Slater~~s fall from grace continues, dropped

Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney: Former Australian Test opening batsman Michael Slater's fall from grace continued on Tuesday when he was dropped from the New South Wales (NSW) team.

Slater, who was axed from the Australian side for the final Ashes Test in England last August to make way for the return of Justin Langer, was on Tuesday left out of the NSW team to plays Victoria in the Sheffield Shield match starting on Friday. The 31-year-old veteran of 74 Tests had scored only 257 first-class runs at an average of 25.70 this season with just one half-century in 11 innings. "It's always distressing to leave out a talented player, especially one with a career record like Michael's," said NSW chairman of selectors John Benaud. "He's sadly out of touch at the moment, hopefully some time in the middle away from the pressure cooker of first-class cricket might help him get back to his very best form soon." Slater will now play club cricket with his Sydney club, University of NSW. A dashing right-hander, Slater scored 5,312 runs at an average of 42.83 with 14 hundreds and was dismissed nine times in the 90s. He was the opening partner with former Australian captain Mark Taylor throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

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