Shaun Tait will make his one-day international debut against England in Sydney on Friday after Australia named their side a day ahead of the match. In what could be the final clash between the teams on this tour, Tait has been given a chance against a batting order he terrorised at the beginning of their trip.
He opened with 3 for 21 for the Prime Minister's XI in November and added another three wickets against them in a first-class game. The performances gained him a promotion into the squad for the first two Tests, but he was released before both matches. Tait said he was looking forward to another aggressive spell against England.
"I'm raring to go," Tait told the Herald Sun. "England are pretty down at the moment so I can't wait to take a crack at them. Intimidation has got it's place in any form of cricket, so yeah, that's part of the plan. There's no point in changing my style. I am an attacking bowler. I will run in and bowl fast, and not think too much about it. It just confuses you."
Tait, who recently hit the 155kph mark in a game for South Australia, said he was keen to show that he could be right up there with Brett Lee in terms of speed. "A lot depends on the conditions, I guess, and to be honest some days you don't know if it is going to come out 150 or 140," he said. "But I have been bowling pretty fast recently, so I will be up there, I reckon. Hopefully, if I get a chance to bowl at the death, I can use some good variety and yorkers as well."
Tait now has a chance to gain a spot at the World Cup in the West Indies next month, with the squad being named on February 13. Brett Lee will be 12th man on his home ground to allow Tait into the side while Stuart Clark will play ahead of Mitchell Johnson. Brad Hodge appears likely to play after Ricky Ponting strained a hip muscle at training on Thursday. England need to win both of their last two preliminary games to have a chance of making the finals.
Australia 1 Adam Gilchrist (capt, wk), 2 Matthew Hayden, 3 Brad Hodge (or Ricky Ponting), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Andrew Symonds, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 Cameron White, 8 Nathan Bracken, 9 Stuart Clark, 10 Glenn McGrath, 11 Shaun Tait.