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Tait confident of World Cup fitness

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Shaun Tait

Despite his well-documented injury struggles, Shaun Tait believes he will be fit and firing when the World Cup comes around next month

Shaun Tait does not think he represents an injury risk after being selected in Australia's squad for the World Cup.

Tait's career has so far been undermined by injuries, the latest of which saw him undergo elbow surgery on October 1.

The 27-year-old missed the next three months but has been fast-tracked back into Australia's limited-overs plans.

He played in last week's two Twenty20 internationals against England before a back problem kept him out of the six-wicket win in the opening one-day international on Sunday.

Tait is, however, confident of returning for Friday's second match in Hobart to show he is ready, and able, to fire ahead of the World Cup.

"I’m really confident, the elbow is feeling really good," he said. "I’m at full fitness apart from the back complaint a few days ago.

"I’m very pleased to be in the World Cup squad. I’ve missed most of the summer after the elbow surgery and the whole time I’ve been thinking about this squad and trying to get back from injury to get picked.

"Obviously, they will manage the fast bowlers through the rest of the series and probably the World Cup as well, which is the done thing these days.

"But it’s probably the fittest I’ve been. I worked hard during the three months I was injured.

"At the end of the day, you can be as fit as you like, but it’s performances out on the field that count."

Australia have put faith in Tait and their fast men for the World Cup with Nathan Hauritz the only specialist spinner selected.

Tait admits the onus will, therefore, be put on the quick men to lead the line.

"I suppose it does," he said. "Brett Lee has a massive amount of experience, Mitchell Johnson is a great bowler and there’s Doug Bollinger and myself.

Mike Hussey

Tait is confident that Mike Hussey, who is out with a hamstring injury, will return to full fitness in time to play in Australia's World Cup defence

"We’ve all have a fair bit of experience and if you put that pace attack up against any in the world, I think it comes out number one.

"In those conditions reverse swing will be a factor and all four of us can bowl that.

"The selectors should be pretty happy with what they have."

Tait denied that selecting just one specialist spinner on the slow wickets of the sub-continent was a mistake, adding: "From what I’ve seen of the squad there’s a good balance.

"We’ve got four pretty good fast bowlers and a good spinner, plus some batsmen who can bowl spin like David Hussey.

"You never know, though, in India, because some of the wickets they produce can go through pretty quickly.

"Fast bowling isn’t that bad over there, that’s for sure."

Australia could be without veteran left-hander Mike Hussey at the World Cup after he
underwent surgery on a hamstring injury yesterday.

Tait is hopeful the 35-year-old will prove his fitness in time for Australia's opening game against Zimbabwe on February 21.

"Mike Hussey is a fit lad and a pretty determined character so I’m sure he’ll everything he can to get back," said Tait, who also praised his replacement Shaun Marsh.

Marsh has been in good form this summer and hit a 59-ball 93 for Western Australia in the domestic Twenty20 competition last night, before flying to Hobart.

"He’s obviously in pretty good form and made some runs over the last couple of weeks," Tait added.

"He’s always been a good player and it’s exciting to see him back."

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