Shaun Tait answers questions on his career and Champions Trophy
Shaun Tait caught up with James Alder last week whilst commentating in India. Here he is, giving his take on his 15 year long career, the changes he saw in the game as well as taking a look at Australia’s chances in the upcoming Champions Trophy.
How's does it feel to have hung up the boots for the last time?
It certainly feels very strange to have retired after 15 years of doing what I love. Having said that, I'm comfortable with it now, and I’m looking forward to doing different things within the media and giving the body a rest most importantly!
When you look back over your career, what's the moment that makes you proudest?
Looking back, the 2007 World Cup win was probably the proudest moment. We had a truly great set of players and that was undoubtedly me at my peak. It’d be followed very closely by test debut in England, however. That’s the pinnacle for any Australian cricketer.
Would you have liked to have played more test cricket, or do you feel that it will have been a step too far for the body?
I would certainly have liked to have played more test cricket for sure. It wasn’t to be, and if I’m honest I don't think my body would've got through too many more. Whichever way you look at it, 30 tests sounds better than 3!
You had a phenomenal World Cup record for Australia (34 wkts @ 21.5 in two tournaments). How much has life changed for a limited overs bowler since that 2006/07 tournament, with the advent of the IPL & other World T20 leagues?
The one day game has come a long way since 2007, which doesn’t seem like a long time ago at all. Yet in that time, players have invented so many new shots and ways to score. That’s changed cricket and the task faced by bowlers throughout a One Day/T20 innings. In the last 5 years, teams have gained the confidence to chase any total. I'm glad I played when I did, put it that way.
I saw what I consider to be the quickest spell I've ever seen you bowl, in an ODI against NZ at Adelaide in 07 (you hit McCullum in the head). What do you recall as being the quickest spell of your career?
Quickest spell would have to be a toss-up between Lords in 2010 (Natwest Series vs England) or a T20 we played against NZ at the WACA. There wasn't a speed gun at that game, but I felt seriously good that day. (Tait hit the 100MPH mark at Lords in 2010).
Was there ever a time in your career where you were told that you'd need to change your action to a more conventional one?
When I was younger, I remember being told a few times to change my action. It might have helped in the long run considering the nature of the injuries I picked up, but I strongly believe in doing what comes naturally and didn't want to lose my main weapon, which was undoubtedly my pace. I made my debut for South Australia when I was pretty young (19), and once I was in that side things just took off.
If you could have your time again, would you forgo your three Test Caps for a longer run at playing in the world's T20 leagues?
No, if I had my time again I wouldn't give my 3 tests back. I managed to do what I wanted, and play in all 3 formats which I’m happy with.
Australia will be busy preparing for the ICC Champions Trophy in England. How do you rate their chances in the tournament? Are there any weak links in that side?
Australia will be one of the favourites for the champions trophy. They’re in form, with some key players having done well in the IPL and it's not often an Australian side has any weak links. They end up there or thereabouts at most tournaments, and there’ll be extra focus on the team given the disputes being aired in the media at the moment.
Do you think that 50 over cricket can continue to maintain relevance amongst players, in what's an increasingly saturated international cricketing schedule?
I do think one day cricket still has its place, as long as there isn't too much of it. There is a saturation in terms of the amount of games which dilutes the quality and the competitive element. In my eyes, series should be played as a best of three and not best of seven. People lose attention, and those extra games lose their relevance more often than not. With the best sides playing against each other, you could excuse five on the odd occasion.
What are you most looking forward to about your retirement?
Retirement wise, I'm looking forward to being at home more with friends and family – the normal stuff that you miss as a player! Another thing I’m excited about is not having to cart a giant cricket bag around! I'll miss it, but I had my time.
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