Sydney: New South Wales coach Steve Rixon and captain Shane Lee believe Michael Slater will force his way back into the Australian Test cricket side this summer.
| When Slater was dumped from the fifth Ashes Test against England last August for makeshift opener Justin Langer, he declared he would "hit the ground running" in the domestic competition to stake his claim for a recall. His first big opportunity comes on Wednesday in the start of the four-day match against Tasmania at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), where national selector Allan Border will be monitoring his form. In Brisbane, Langer will open for Western Australia against Queensland to fight off the Slater challenge for his Test spot after scoring 102 in the fifth Test at The Oval. "Slater is actually in a very good physical and mental state at the moment," Rixon said on Tuesday. "He's been working well, he's been training extremely well, he's pleasant in the squad, and he's doing everything conceivably possible to get back into the Test side. "Let's hope he continues along that vein for the rest of the season - I have no doubt he will be back in the Test team, but there's no easy way back and nor should there be. He knows he's got to make runs." Lee supported Slater's recall saying, "Hopefully, Michael's putting Test selection out of his sights at the moment and just worrying about getting runs. "I think if he does that, the class player that he is, he'll definitely push his way back into the Test side." |