After spending the Australian winter in England playing club cricket, Matt Short says he is ready to contribute for Victoria ahead of the start of the Marsh Sheffield Shield.
Playing in the North Essex Cricket League for Coggeshall Town, Short believes while his competition paled in comparison to Shield cricket it was good to keep active and ready over the winter.
"The main point of going to England was to try out the different conditions, keep my legs ticking over and keep playing cricket rather than taking a few months off," he said.
"I guess it has helped in preparing but the standard over there is nowhere near the standard of Shield cricket."
Short, 23, played in 12 of Victoria's 13 Shield games last season, culminating in a title victory over New South Wales. Now back with Victoria, Short will be hoping to once again establish his spot in the squad.
"I'm feeling really good... I was lucky enough to play all but one shield game last season so my confidence is high and coming off that Sheffield Shield title win the boys are in good stead. We've got a pretty good squad at the moment so it's going to be pretty hard to squeeze in."
Speaking at a media session on Tuesday, Victorian captain Peter Handscomb said his side has a lot of talent and players such as Short will have to fight for their spot in the squad.
"It's a strong side," he said.
"It's tough for Travis Dean and Matt Short who both played a fair bit of Shield cricket last year... It's hard for those guys but that's the case when everyone is available and we've got quite a strong squad."
Short, who has been named in Victoria's 12-man squad for its first Shield game against South Australia, says he is simply focused performing when when his opportunity comes.
"It's going to be huge and that's something I've been focusing on over the past couple of years.
"I just want to be as consistent as I can so when my time comes to perform I can step up and help the team.'
The Ballarat native says individual accolades and performances will all take a backseat as the team is hungry to repeat its title winning performance from last year.
"We're really hungry, it's what every state cricket plays for.
"It's good that Victoria has so many guys in the Australian setup because our depth is really great... everyone is really hungry for that team success."
Victoria will play South Australia on Thursday.
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