South Australian gloveman Alex Carey is intent on grasping the opportunity to play more Sheffield Shield cricket this summer as he looks to build his case for future Test selection.
Australia's incumbent ODI and T20 wicketkeeper managed just two Shield games for the Redbacks last season, but Cricket Australia's 2019/20 calendar should allow him to get a lot more exposure to the red ball.
The heir apparent to Australian skipper Tim Paine behind the stumps, Carey will get his first chance to impress when Victoria host South Australia in their season-opener at Junction Oval on Thursday.
"Last year the opportunities weren't there just through scheduling so I'm really excited to play some more Shield cricket this year," Carey told reporters on Wednesday.
"I'm always going out there to play my best and hopefully perform really well and if that means, hopefully, one day playing Test cricket then absolutely that's what I want to do.
"But I don't go out there putting too much pressure on myself and expecting to play Test cricket one day.
"I've got to keep getting better and keep learning.
"Painey is doing a really good job at the moment, obviously, so for me it's about playing some good cricket (for the Redbacks) and hopefully helping us win some games.
"Then if I progress into Test cricket that is my dream and what I want to do one day."
The Redbacks, who finished last season winless on the bottom of the Shield table, face a huge task against the reigning champions.
Veteran batsman Callum Ferguson was a surprise omission, while the bowling attack has been decimated by injuries to Chadd Sayers, Joe Mennie and Daniel Worrall.
The Vics, however, have an embarrassment of riches with Shield-winning skipper Travis Dean left out of a line-up boasting the likes of Peter Handscomb, Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson and Marcus Harris.
Queries over his much-critiqued technique remain, but Handscomb is intent on letting his bat do the talking as he attempts to force his way back into the Test side.
"I'm just going to back in whatever I want to do and go from there when it comes to my technique," Handscomb said.
"There's been enough said about it, so I'm just going to commit and do it."
Australian Associated Press