Pain-free Tait aims high
Shaun Tait is pain-free after elbow problems and is looking forward to joining Brett Lee in a Test team this summer. There have been concerns Lee and Tait are too similar in style to be used together, but Tait says people who believe that are looking "too deeply".
"They think, 'He sprays 'em, and he sprays 'em as well,' but the fact is we bowl teams out, and you can't win a game without doing that," he said in the Age. "So why not play both of us? I don't see the problem."
Tait has been picked for South Australia's Pura Cup game against Queensland on Friday after missing the previous match because the national selectors were concerned about his workload. He was selected in the squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka but had to pull out because the elbow he had surgery on in June was still giving him trouble.
"It is pain-free at the moment, which is the first time in over a year," he said. "It's brilliant. It's just getting my body back to match fitness, basically."
The Chappell-Hadlee Series, which starts on December 14, could give Tait an opportunity to re-enter the international scene and there has been talk from the selectors of playing four bowlers at the MCG on Boxing Day. "They might do something like that, and that would work in my favour if I am performing at the time," he said. "Ben Hilfenhaus is around and Ashley Noffke is dominating at the moment, so it's not going to be that easy, but if I can come back and bowl full pace again and take wickets, there is no reason why I can't be a chance to get picked again."
Australia also have concerns over Stuart MacGill's knee and Phil Jaques. New South Wales officials believe Jaques, who scored two centuries against Sri Lanka, has contracted the mumps and he may struggle to play another first-class match before the first Test against India.
"It can happen in adults and it's actually quite dangerous for adults, and he's been on antibiotics for a couple of days," Matthew Mott, the New South Wales coach, told AAP. "We don't know for certain if it's the mumps, he's going to be resting and he won't be playing the Shield match here, and it's not that long between the next game, so I suppose he will be battling a little bit." Phillip Hughes, the 18-year-old batsman, has taken Jaques' spot for Friday's game against Victoria.
New South Wales Pura Cup squad Phillip Hughes, Peter Forrest, Simon Katich (capt), Michael Clarke, Dominic Thornely, Brad Haddin (wk), Grant Lambert, Matthew Nicholson, Nathan Bracken, Beau Casson, Stuart Clark, Doug Bollinger.