MacDonald still in shock after getting Test call

December 31st, 2008 - 1:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Dec 31 (IANS) Victorian all-rounder Andrew McDonald was shocked after he got a call from the Australian national cricket selectors on his selection for the third and the inconsequential Test against South Africa in Sydney from Saturday. McDonald was on a surfing holiday at Ocean Grove Tuesday with his wife and some mates pondering New Year’s Eve plans when he received the word he was in the squad for the Sydney Test.

“I’d just got out of bed and was shocked and over the moon. And I’m really excited about the prospect of playing for Australia,” McDonald was quoted as saying by The Australian.

“A few of my mates were organising New Year’s. We weren’t sure what we were doing yet, but I’ve had to tell them they’re on hold now. They said, ‘You selfish so and so’, but they’re really rapt. It’s fantastic. It will be my first New Year’s in Sydney, so we’ll see what happens,” he added.

The 27-year-old, who was born in Wodonga, has been a consistent performer since making his debut for Victoria in 2003 in the Shield.

But it was only in 2006-07 that McDonald began to show his true worth as that season he became the fourth player in Shield history to make 750 runs and take 25 wickets. That placed him in the provisional 30-man squad for the 2007 World Cup.

But despite having a batting average of 38 and 94 wickets from 44 first-class matches, he was not considered as as Australian prospect until the injuries to the two incumbent all-rounders in the squad.

“On the 30th of December, I didn’t think I’d be sitting here talking in a press conference, talking about playing for Australia. The news came through of the disappointment of Shane Watson and Andrew Symonds being injured, but I wasn’t aware of that until I got the phone call,” McDonald said.

“I’m just glad to be included in the 12 for the Sydney Test, but also the disappointment of those two going out with injury. I feel for those guys as well.”

McDonald believes that he will perform if selected.

“I feel confident in my ability. I’ve been performing for Victoria. We’re the benchmark in the domestic competition at the moment, so that’s going to hold me in good stead. All the boys have been on the phone congratulating me and wishing me all the best. It’s an exciting time not only for myself but also my Victorian teammates,” he said.

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