New South Wales v Western Australia, ING Cup, Sydney

Slater sets himself a one-day challenge

AAP

November 1, 2003

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Michael Slater admits he's under-achieved in limited overs cricket but he still maintains hope of returning to the top of the New South Wales one-day batting order.

Slater, who played the majority of his 42 international limited-overs matches and 74 Tests as an opener, batted at No.5 in the Blues' opening one-day game last weekend.

NSW captain Steve Waugh used big hitter Dominic Thornely and Simon Katich, who scored 136 not out, as his opening partnership against Victoria.

Waugh has several other opening options including his brother Mark, the former Australian one-day opener, and fast-scoring wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Meanwhile, Slater is almost certain to appear down the order again tomorrow when the Blues play WA at North Sydney Oval.

"If I continue to bat middle order throughout the summer, then the situation of the game will determine my approach," Slater said.

"From that point of view, it's very much a different role for me.

"Honestly, for whatever reason, I've under achieved in the one-day game as an opener.

"I'd hope to finish my career, maybe back up as an opener in the one-dayers and have an amazing season because I feel it's always been in me, but for some reason it hasn't happened."

While Slater's dashing style seems tailor-made for one-day cricket, he has statistically performed far better in the longer game.

The 33-year-old right-hander averages just under 40 for NSW at first class level, but only 23 in limited overs.

Slater said he felt a lot of pressure after he was dropped a few times early in his one-day career.

But he found it hard to pinpoint why he hadn't performed as well as he did in the four and five-day arenas.

"I can't put my finger on it, it's one of those things, it's very frustrating, but it's another season," Slater said.

"I'm in the one-day side and I've got an opportunity to perform and that's how I'm looking at it."

Unlike the last couple of summers, Slater has started the season in the NSW one-day team.

He said he was looking to build on his form at the end of the last domestic campaign when he scored a century in the Pura Cup final.

Although he topped the Blues' Pura Cup run aggregate with 770 last season, Slater said he wanted to eradicate the inconsistencies which dogged him through mid-season and was looking to score between 900 and 1000 first class runs this summer.

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