Tait eyes a come back, sacrifices pace for line and length

May 10th, 2008 - 2:23 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, May 10 (IANS) Declaring a renewed appetite for the game, fast bowler Shaun Tait will sacrifice raw pace for line and length when he returns to the bowling crease next season. Recovering from his much-publicised breakdown three months ago, Tait will follow Brett Lee’s lead and forgo sheer pace for accuracy to guard against another burnout.

Lee has just enjoyed his best season by honing his direction rather than trying to blast out batsmen with raw speed.

“I can probably take some of that on board,” Tait was quoted as saying by The Australian.

“I can probably be a bit smarter and not bowl at 160 kmph every time,” the fast bowler said after a practice session at the Adelaide Oval.

Other than backyard cricket with his mates in the Adelaide Hills, Tait hasn’t bowled a ball in anger since his shock departure from the game in January.

And according to his rehabilitation schedule, he won’t bowl for another three months - until then it’s all weights and gym work. “People are working around me around the clock.”

If all goes to plan, Tait will play in South Australia’s season opener in October.

Until then Cricket Australia and South Australia’s Cricket Association physios will carefully manage the athlete.

“My body was in pretty bad shape really,” Tait said. “Training, games, even waking up in the morning after games off, it was sore.”

He bristled at reports he was clinically depressed, saying there was never any such diagnosis in his case.

“The body was sore and I took a break. It was as simple as that. It was always in the back of my mind that I’d come back and play cricket at some point,” he said.

Tait’s absence has pushed him further behind the three first-choice quicks; Lee, Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson, and behind even Ashley Noffke, whose stellar all-round year has earned him a trip to the Carribean for Australia’s upcoming tour.

But CA’s decision to renew his contract shows Tait remains in the selectors’ thoughts.

The man himself refuses to make any brash predictions about when he will dust off his baggy green or canary yellow one-day cap.

“At the moment it’s pretty simple - just get back playing with the SACAs,” Tait said.

“(The Australian selectors) know what I can do, so as soon as I’m back to bowling full pace it’d be nice to be picked.”

Stating he was mentally and physically fit enough to stand up to the rigours of first-class cricket, Tait urged selectors to hold the line on their at times contentious rotation policy to avoid other quicks suffering a similar collapse.

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