White looks forward to second chance
Cameron White is set to make his one-day international return this month but after a disappointing 2006, the nature of his place in the side does not worry him. White, who played all five of his ODIs in 2005, has developed his batting so much that he is likely to fill an Andrew Symonds-type role as a hard-hitting middle-order striker and handy slow bowler.
Like Matthew Hayden, who has also been recalled for the Commonwealth Bank Series against England and New Zealand, White will be keen to impress ahead of the World Cup. After losing his Cricket Australia contract and being overlooked for the Australia A Top End games last year, the Victoria captain worked hard on his batting in county cricket for Somerset and this season averages 52.33 in the Ford Ranger Cup.
"I don't really care if I get picked as a batting allrounder or a bowling allrounder, or just as a bat or bowler, as long as I get picked," White told The Age. "It doesn't really matter what label you put on it as long as you are playing."
"If anyone asks me what I am I just say I am happy to do whatever anyone asks. Batting or bowling - it doesn't really matter what you call someone. But I think I have bowled fairly well in the last month, so I wouldn't say I am a batsman who bowls yet."
Although he has been useful with the ball, his figures are not as attractive as his run-scoring in 2006-07. In eight domestic limited-overs games he has eight wickets at 32 and has conceded nearly five runs an over. His Pura Cup statistics - seven dismissals at 49.42 - are less convincing.
"I bowl no differently in the one-day game to four-day," White said. "I just think the conditions tend to suit me more in one-day cricket. The wickets can be a bit slower and that probably suits my game more, and I have to learn to bowl better on faster wickets. I try to change my pace around a lot."
White said the disappointment of missing the Top End tour was eased by the fantastic experience he had at Somerset. Batting mostly at No. 5, White made five centuries and averaged 59.50 in his 12 first-class matches. He was even more impressive in the Twenty20 competition, where his 67.16 was the highest average from all counties and his two centuries included one in 55 balls, breaking the record for the fastest Twenty20 hundred.
"I had a good summer over there and my batting improved, so I am not overly disappointed by it," White said. "One of the things I wanted to work on in county cricket was my batting, and my one-day batting in particular. I batted up the order at Somerset and that seemed to work. It was a really good experience."
With the departure of Damien Martyn from Australia's one-day middle-order and the World Cup just two months away, the timing of White's return to form could not be better.