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Ferguson dreams of Test arena

NatWest Series

Callum Ferguson

Callum Ferguson has scored five half-centuries in 16 one-day internationals and is hoping for a Test match spot

One-day star Callum Ferguson has his sights set on a Test place in Australia’s post-Ashes plans.

South Australia batsman Ferguson has begun the NatWest Series with consecutive half-centuries, a personal best unbeaten 71, and 56, to help his country into a 2-0 lead.

That form, should he be able to continue it in tomorrow’s third match in Southampton and beyond, might thrust him into the selection equation for Test cricket ahead of schedule.

“That’s something that is a goal of mine and when that comes, if it comes at all, is not in my hands, it’s for the selectors,” said Ferguson, 24. “It’s something I’d love to do at some stage but whether that ever comes, who knows.”

Although Australia’s middle-order players all struck hundreds during the Ashes, there will be pressure for change after defeat to England and captain Ricky Ponting, who returns to the UK today, recently said he thought Ferguson was a future Test batsman when he first laid eyes on him.

“That’s very nice of him to say that,” said Ferguson. “Obviously, coming from such a fantastic legend of Australian cricket, it’s very kind.”

Ferguson was dismissed during the batting powerplay in the 39-run victory at Lord’s on Sunday and the decision on when to opt for the five-over slot of fielding restrictions has become an intriguing issue in the series to date.

“When we’ve lost our wickets has had a fair say in when we’ve taken the powerplay,” said Ferguson, who now has five half-centuries in 16 one-day internationals.

“Depending upon who’s at the wicket, and how long they’ve been there, will decide on when you take it.

“There will be different situations where we’ll probably take it a bit earlier. But the fact we’ve lost wickets at annoying times has probably caused us to have to take it a little bit later.

“If you’ve been at the wicket for a little while, and you’ve had a bit of time to settle into the conditions, that makes it a hell of a lot easier. That’s probably the best way to describe it.

“Once you do take the powerplay, if you are in and you’re set, then it is a lot easier to make that gear-change and that’s why we try to give the guys a bit of a chance to get in before they do take it.”