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Page last updated at 21:25 GMT, Saturday, 3 July 2010 22:25 UK

Ricky Ponting wants Shaun Tait for Ashes after victory

Ponting and Tait
Ponting will hope Tait is available for the Ashes Test series

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has not given up hope of persuading fast bowler Shaun Tait to return to Test cricket in time for the winter Ashes series.

Tait was named man of the match at Lord's as Australia beat England in the final match in a one-day international series they lost 3-2.

And Ponting is hopeful he can talk the 27-year-old into a Test return after a near three-year absence.

Meanwhile, fast bowler Ryan Harris has returned home with a knee injury.

Of Tait, Ponting said: "We've been a better side with him, I'll keep working on him."

Tait came into the side for the final three matches of the series and played a key role in the tourists' much-improved performances.

He had been playing Twenty20 cricket for Glamorgan before being called up as an injury replacement but has opted not to play Test cricket because of continual struggles with injury.

But Ponting, who praised his side for a strong finish to the series, is desperate to change the mind of a bowler who topped 100 MPH in taking 4-49 in a 42-run victory at Lord's and created problems for all England's batsmen.

"There are very few guys in the world who can do what Shaun can do," said Ponting, who saw leading fast bowler Brett Lee retire from Test cricket in February.

"He has got the ability to bowl a ball that can get anyone out.

"That's not only in one-day or Twenty20 cricket, he's got the ability to do it with the red ball [in Test cricket] as well.

"If he has that desire ... then the selectors are going to find it hard to leave him out."

However, despite his strong performances with the ball, Tait said he was not confident his body could cope with a return to the longest format of the game.


He made his Test debut as a 22-year-old in 2005, but has only played two more Tests, his last a wicketless effort at home to india in January 2008.

And asked whether he might play a part in helping Australia regain the Ashes this winter, he replied: "Not at this stage I don't think, just getting through 10 overs today has been enough.

"I haven't thought about coming back (to Tests) to be honest. I haven't played a four-day game for a long time now and I'm in a pretty good place right now.

"I think there have been eight or nine years I've played and I've been injured every year apart from this season so maybe the cricket I'm playing has something to do with that.

"(But) I've never come out and said I have retired from the longer form - you never say never. I just made a decision to stop playing to keep my body on track.

"It could work out well and it could also work out badly, I could get injured or I might not."

England captain Andrew Strauss was one of two early Tait victims at Lord's on Saturday when he was clean bowled by a lightning-fast delivery that swung into him.

"He was pretty quick and he got the ball to swing which makes it harder," Strauss said. "He put us on the back foot."

But Strauss added: "He has clearly had some issues with bowling lots of overs. History suggests it is hard to sustain that pace, no bowlers in world cricket can bowl like that for long periods."

Ryan Harris is returning to Australia after picking up a right knee injury during the one-day series and miss the remaining tour games in England against Pakistan.

His replacement was not immediately announced.

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see also
Australia finish series with win
03 Jul 10 |  England
Early wickets cost us - Strauss
30 Jun 10 |  England
Wallace excited by Tait potential
31 Mar 10 |  Glamorgan
Live cricket on the BBC
25 Jan 10 |  Cricket
Australia in England 2010
04 Jul 10 |  Cricket

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