Ponting keen on Tait in Tests

Australian paceman in demand after successful ODI comeback

Last Updated: 01/07/10 7:14pm

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Tait: back in favour

Tait: back in favour

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Australia captain Ricky Ponting plans to speak with fast bowler Shaun Tait about a possible return to Test cricket.

"I think he is just maturing as player and he is feeling better about himself, more comfortable in his world, and his body is not hurting as much every time he bowls - all those things that happen to fast bowlers."
Tim Nielsen on Shaun Tait Quotes of the week

Tait has made a successful comeback to one-day internationals during the ongoing NatWest Series with England after a 16-month absence.

The 27-year-old has officially retired from first-class cricket after struggling with a succession of injury problems earlier in his career.

"I will be talking to him about that (a possible Test return), yeah," Ponting told The Australian.

"I'm sure a few of our boys will be having a whisper in his ear over the next few weeks."

Reluctant

Australia coach Tim Nielsen was more equivocal on the subject, however, hinting Tait himself may be reluctant to be pressed back into five-day service.

"I don't know if he wants to - and he has been pretty honest and open about that as well," he said.

"From a coaching or a preparation perspective, the only problem I have with that - unless the schedule works out really well for him - is he can have quite big gaps between games and does not get the volume of bowling he needs to keep on going.

"But while he is fresh, he needs to train harder and find ways of training well in between games."

Nielsen hopes the outlook for Tait's fitness is better than it once was.

"I think he is just maturing as player and he is feeling better about himself, more comfortable in his world, and his body is not hurting as much every time he bowls - all those things that happen to fast bowlers," he added.

"He will have more injuries. But the good thing is we have three, four or five fast bowlers when those injuries do happen."

Strengthening

England, meanwhile, chose not to select their new pace-bowling find Steven Finn against Australia - prescribing instead a mid-summer intensive strengthening programme for the 6ft 7in 21-year-old.

Nielsen is unsure whether Finn's absence may be tactical - with next winter's Ashes in mind - but believes England are probably doing the right thing anyway.

"It does not matter too much," he said. "Maybe Steve Finn might have wanted to have a look at (Ricky) Ponting and (Michael) Clarke as well.

"We play so much cricket, so I think they (England) are being smart by giving him time to strengthen him up."

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