Gannon gunning for a win in Sheffied Shield final
PLAYING in his first Sheffield Shield final, a long way from home, Cameron Gannon has a number of reasons to feel confident things will go Queensland's way.
The Bulls take on Tasmania at Hobart's Bellerive Oval, beginning today, with Gannon one of three players in the Bulls squad with Ipswich connections.
"I am very excited," the former Ipswich Grammar student said from Hobart.
"It's not every day you get to play in a Sheffield Shield final."
Gannon is joined in the Bulls squad and likely starting XI by fellow former IGS student Nathan Reardon and Ipswich product Greg Moller.
The 24-year-old fast bowler has had nothing less than an exceptional season.
He is the eighth leading Sheffield Shield wicket taker this summer, with 28 at an average of 21.64.
That includes career-best figures of 6-53 in the first innings when Queensland beat Tasmania outright at Hobart in November on a seaming wicket.
Gannon anticipated a very different looking deck this time.
Tasmania only needs a draw to claim the shield, but Gannon expects a result.
"Being their home final, you'd imagine they'd want it as flat as possible," he said of the likely wicket.
"But we're the two teams in the comp that play the most attacking brand of cricket. So I'm really confident there will be a result at the end of five days."
Queensland's presence in the final was only assured on the last day of the home-and-away fixtures, when they beat Western Australia outright in Perth, proving high-stakes wins away from home are nothing foreign to them.
Gannon missed the game due to illness but has recovered. He is raring to again spoil the home team's party.
"We haven't made it easy for ourselves," Gannon said.
"But we've got a pretty nasty habit of coming into other people's houses and messing stuff up.
"It's nice knowing we've done it before (in Hobart).
"As a team, I've seen us claw our way out of so many bad situations
"I've got absolute faith in us as a group.
"Also winning the final last year against Tassie, even if it's different conditions and we had the home ground advantage then."
Gannon also has great faith in himself, thanks largely to the faith shown in him by the Bulls.
"I take comfort in the fact that selectors, Boof (coach Darren Lehmann), the support staff and my team mates seem to be trusting me and backing me," Gannon said.
"It helps you feel you belong."
Gannon started the shield season in great form, but had to overcome a mid-season slump following the Big Bash League Twenty20 tournament.
It is not surprising given he only played once in the BBL for the champion Brisbane Heat team over a two-month period, then had to get his mind and body around four-day cricket again.
"I kind of knew if I was going to start like that, it would be tough to maintain," he said.
"After Christmas I definitely slowed down.
"But I've found my way back to where I was bowling before Christmas."