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Qld’s Khawaja needs ‘tons’ of Shield runs

By AAP Newswire

A relaxed Usman Khawaja knows he must get greedy at the Gabba this week as berths in Australia's top six for the summer's first Test go on the line in Sheffield Shield action.

Dropped from the Test team during Australia's Ashes tour, the Queensland captain can put his name back in the lights with runs against South Australia when the second round begins on Friday.

Rival skipper Travis Head is in the same boat, while former Australian captain Darren Lehmann has also endorsed Joe Burns - at Khawaja's expense - for a return to the Australian top order.

Australian selector Trevor Hohns had said spots in the top six would be up for grabs in the opening rounds of the Shield season.

Khawaja was happy to field more questions on Wednesday about his Test prospects, admitting his approach to the speculation had changed during an eventful 44-Test career.

"I used to have pretty closed-off feelings towards the media before, but everyone's just doing their jobs," Khawaja, a keen basketball fan, said.

"People love sports; they want to know so ... and I want to know about other sports, too, so I understand it.

"But my goal for this week is just to do what I can for Queensland."

Hundreds will be the currency for Khawaja, something the entire Bulls' squad have managed just once since the beginning of the last Sheffield season.

"We've got to improve on it, but the harder you try (to make a century), the harder it gets," he said.

"It's always nice, just as a batsman, to stay greedy ... that's all it comes down to - just do it for longer."

Coming off a triple century in the nation's second-tier competition, Bryce Street is likely to get his chance with Sam Heazlett breaking his finger.

Chadd Sayers will return from a hamstring strain for the Redbacks, while Victorian Peter Siddle (hip) is also a chance of playing Western Australia in his first game since the final Ashes Test.

Warriors captain Mitch Marsh will miss four to six weeks with a self-inflicted hand injury, while quick Joel Paris is out with a hamstring strain.

Test spinner Nathan Lyon, fellow tweaker Steve O'Keefe and Test aspirant Kurtis Patterson will all play their first Shield game for NSW this weekend against Tasmania.

Jackson Bird will miss the game for the Tigers due to the imminent birth of his first child.