Oz pacer Tait back to his best in World Cup 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

MELBOURNE - Australian right-arm quick Shaun Tait appears to have come back from the dead as far as his cricketing fortunes are concerned.

There was a time when he was nearly lost to cricket. He was at breaking point, physically and mentally wasted, a shell of the bowling tearaway who former Australia left-arm quick Bruce Reid once predicted would take 200 Test wickets.

Three years on, having survived his darkest days when he had a 10-month hiatus from the game, Tait has rubber-stamped himself as one of the most successful Australia bowlers in World Cup history.

His 3-35 against the Kiwis on Friday saw him move alongside the legendary Kapil Dev with 28 World Cup wickets. The difference is that the India all-rounder played in 26 Cup matches and Tait has played in just 13.

According to the Daily Telegraph, if he can maintain the rage, Tait will surpass Shane Warne (32 wickets) and Brad Hogg (34) during this tournament, leaving him behind only Glenn McGrath (71) on Australia’s list of most prolific World Cup bowlers.

Those close to Tait, such as former South Australia teammate Darren Lehmann, can recall how low the speedster once sank - and the fight he showed to haul himself back.

It is why Lehmann believes that Tait, for all his detractors, has the mental fortitude to propel Australia to a fourth consecutive World Cup.

“It means a lot to see him fit and firing again,” said Lehmann.

He added: “It was exciting to see him bowling fast [against the Kiwis]. In that form, he can take this side a long way. It was a really tough time for him a few years ago. He wasn’t enjoying cricket, so it’s just great to see him back bowling well and happy again.” (ANI)

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