Shaun Tait will get a chance to push for World Cup selection after he was added to the CB Series squad for the next two matches. Tait has never played a one-day international but the Australia selectors are desperate to see him operate ahead of the tournament in the Caribbean starting in March.
Despite performing well until Sunday night's eight-run win over New Zealand, the bowling attack of McGrath, Bracken, Lee and Johnson barely managed to defend the 5 for 343 in Perth. Tait will add some extra firepower and keep the pressure on the fast men as they battle for five World Cup spots.
Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said the panel was pleased with the results during the series, but the next two matches, against England on Friday and New Zealand on Sunday, were the last chances to experiment. "We are taking the opportunity to add Shaun with a view to looking at him ahead of World Cup squad selection," he said.
The decision appears to have ended the short-term hopes of Ben Hilfenhaus, who made his ODI debut at Hobart when Tait was suffering a hamstring problem. "Shaun has made an impressive return from injury," Hilditch said, "and we want to take a further look at him in the international environment."
Tait was part of Australia's squad for the opening two Tests of the Ashes series before being released when Mitchell Johnson was preferred as 12th man. Tait, who played two Tests on the 2005 Ashes tour, has 26 Pura Cup wickets at 21.00 this summer and eight at 27.62 in the one-day competition, where his economy rate is 5.11 an over.