Tait launches comeback via Australia A
Shaun Tait will make his return to competitive cricket on Australia A's one-day tour of India next month after walking away from the game in January. It is the strongest indication yet that Tait will be in the mix for national selection this season following his decision to take time off due to mental and physical exhaustion.
He has been named as one of four players to join the Australia A squad for the limited-overs portion of the trip, which involves a three-team tournament also featuring India A and New Zealand A. Tait took part in Australia's training camp in Brisbane last week but he knows stepping up to international level will take some time.
"I am looking forward to playing again," Tait said. "I have had a relaxed off-season, am feeling good and am enjoying rolling my arm over in the nets. I am not expecting huge things but it is a great opportunity and it will feel good to be back on the field."
His comeback was anything but certain in January, when he quit cricket indefinitely following a disappointing return to the Test side and a frustrating run with injuries. The selectors will be keen to give him plenty of match practice before considering him for the national team.
"It is very exciting that Shaun Tait is resuming his international career after a break from the game," Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said. "He has been training extremely well at the recent player camp in Brisbane and is fully aware of the opportunity this one-day tour provides."
Cameron White will captain the limited-overs team and will be joined by Brett Geeves, who like White is in the ODI squad currently in Darwin, and the Tasmania spinner Xavier Doherty. Simon Katich, who is leading Australia A in their three-day games, will not take part in the one-dayers.
The spin trio of Beau Casson, Bryce McGain and Jason Krejza will also return home after they press their claims for a spot in Australia's Test squad to visit India in October. McGain was the equal leading wicket taker in the FR Cup in 2007-08 but Doherty, who was also at the head of the list, was preferred for his left-arm variety.
"The national selection panel was also keen to have a look at a left-arm orthodox spinner in the one-day makeup and Xavier Doherty is someone that has impressed at interstate level during recent times," Hilditch said. "We look forward to seeing how he performs in the sub-continent."