Queensland captain James Hopes feels his team face a new challenge as they begin their Sheffield Shield defence at the Gabba on Monday.
The Bulls take on South Australia in their first match of the summer, a game where new recruit Usman Khawaja will debut for Queensland and off-spinner Nathan Hauritz makes his return after six seasons with NSW.
But after making a flying start on their way to an unexpected Shield crown last summer, Hopes knows no-one will be under-estimating his outfit this time around.
"Last year we were in a bit of a different position," Hopes told AAP.
"We did manage to fly under the radar a little bit and no-one really predicted us to do that well in the competition as we jumped out of the gate.
"A bit of a different story to this year. Teams know what we're capable of this time around and it's going to be harder for us to get that fast start but we're quietly confident with our first two games being at home."
Hopes said the additions of former Test players Khawaja and Hauritz brought experience as well filling gaps in the Bulls squad.
But the allrounder was wary of a new-look Redbacks outfit, which has a former NSW and Test recruit of their own in opener Phil Hughes and two possible debutants in allrounder Sam Miller and fast bowler Daniel Worrall.
Test spinner Nathan Lyon will lead the team at the Gabba in the absence of South Africa's Johan Botha, who is away playing in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Nonetheless Hopes believes South Australia have the potential to surprise this summer.
"They're a team that is greatly improved from last year," Hopes said.
"They've always had the nucleus of what would be a pretty good team but the pieces they've added in are exceptional.
"Phil Hughes' record speaks for itself and we've heard a fair bit about the young fast bowlers they've picked for this first game."
The clash begins on Monday from 10am.
Qld: James Hopes (capt), Cameron Boyce, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Luke Feldman, Peter Forrest, Chris Hartley, Nathan Hauritz, Usman Khawaja, Alister McDermott, Andrew Robinson, Wade Townsend (12th man to be named).
SA: Tom Cooper, Callum Ferguson, Travis Head, Phillip Hughes, Michael Klinger, Tim Ludeman, Nathan Lyon (capt), Joe Mennie, Sam Miller, Gary Putland, Chadd Sayers, Daniel Worrall (12th man to be named).