Thatscricket - News - Steve Waugh backs sacked batsman Slater
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Sydney: Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh on Thursday predicted sacked opener Michael Slater would fight his way back into Test contention. Slater was axed for Australia's fifth Ashes Test over England, which the Aussies won on Monday to complete a 4-1 series triumph. Slater lost his place to Justin Langer after scoring 170 runs at 24.28 in the first four matches.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Australian chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns confirmed last week that off-field issues had contributed to the decision to give Slater "time out" from the team. Slater, who reacted with dismay to being axed, opted to continue travelling after the Ashes tour and didn't return to Sydney on Thursday with other team members. Asked by reporters at Sydney Airport if he could shed more light on off-field reasons for Slater's demotion, Waugh's guard proved as tight as it had against the England bowling attack. "It's never as black and white as people make it out to be, and it's not always based on statistics," Waugh said. "There's always plenty of things that come into a selection process, but I'm not going to go into detail what they are."Slats (Slater) would probably look back on the tour and say his form wasn't good enough and it's probably been a little bit like that for probably six or seven Tests. He's a better player than his results are showing and I think he needed to take a step back and look at his overall game and how he can improve."And I think he's well on the way to doing that. The last week has been tough for him but he's made a lot of progress and he's well on his way back."