Test opener Usman Khawaja rested from Sheffield Shield

Queensland captain Usman Khawaja will be rested from the Bulls’ Sheffield Shield match against Victoria as part of a plan to manage national squad players during the summer.

In Test opener Khawaja’s absence, wicket-keeper Jimmy Peirson will captain the Bulls against the Victorians at Mackay’s Great Barrier Reef Arena for the match starting on Saturday.

“Ideally you want your captain and best player to be there for every game, but we all know that barring injury, he (Khawaja) will be one of the first bats picked for the Pakistan series, so we understand the rationale behind the decision making process,’’ Bulls coach Wade Seccombe said.

“`Uzzie’ is philosophical about it. He’d be happy to play, but he will also benefit from a more measured build up-ahead of another big international schedule for Australia.

“He’s hitting them well so we shouldn’t be too concerned on that front.”

Ben McDermott has been elevated to Queensland’s 13-man squad and could play a Shield match for the Bulls for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

“What it (Khawaja’s absence) does do is create a great chance for Ben McDermott to make his Shield return for Queensland, as it does for our senior bats like Matt Renshaw and Joe Burns to step things up,” Seccombe said.

The Bulls’ most recent Shield game in Mackay was in the 2015-16 season when Renshaw made his maiden first-class century in Queensland’s three-wicket loss to NSW.

Bulls squad: 59. Jimmy Peirson (c), 15. Joe Burns, 21. Jack Clayton, 36. Liam Guthrie, 30. Matthew Kuhnemann, 43. Ben McDermott, 20. Michael Neser, 77. Matthew Renshaw, 14. Gurinder Sandhu, 16. Mark Steketee, 25. Bryce Street, 4. Mitchell Swepson, 24. Jack Wildermuth.

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