World Twenty20 2012 September 15, 2012

McKay makes solid return from injury


Clint McKay became one of the fastest to 50 ODI wickets earlier this year but he knows his place in the shorter format is far from certain for Australia's World T20 campaign. McKay missed the T20s against Pakistan in the UAE due to a hamstring injury and made his return on Saturday in Australia's warm-up match against New Zealand in Colombo, where he took 2 for 14 from three overs.

However, with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc both in good form, and the spinners Brad Hogg, Xavier Doherty and Glenn Maxwell likely to play a significant role in the Sri Lankan conditions, McKay may struggle to force his way in for the group matches against Ireland and West Indies. McKay has played only four T20 internationals - three of them this year - despite his ongoing presence in the ODI side.

"I'd like to think I'd get in the best attack but if I don't, well so be it," McKay told reporters after the New Zealand game. "I'll just keep training and making sure that if I do get my turn I'll be ready to go. The young boys Starcy and Patty are bowling beautifully at the moment so we'll just wait and see what makeup of the team they're going to go with."

McKay is far from an express bowler but has been extremely valuable to Australia's one-day team in the past three years, his changes of pace proving especially difficult for batsmen to handle. In March, he collected his 50th ODI wicket from his 27th match, the equal eighth-fastest in ODI history, placing him alongside champions like Waqar Younis and Shane Bond, and only marginally behind others such as Curtly Ambrose and Shane Warne.

Transferring that form to T20 cricket will be his next challenge, if he wins a place in Australia's side during this tournament. An extended run of matches in the ODI side earlier this year helped him gain confidence and until his hamstring problem, he had started to put together a few consecutive T20 internationals.

"Getting a continuing stretch of games [helped], I think I played 12 or 13 in a row, which is something I've never done before," McKay said. "And the more you play the more comfortable you feel. But in saying that I know that there's a lot of work for me to do to make sure I continue to improve and continue to hold my spot. It's been great to be around the squad for so long and help win games of cricket but I know there's a long way to go."

For now, the focus is on helping Australia prove they are better than their ninth place in the ICC's T20 rankings. They began to find their touch in the second and third T20s against Pakistan and their 56-run win against New Zealand, which featured three wickets for Brad Hogg and two each for Cummins, McKay and Shane Watson, was an encouraging start to the Sri Lankan trip.

"The confidence more than anything that came out of today was that it doesn't matter which makeup we go with, we've got guys to fill in the role," McKay said. "We've got pace at the front and good spinning options and some medium-pacers with Watson and Dan Christian as well. I think in all different conditions and circumstances ... we've got all bases covered and are raring to go."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • neeraj on September 17, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    4-0-33-0 against England warm game is that u call solid return.

  • Nik on September 17, 2012, 1:38 GMT

    Aus is struggling man big time. talent pool is thin more youngsters chosing footy ovr cricket and aus will struggle to re-build atleast till 2015 Wcup and they wil be semis that time. :)

  • Mathew on September 16, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    Oh dear the talent pool is thin in Aus. Very tough couple of years for Aus coming up, if things look bad now wait a while. I do hope they don't get too embarassed in the WC, but I fear the Aus/SA tests will be a mauling. Only time will tell but I would love to see a more competitive Aus.

  • Rakesh on September 16, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    Mckay should be instead of Christian, can't find any reason for selecting Christian

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    Definitely a better limited overs bowler then Patterson. Starc and Cummins will be hard to push out of the team. Mckay's change of pace is what keeps him in the selectors minds... And his slower ball bouncers.

  • Nicholas on September 16, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    McKay was the most promising looking Aus. bowler in the last Eng. tour. Unlike the other pace-obsessed bowlers, McKay was very consistent and let the ball do the talking. His return will be a breath of fresh air for Aus. and I think he's a player to watch out for. I don't know how the Aus. fans feel, but I'm serious here... he's a decent bowler that's hard to dominate. Good luck to him!

  • django on September 16, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    Save Patto and Cummins for tests, Clint can be an asset. He doesnt look like much but he gets alot of wickets and is hard to get away. Most of the commenter's here running him down should have a look at his ODI stats.

  • Bryn on September 16, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    surely he will be in along with starc, cummins, hogg. maxwell and watto allrounders. mckay is a must-have, current side's nathan bracken. christian would have to miss out such is the aussies strength and depth

  • Sean on September 16, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    Yet another injury prone aussy nobody struggling through their career.

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2012, 2:03 GMT

    Another popgun added to the attack.

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