Steve Paulsen hopes to make his KFC T20 debut tonight for the Brisbane Heat against the Perth Scorchers at the WACA ground in Perth.
Steve Paulsen hopes to make his KFC T20 debut tonight for the Brisbane Heat against the Perth Scorchers at the WACA ground in Perth. Claudia Baxter

Paulsen sweating on Heat decision

IF STEVE Paulsen strides onto the WACA tonight as the newest member of the Brisbane Heat batting order, fans can rest assured he has been selected for one reason only - form.

The 30-year-old left-handed batsman tops the run-scoring chart in Brisbane grade cricket this season and is coming off a man-of-the-match performance in the recent KFC T20 Challenge final.

Paulsen smashed 68 from only 47 balls in the match that served as a curtain-raiser to the Heat and Melbourne Stars Big Bash contest at the Gabba last week.

Two players will be omitted this morning from the 13-man Heat squad to take on the Perth Scorchers and Paulsen knows he's done all he can to win his place in the final 11.

"I'm scoring runs so I guess I'm still putting my name in front of the right people," Paulsen said. "If I get picked it will be great, if I don't I'll keep scoring runs."

It's that attitude that has helped the Ipswich cricketer force his way back into the elite level of cricket this season.

After finding his way back into the Queensland Bulls one-day team this year, Paulsen also made his long-awaited Shield debut this year against Tasmania in Hobart.

But a quality 90 not-out against Western Australia at the WACA in November means the hard-hitting batsman is eager to take to the Perth pitch again.

"It's a great wicket to play on," he said.

"It's quick and bouncy and the outfield is quick so you get good value for your shots."

After spending most of his career playing on local ovals or in near-empty stadiums, Paulsen could be forgiven for being nervous about the possibility of playing in front of more than 20,000 fans.

While admitting nerves would be inevitable, he said he is determined to enjoy the experience.

"You're always nervous when you go out to play any game but it will also be exciting," he said.

Making the 13-man squad for the interstate trip has already paid dividends for Paulsen as he soaks up everything he can from some of the old heads in the Heat line-up.

He said spending the extra time as part of the match day squad had been a bonus.

"The last week it's been good just watching the way they all go about their training," he said.

"It's been great having Haydos (Matthew Hayden) there and Dan Christian as well.

"You just try to get as much out of them as you can while they're here."



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