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August 21, 2005
Shaun Tait hopes his hostile spell in Australia's drawn tour match against Northamptonshire will be enough to give him a Test debut on Thursday. Tait, 22, had an eventful day at Wantage Road against the English county side on Sunday by taking two wickets and forcing the opener Tim Roberts to retire with blood pouring from a gash above his left eyebrow.
Tait finished the contest with a wound of his own when Ben Phillips unleashed a booming drive that struck him on his knee, causing him to collapse to the ground. He left the field but is assured the bruising will not affect his chances of playing in Thursday's fourth Test at Trent Bridge.
"It was pretty painful for a while but it is not too bad now," Tait, who is fighting with Michael Kasprowicz for the third seamer's place, said. "There will probably be a couple of days of soreness but I should be alright. The boys were taking the micky out of me because it was nothing serious, but there was a lot of pain for five minutes. Matthew Hayden kicked me on the back and told me to get up - they are tough old blokes I suppose."
Tait tempted Usman Afzaal into an ugly pull and knocked over David Sales to finish with two for 52 from 14.1 overs. "I felt pretty good, there was some decent pace but a couple more wickets would have been handy," he said. "It would be everything for me to play for my country. One thing I do know is that I am ready for that sort of cricket. If the opportunity comes up I am definitely there to stick my hand up and bowl well."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?