Joe Burns can make an emphatic statement to national selectors in Hobart, where he will seek to back up a sparkling Sheffield Shield century by helping Queensland haul in a target of 310.
The Bulls bowled Tasmania out for 252 late on day three of the Shield clash at Bellerive Oval on Friday.
Axed Test opener Burns (13 not out) and Bryce Street (21 not out) then negotiated 18 overs, reaching 0-38 at stumps to leave their table-topping side needing a further 272 runs on day four.
Burns, playing his first Shield game since being dumped from Australia's Test side, scored 171 in Queensland's first-innings total of 275.
"It was a great knock ... he was the real backbone of our innings," Queensland paceman Xavier Bartlett said.
"Without him we wouldn't really be in the game at all.
"He's a class player and to get the chance to be out there for his hundred ... it was a pretty cool moment.
"We've set up a good chase on day four, it should be an exciting finish ... going in none down is a big plus for us, that was a crucial period."
Australia's next Test will not come until next summer, unless they reach this year's world championship final, but a strong finish to the Shield season will help keep Burns at the forefront of selectors' thoughts.
Queensland have been weakened by the injury-enforced absence of Test squad members Mitchell Swepson (neck) and Michael Neser (hamstring).
Bartlett led the visiting attack on Friday, claiming the key wickets of Test skipper Tim Paine and Tasmania's top-scorer Jake Doran (55) amid a haul of 4-59.
"It's pretty evenly placed," Doran said.
"It's a tricky wicket ... (but) we didn't bat the best today, a bit of a missed opportunity for us to really drive it and take Queensland out of the game."
Bartlett, who was repeatedly substituted out of the Brisbane Heat's XI during the final stages of the Big Bash League season, helped the Bulls fight back at the end of the morning session on day three.
Jordan Silk (51) and Mac Wright (10) both edged deliveries from Bartlett to wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson, falling in the 22-year-old's fifth and sixth over respectively.
Doran, having batted cautiously as he sought to set an imposing target for the table-topping Bulls, was caught behind after tea.
Bartlett played a part in two wickets during the post-lunch session, holding a catch to dismiss first-innings centurion Caleb Jewell for 14 then trapping Paine lbw for nine.
Mark Steketee cleaned up Tasmania's tail to finish with 3-59.