Marcus North in line to make Test debut for Australia

February 24th, 2009 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Feb 24 (IANS) Western Australia’s (WA) captain Marcus North is on course to make his Test debut with a fine all-round performance in a tour game against the South Africa Board President’s XI.
The 29-year old bagged six wickets in the second innings of the tour game Sunday, besides hitting two undefeated half-centuries.

North concentrated on his off-spin after a discussion with coach Tom Moody a few years back and is clearly reaping the rewards now.

North says it has been a frustrating time watching the years tick by and knowing the chance of entering the Test team fell with each squad missed.

“Each year you get closer to 30 and haven’t represented your country you do feel like you’re missing the boat, but you grab hope from guys like Michael Hussey,” North was quoted as saying in Sydney Morning Herald. “They were 29, 30 when they made their debuts.”

“Without a doubt it felt like it was slipping away but to get that call-up a month ago was very pleasing and to be here now is even better.”

The WA player has 8880 runs in a decade of first-class cricket, including 22 centuries and 51 50s.

“When you’ve had 10 years experience at first-class level, I think that has to help you in a lot of ways,” he said. “I think being captain and having that leadership responsibility back home, I guess, makes me more of a rounded cricketer.”

North’s best chance to make the squad is as an all-rounder, although Andrew McDonald played that role in the last Test Australia played.

Australia will play South Africa in the first Test that begins Thursday.

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