Stuart MacGill feels more at ease in the Australian squad under Tim Nielsen than John Buchanan, and he hopes to play until at least the 2009 Ashes in England. MacGill, who injured his knee at the team's boot camp last year, said life was difficult for fringe players under Buchanan.
"Buck was obviously focused on the 11 or 12 people who were going to win him a game at any time and I wasn't a part of the team for most of it," MacGill told the Courier-Mail. "It wasn't surprising I wasn't top on the list of priorities.
"It's not a case of Buck not being my cup of tea. But I think I am going to really enjoy working with Tim because he's really somebody who is trying to understand the way I am approaching my cricket. I really like Tim personally. I know that he respects the way that different people go about their jobs."
MacGill, 36, flies to Pakistan with the Australia A squad today and he expects to make a return trip there when Australia visit for three Tests in February. Barring any serious injuries - MacGill had elbow surgery during the winter but has recovered well - he wants to stay ahead of the young spinners Dan Cullen and Cullen Bailey right through Australia's hectic 18-month schedule.
"I'd like to play for another couple of years," he said. "Realistically speaking I think we've got an Ashes tour in a couple of years and that's something I'm aiming for. The amount of workload next year would be daunting for any Australian bowler but I'd like to think I would play in an as many of those Tests as I want to."
Ricky Ponting was not expecting any problems to arise from MacGill becoming a permanent fixture in the team, despite MacGill's temperamental nature and reports that he did not always get along with his team-mates. Ponting said Buchanan and MacGill had clashed on several occasions.
"We knew they were going on in and around the team but they are grown men and they handled it the right way," Ponting said. "It was always kept away from the rest of the team. I don't think I will have to address it. I don't think I will have to deal with Stuart at all."