he said.
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