North burns for Ashes revenge

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BRISBANE - Thirty-one-year-old Western Australian left-hand batsman Marcus North heads into the first Test against England at the Gabba on Thursday still under pressure to keep his spot, but is confident about delivering upfront.

If North doesn’t produce, it won’t be for lack of motivation and desire.

Recalling the Ashes nail in the coffin delivered by England at The Oval in August last year, he said: “I certainly felt numb and a little bit in disbelief and I think that was a reflection of the series, how tight it was.”

“I remember a lot of us talked about that night and the days after that. There’s going to be a burning desire in a lot us for the next couple of years. It would’ve been disappointing having that experience in 2009 and not being able to have some sort of impact on winning the Ashes back. It’s certainly been burning inside all of us. It’s now about controlling that and using it well,” The Age quoted North, as saying.

North, who averages 37 from his 19 Tests, has his critics who point to the lack of consistency in his scoring.

But a fighting century in Bangalore during the Test series loss to India last month and another ton for WA against South Australia recently offered him some breathing space and he’s confident he can back it up.

“I’m feeling really good about my game. I scored a 100 in my last Test match. I’ve never taken playing for Australia for granted at any stage of my career and I certainly haven’t done that in the last couple of weeks,” North said.

North has an impressively healthy attitude to media criticism and takes it in his stride.

“It’s about filtering it. I read the papers and watch the media so it’s something I don’t shy away from. There’s times when I get a chuckle out of certain comments. I’ve learnt that’s part of international sport and playing for Australia at an elite level, there’s always going to be opinion and comment made,” he says. (ANI)

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