Batsman's challenge at crease

SAM Truloff has the shots, his talent is undeniable.

But according to his Queensland Bulls mentors now is the time for the Marburg "blue chip" batsman to learn the art of batting.

Truloff will line up today for the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) , effectively the Queensland Bulls 2nd XI, in what will possibly be his final Queensland appearance for the summer.

With only one more Futures League 2nd XI contest remaining for the season - and that is not until February - the 18-year-old will be keen to send a message to the Bulls coaching staff.

As part of the QAS and Bulls coaching team, Justin Sternes has seen the development of Truloff from the front row.

Sternes said the youngster was facing one of the toughest transitional periods of any young cricketer.

"Through youth cricket Sam's done very well at national championships," Sternes said.

"He's a very talented batsmen and an exciting talent for us.

"Now it's time to transfer that youth cricket form to grade cricket and second eleven cricket."

Truloff has enjoyed some exposure to senior cricket playing limited 2nd XI fixtures along with some first grade cricket appearances for Wests in Brisbane.

Sternes believes the former Rosewood High student's bumpy transition to the open ranks is just another step in his development.

"He hasn't got a lot of grade runs yet unfortunately so that's his next challenge - playing with men," he said.

"Sam just needs to spend a lot of time in the middle learning the art of batting and constructing long innings.

"He's got a very good repertoire of shots but unfortunately you can't play all your shots too early and I think that's where Sam just falls into a little bit of a trap at the moment

"He's young and he wants to score runs and sometimes that can be his downfall."

Truloff may have been promising plenty during his junior career but his lack of runs in senior cricket has hardly demanded regular Queensland selection.

The experienced Queensland coach said Truloff's selection in the 2nd XI side was as much about development as it was performances.

"We use the 2nd XI for everything from bringing back senior players from injury to rewarding good grade performances," Sternes said.

"We also use it to expose our young blue chip players and Sam comes into that category.

"We always keep one eye on the future by trying to expose our young kids to another level.

Following this week's four day contest against the Victorian 2nd XI, Truloff will turn his sights to a solid two-month stint in Brisbane grade cricket.

His next representative engagement will come for Queensland in January's under-19 youth championship's where Sternes said the 18-year-old will be under pressure to perform.

"It will be a big test for him to dominate there," he said.

"We always look for our good players to dominate during those championships.

"Grade cricket though is the number one thing for Sam, he needs to churn out big runs in grade cricket, he needs to face all the good grade bowlers and put some performances on the board."

Sternes believes Truloff will find his feet once he learns to be more patient at the crease.

"You've got to be patient as a batsman and you have to keep the percentages in your favour," he said.

"At the moment Sam just plays too many shots too early.

"Probably the biggest problem we face as coaches - it's trying to rein in these young guys."



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