Sometime next month, NSW quick Sean Abbott will be camping in Cape York, the absolute tip of the Australian mainland, with only his dog for company.

In his hands, he'll have a pen and a notepad, because he wants to use the time to reflect.

Events over the next week or so will determine if he is looking back on a JLT Sheffield Shield title with New South Wales.

But there is much Abbott will ponder in the tropical climate beyond the season-ending showpiece, ranging from life on the field to the challenges away from the game and the fear of being eaten by giant saltwater crocodiles.

Abbott will enter tomorrow's Shield final against Victoria as perhaps the hottest bowler in the competition, having captured 15 wickets in his past two matches, but it's been a testing time for the 27-year-old of late.

A week ago in Hobart, he handed his life-long friend Nick Bertus his maiden Shield cap in a match the Blues had to win to guarantee a spot in the decider at Junction Oval.

To say Abbott and Bertus are close is an understatement. Abbott says the pair "jumped out of the womb and high-five'd a year apart" before spending a childhood together playing cricket and football whenever possible.

But last year, Bertus's father passed away after a long battle with illness, a loss that took its toll on Abbott.

Then just a few weeks ago, he received the tragic news that a good friend had succumbed to brain cancer.

While the losses have been hard to digest, Abbott says they have made him see life and cricket from a new perspective and acted as a source of inspiration at the back end of the summer.

"There's a number of things that I'm playing for, but those things make everything going on with cricket seem insignificant," Abbott told

"That made the pressures of playing cricket easier to deal with because there are a lot more important things to deal with outside my little cricketing bubble.

"I went down to the funeral a few weeks ago and it was one of the most moving things I've been to, because he had time to come to terms with what was going to happen to him.

"There were videos and all these inspiring things that he'd done because he knew he had a lot fewer days than everyone else and we take them for granted.

"He went out there and lived his life and made the most of the time he could. You can make that relevant to you in whatever way you want but with me and my cricketing career, there's a certain amount of opportunities and there's less and less on the park.

"That's definitely been an inspiration for me for these last few games."

Helping Abbott through those tough times have been his NSW teammates, who have created a warm, welcoming and fun environment to train and play in.

It's seen him produce his best season to date having come off two years that produced just 15 wickets at 63 in nine Shield matches as the Blues, perhaps tellingly, were on the decline.

As NSW underwent sweeping changes from support staff to the playing group over the off-season, Abbott decided to change his attitude and approach in order to reverse his fortunes.

"I've felt like I've underperformed the last few years," he said. "It's not due to a lack of hard work I've worked my arse off to stay in the Blues team and I'm very proud of this year with the way the squad and I personally have gone.

"I think I wanted the contest a bit more. I got into pressure situations and you can either take it one way or another. It's about finding a way to be comfortable in situations that are pretty high-pressure or where the match is on the line.

"Whilst I haven't done as well as I would have liked the last few years, you get sick of not performing as well as you know you can, which has spurred me on a bit.

"There's definitely been some angry training sessions where I've been like "why the f**k has this happened to me?" but I've got a great group of mates who have provided a great environment to come back to play cricket and keep enjoying it."

Abbott starred in that must-win match in Hobart, ripping Tasmania apart with career-best figures of 7-45 on the final day to launch the Blues into the Shield final.

Armed with a Dukes ball, he violently swung it fast and late into the Tigers' top order, claiming the wicket of Test captain Tim Paine with a searing inswinger that left the gloveman perplexed.

But despite his stellar form he'd taken 5-31 to beat the Bulls at the Gabba in the preceding match the right-armer was still uncertain how to handle the challenge of bowling his side to victory on the fourth day at Blundstone Arena.

So he turned to state teammate and Test spearhead Mitch Starc, who exceeded his expectations with his advice, guidance and encouragement.

"I'm pretty good mates with Starcy and I sent him message saying 'There's a pressure situation tomorrow down in Hobart. We've got a day to take 10 wickets. How am I going to stay focused and feel like we can do the business?'," he said.

"I wasn't expecting it but he sent me this huge novel back, spurring me on and again telling me to keep it pretty simple.

"Good balls are still good balls. You bowl enough of them in a day, you're good enough to create 10 opportunities as a bowling unit.

"That was good to bring me back to what has worked all year in keeping it simple."

Keeping it simple has been his mantra this summer working with new Blues bowling coach Andre Adams and his peers in the NSW squad.

Simplifying his thoughts, plans and aims for each ball has helped produce his best season ever, which sits at 31 wickets at 21.48 from seven matches.

"I remember having a chat to Andre at the start of the year and he asked me why I bowled a particular ball in the nets," said Abbott.

"I mentioned four things and he said three of those four things were worded in a negative way.

"He said if I could word them better it will help me to emulate that ball and repeating it.

"Those conversations have certainly helped me when I've been out on the park."

Beyond taking out the Shield final, never too far behind is the thought of returning to the national team.

Abbott made his ODI and T20I debut in 2014 against Pakistan in the UAE, where the Australian team is now preparing for the upcoming World Cup.

But just weeks after his maiden stint in the green and gold his world was turned upside down following the death of Phillip Hughes.

He has come through that tragedy, endured time on the sidelines with injury and battled his way back to peak form to now be a potential bolter for the Australia A tour to England that runs concurrently with the World Cup and precedes the Ashes.

An international comeback is another thought he'll mull over next to his kelpie, Bear, in the Top End, and it's one that has never left his mind since getting a taste four-and-a-half years ago.

"Ever since I made my debut over in the UAE against Pakistan, every day since then I've dreamt of coming back and playing for Australia," he said.

"Our bowling stocks are quite good at the moment but that hasn't dampened my spirit at all.

"You're always told coming through there will be opportunities if you can keep yourself on the park and play your best cricket.

"I feel like I'm in some decent form with this Dukes ball hopefully that can continue this week in the Shield final."