Phillips believes Test failure 'plagued him' January 30, 2008

Former coach says Tait can return

Cricinfo staff

Shaun Tait's return to Test cricket did not bring any wickets © Getty Images

Shaun Tait's former coach Wayne Phillips says the fast bowler is capable of returning to his peak if he rediscovers a simple approach to the game. Until the end of last season Phillips was Tait's coach at South Australia and he said Tait's decision to walk away from all forms of cricket had come as "an enormous shock".

"When things are simple for Shaun, he bowls really well," Phillips told the Advertiser. "When he has conflict and outside issues then it does start to challenge him. If he can clear his mind of all those other things and get back to bowling simply, he will bowl well and fast.

"It's just the simplistic nature of what he does. He loves playing and he loves enjoying playing. As soon as it's not much fun for him then it's not much joy for him. If he's not enjoying it then he will look at the Edithburgh Roadhouse and think that looks pretty bloody attractive."

Phillips said the disappointment of returning to Test cricket after more than two years out of the side, and then failing to take a wicket, would have hurt Tait. "I saw him at the Twenty20 against New Zealand in Perth and there was no doubt his passion was there for that," Phillips said. "You could see he really enjoyed that and his performance was quite magnificent. But the disappointment he had in Perth with the Test match would have plagued him."

Mark Sorell, Tait's coach at South Australia, said there was no hurry for him to return. "We will be giving him the space that he needs and support so that we can see how long it takes," he told AAP. "The main thing is he has got to get that love and passion back for the game - and how long it takes is how long it takes."

Mike Deare, the South Australian Cricket Association chief executive, said the SACA would support Tait. "Professional sport can place huge demands on young sportspeople," Deare said. "We respect Shaun's decision and will assist him and his family in every way possible to allow him to recover both physically and emotionally."