Shaun Tait has shown no signs of discomfort in his troublesome right elbow despite claiming he bowled at his fastest in Australia's dominant Twenty20 victory over New Zealand. Tait impressed in his first international since the World Cup, picking up two wickets in his opening four balls, and he is on track to play his maiden international on his home ground in Adelaide when the Chappell-Hadlee Series opens on Friday.
"It's something I have been looking forward to my whole career," he said, "so hopefully I will get a gig. I feel I'm bowling at my best at the moment."
Tait, who had off-season elbow surgery, "pulled up perfectly" after making a dramatic impact in collecting 2 for 22 off four overs. "The speed camera wasn't on last night so it's a bit disappointing," he said, "but it was as quick as I have bowled."
Michael Hussey was in the slip cordon and felt like he was "sitting in the stands" when Tait and Brett Lee were operating. "Tait was lightning quick and he used his bouncer very well," Hussey said. However, the performance was not enough to convince Hussey that Australia should use a four-man pace attack in the Test against India on Boxing Day.
Hussey lent support to his Western Australia team-mate Brad Hogg, who is Australia's first-choice spinner now Stuart MacGill is injured. Hussey believes they should keep a varied attack for the Tests and possibly even the one-dayers.
"Conditions are probably going to be different in Adelaide compared to Perth," he told Cricinfo. "It certainly gives the selectors a headache, the bowlers bowling well, but we've got Brad Hogg as well who's been outstanding.
"My personal opinion is we need to take a spinner in to the Test match. Test match cricket is played over five days, it's not played with a brand-new ball and over the first session of a game. That's my opinion, but I don't make those decisions."
Michael Clarke, Australia's captain for the Twenty20, would not be drawn on his preferred line-up for Boxing Day, but gave an indication that there was room for the express pace of Lee and Tait. Glenn McGrath has called for four fast men against India and Clarke appeared to agree.
"It is a very different form of the game but I'd hate to face both of them,'' Clarke told AFP. "If they are bowling like that they are going to be tough to face. The selectors are going to need to work out conditions and what they feel the best attack is. If guys are performing like that, they are very hard to leave out.''
Tait thinks the only way he can get a spot in Melbourne is if Australia go for four quicks. "It's hard. You can bowl well in these limited-overs matches but Test matches are a different story. The last four-day performance wouldn't have done me any harm but the Australian side is such a force it's hard to break in."
Australia vs New Zealand
India tour of Australia