Bollinger rates Tait
Doug Bollinger is confident fellow pace bowler Shaun Tait will provide the “x-factor” to make sure Australia avoid a “damaging” NatWest Series whitewash against England.
Tim Bresnan yesterday evening struck the winning runs in a nail-biting last-wicket stand with James Anderson to put England 3-0 up in the five-match series.
England captain Andrew Strauss has now set his sights on inflicting a 5-0 series win over Australia, a feat Bollinger admits would give the Ashes holders a psychological boost ahead of this winter’s defence in Australia.
Tait and Bollinger are set to lead the Australia attack in the fourth ODI at the Brit Oval on Wednesday, following impressive performances at Old Trafford which saw the tourists almost snatch an unlikely win after they were bowled out for 212.
Tait, playing his first ODI since February 2009, bowled with his usual pace and aggression to end the game with figures of 3-28 from 10 overs.
Bollinger admits Tait could make a big difference in the remaining games, which will culminate at Lord’s on Saturday.
“Shaun came in and bowled really fast yesterday,” said Bollinger. “He bowled really well. He got 3-28 and bowled well for the team, and that gave us a massive boost.
“For me, he can have a massive effect on the series. If he keeps bowling well then he’ll take a lot of wickets, and I hope he does.
“Everyone hasn’t bowled badly. But he bowls extremely fast and adds the x-factor to the team, so it’s great to have him in the team.
“He’s a great guy to have in the dressing room too, so to have him available is like a breath of fresh air.”
England already have bragging rights over Australia after they beat them in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean last month.
Having relinquished the Ashes last summer, Bollinger is keen for Australia to avoid another series defeat before the battle for the famous urn down under this winter.
“It would be damaging if we lost 5-0, but there’s not much else that we can do other than just go out and play your best in the last two games,” he said.
“Sometimes you can get outplayed and sometimes things don’t go the way you want them to, but that’s just the way it goes.
“I hope we can come out and get something from the next two one-dayers to finish off the series.”
Australia came within one delivery of staying in the series at Old Trafford yesterday.
Bollinger added: “It was frustrating to lose yesterday because everyone bowled well - and things started to come together.
“It came down to the last over and four runs, so yes, it was very disappointing.
“Everyone was really upbeat and everyone thought we were going pretty well with seven wickets in 10 overs.
“The confidence was there, and I thought we could win. But it just wasn’t the case. I don’t think it will put a massive dent in our team psychologically.”