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Nannes out to extend unique journey

NatWest International T20

Tim Paine, Dirk Nannes & Shane Watson

Tim Paine and Shane Watson help Dirk Nannes celebrate the wicket of Fraser Watts, his first in Australia colours

Dirk Nannes walked away from his first match in an Australia shirt yesterday pledging to keep things simple as he looks to build his international career.

After briefly celebrating with his team-mates following Australia's 189-run one-day win over Scotland in Edinburgh, the 32-year-old strode over to the waiting media and proclaimed that, if he stayed fit, he was good enough to keep his place.

"That's all I'm going to aim to do - keep fit," he said after claiming 1-20 from seven overs.

"When I'm fit I'm bowling well, and when I'm bowling well then I'm confident I can do really well."

It was the type of straight talking you would not expect from a newcomer, although Nannes is not your average debutant.

A self-titled "accidental cricketer", he spent his youth trying to qualify for the Winter Olympics as a skier, his great passion.

When he did turn to the bat and ball, he did not make his first-class debut until he was almost in his 30s and only three months ago was playing for Holland at the ICC World Twenty20.

"It's been a pretty exciting journey from not much of a cricket background to get here," he reflected after yesterday's game. "It was a pretty massive day for me making my debut for my country of birth.

"Hopefully I'll be able to play a lot more games for Australia and hopefully in other forms (of the game) as well."

He may get the chance to do that on Sunday when Australia play England in the first of two Twenty20 internationals at Old Trafford.

Nannes can lay claim to being the first journeyman in the format's brief history, having appeared across the globe and winning domestic titles with Middlesex and Victoria before helping Delhi Daredevils top the Indian Premier League earlier this year.

That preceded him playing a part in Holland's surprise win against England in the World Twenty20.

Such knowledge may make him a useful commodity this week as Australia seek to regain at least some lost pride after defeat in the Ashes, although the left-armer played down such a notion.

"I don't think I'll be handing out instructions," he joked. "I think their mindset is going to be a lot different to when they played the Dutch.

"I think they went in a bit conservative. I don't think they can do that in a game like this. I just think it's going to be a good, hard cricket match.

"Look, I'm not even on the park yet. Hopefully I will be and I'll get a cap and we'll take it from there."

He finished by adding: "I know if I am bowling at my best in Twenty20 then I can play for any country in the world. I think I've almost proved that."

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