ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Australia v Pakistan, Group A, World cup 2011, Colombo

Hilditch wants more impact from Tait

Brydon Coverdale in Colombo

March 18, 2011

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

Shaun Tait warms up with his team-mates, Colombo, March 18, 2011
Shaun Tait should have more impact in the early and middle overs according to Australia' chairman of selectors © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Jason Krejza | Shaun Tait
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
Teams: Australia

The man who signed off on Australia's aggressive World Cup attack believes Shaun Tait needs to have more impact if Australia are to win a fourth consecutive title. The chairman of selectors, Andrew Hilditch, also said that if Ricky Ponting can steer his side to another world triumph, it would rate as more satisfying than the previous three, which were achieved with great players such as Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist.

Tait was a key part of the 2007 campaign, when he finished joint second on the tournament wicket tally with 23 at 20.30, and his speed and hostility provided the perfect balance against the control of McGrath and Nathan Bracken. This time, Australia have gone with a trio of seriously quick bowlers, and while Tait is their leading wicket taker, he has also at times been slapped around the ground by moderate batsmen.

As the selector on duty, Hilditch will be watching at the Premadasa on Saturday when Tait, Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson try to run through Pakistan, their last chance to hone their approach before the quarter-finals. Hilditch said he was thrilled with the way Lee had returned from his serious elbow injury, but he wanted more from Tait as the knockout stage of the tournament rapidly approaches.

"I'm really happy with how Brett is going," Hilditch said. "I think it's a great credit to him, what he's done at his age and with the injuries he has had. He has come back just brilliantly. He's bowling really well. Mitchell Johnson has been really good. I think Taity has got to improve a little bit. He's going to have to impact with the new ball and then impact in the middle overs. I think the test on how that's going to work is going to be in the next few games."

The other men who will be important for Australia in the middle overs are the spinners, Jason Krejza and Steven Smith, who have not yet had a major impact on the tour. Against Pakistan, Hilditch will be keeping a close eye on Krejza, who, having made his name in the longer form of the game, was thrust into the one-day setup due to injuries to Nathan Hauritz and Xavier Doherty.

"It's a big test for Jason tomorrow on what could be a bit of a turning track," Hilditch said. "He's bowling pretty well. It's a steep learning curve, coming from playing Tasmanian cricket to playing against the best players in the world, but I think he's adjusting pretty well and it will be interesting to see how he goes tomorrow."

Australia are chasing their 35th consecutive World Cup match without a defeat, which stretches back to the 1999 tournament, the first of their three straight titles. As a selector since 1996, Hilditch has been involved in choosing all the successful squads, and he said that while 2007 was "the best campaign I've ever seen", it would be overtaken if Ponting lifts the trophy on April 2.

"If we manage to pull this off, I think it would be even better than 2007, because we've lost quite a few players since 2007. We had already lost quite a few players between 2003 and 2007. People forget that before 2007, we lost to England in the one-day series, we lost to New Zealand in the one-day series. We were actually going in looking like significant underdogs in 2007, and then we played the way we did.

"I think this is totally different. We've lost virtually most of the side since that time, and the fact that we've continued on the way we have done is great. This will be a massive challenge in these conditions. They're obviously not our ideal conditions and with this side, a fairly new side, it would be a great effort."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 13 
Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (March 21, 2011, 9:59 GMT)

This begins the fall of Aussies in competitive cricket. This situation was displayed by Ponting's on field behavior for last few months. He is a completely different person now compared to few years ago. He gets angry quickly, arguments with umpires and opposition players not good for a captain. He is also not scoring in ODI or Tests. I think QF will be Aussies last match in this WC. That will end another chapter. Aussies can begin a new chapter with a new captain, more new young players, new panel of selectors and a new coach. Lalith Kuruwita - Sydney

Posted by   on (March 19, 2011, 9:01 GMT)

Personally, I think Hilditch should retire as a selector. He seems to be doing more harm to the AUS side than good (and not just at the world cup)

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (March 19, 2011, 7:00 GMT)

Hit couple of fours off Tait. Then Tait gets upset and he is all over the place.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2011, 6:36 GMT)

Go australia, go! Time to get some good solid victories and shut the critics once for all! =D

Posted by   on (March 19, 2011, 5:15 GMT)

I'm guessing cameron white has done enough and doesn't need to play a bigger part?

Posted by Okakaboka on (March 19, 2011, 0:58 GMT)

What an absolute joke! LOL... If there is one person in Australian Cricket who needs to lift his game then it it is Andrew Hilditch. He has been performing at a remedial level for quite a time now. That said....this is the first bit of wisdom to come out of his mouth. Yes, Tait needs to lift....but I doubt this can happen. His delivery action has changed a little...his arm is a tad lower and I think his body is not allowing him to bowl as quickly as he was. He only needs to lose 5 kms/hr and suddenly we have a bowler who is very ordinary....which is what has happened. It was a mega mistake not to have Nannes in the original squad....he is simply a better bowler than Tait, Lee and Johnston. Why didn't Hilditch call on Krejza to lift his game...If he doesn't improve, we are going to have satellite disruption against the better teams when is inaccurate half trackers are dispatched into orbit.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (March 19, 2011, 0:57 GMT)

Australian pace attach might be in trouble here- One has to understand that Pakistani batsmen actually like faster bowlers and especially ones with the express pace. Pakistan have himself got Umer Gul and Wahab who consistentlt bowl in 145's and Gul is now even pushing to 150's while good old Shoib Akhtar is still among the fastest. What really troubles Pakistani batsmen is seam movement. Indian batsmen on other hand are all around poor players of fast bowling and in all fairness, it is because India has no express fast bowlers. You are as good as you play in the nets. Brett Lee has an average record against Pakistan and in few ODI's he has been gone for heaps against Pakistan. Another example is Dale Steyn who has a complete hold over indians but against Pakistan, he is pretty average. Couple of years back in a SA series, Pakistani batsmen took him for aorund 100 in 10 overs while they scored 352. Toss will be a key factor around here! Eitherway, SL is best team so far!

Posted by Meety on (March 18, 2011, 23:52 GMT)

@Subash - poetic justice? Did that just sound nice? LOL! @Something_Witty - I'd like to ask Hilditch to lift his game. I dunno if its a product of the times, but I would rather wish that selectors were NEVER seen & NEVER heard. Same goes Cric Oz CEOs.

Posted by TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on (March 18, 2011, 22:02 GMT)

How does a bowler become erratic & predictable at the same time ? You might want to check the dictionary.

Posted by Mahdi_E-Dra_Gujranwali on (March 18, 2011, 21:06 GMT)

Tatti is going to be meat and drink for our players, I'm sure our top order is salivating over Tatti offerings, bring on Tatti, Afridi and co loves the extra that he offers. We Pakistanis must be more worried about Lee and Johnson, not so much Tatti

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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