IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Tait targets late-season IPL return


shaunShaun Tait is aiming to play in the closing rounds of the IPL, despite Cricket Australia this month ruling him out of the tournament on medical grounds. Tait returned to the nets this week after three months on the sidelines with chronic hamstring tendonitis, and is hopeful of being cleared for the final stages of the Rajasthan Royals’ campaign in South Africa.

Tait was the only senior Australian player to be selected in the 2009 IPL auction when purchased by Rajasthan for $375,000. The South Australian paceman was disappointed on learning of CA medical staff’s intention to stand him down from the lucrative Twenty20 league, but believes he has now made sufficient progress in his recovery from injury to be reconsidered.

“If I can get myself fit, and there is a window for the final two or three games, that would be fantastic,” Tait told Cricinfo. “Because of the injury, Cricket Australia weren’t keen to release me to play [in the IPL], which ruled me out of training and playing with Rajasthan. That was pretty frustrating, because it was something I wanted to be a part of. But now that I am back in the nets and feeling good, hopefully there’s a chance there.”

When fit, Tait has been an integral member of Australia’s 50- and 20-over squads in recent seasons, and the right-armer rates himself a “50-50″ chance of being named in the final 15-man line-up for the World Twenty20 in June. The IPL, he feels, represents an ideal opportunity to gain much needed match-practice ahead of the tournament, in which Australia were defeated by India in the semi-finals in 2007.

“Obviously a lot of it depends on how I am going physically, but I feel good right at the moment,” he said. “I will keep bowling in the nets, but it would definitely be good to get a few games under my belt. I’m not sure if I’m in the selectors’ minds for the Twenty20 World Cup, but if so, then a few IPL games mightn’t be a bad thing. And if there was the opportunity for a county stint before the one-dayers in England, then that would be great, too.”

Tait has contended with a number of elbow, back and hamstring injuries in recent seasons, but remains willing to live with the physical consequences of his violent bowling action for the sake of pace. The 26-year-old said he was loath to tinker with the bowling action that propelled him from the suburban grounds of Adelaide to Kensington Oval, the scene of the 2007 World Cup final, and would consider standing down from the longer forms of the game to extend his career.

“At the end of the day, my action has got me this far,” he said. “I am prepared to cop these injuries to keep bowling fast. Last year I probably targetted the shorter forms more. I think one-dayers and Twenty20s suit my style of game more. In the next three or four months, I’ll see how I go. If I’m still feeling good playing four-day cricket then I’d be stupid to walk away, but if not then I’ll have to have a think about it.

“I haven’t bowled a ball in three months, so it’s good to be pain-free again. I’ve learned a few ways that might help me manage my injuries better and keep myself strong. I’m sure I’ll get injured again; that’s just the way it is. Maybe that will mean missing a few games here and there, but hopefully I’ll be able to manage things better.”
Source:Cricket News

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