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Aussies confident Tait will make Test

By Adam Cooper 01/09/2005 05:12:50 AM Comments (0)

Australian officials are confident fast bowler Shaun Tait will be available for the deciding Ashes Test at The Oval after scans cleared him of any serious injury.

Tait, who made his international debut in the fourth Ashes Test against England at Trent Bridge, was taken to a London clinic by team physiotherapist Errol Alcott to investigate some mild shoulder soreness.

The scans revealed a minor irritation of a shoulder muscle and while the South Australian will continue to receive treatment for the problem, he is expected to be available for selection for the weekend's two-day match against Essex at Chelmsford.

Alcott said: "Shaun complained of some minor discomfort in his right shoulder following the fourth Test, and although we weren't overly concerned about the issue, I felt it was a good opportunity to have it looked at in more detail, which will no doubt help in his overall management.

"We will continue to treat the complaint and I expect him to be available for the weekend's tour match against Essex."

The Australians will travel to Essex to begin preparations for the two-day tour match which will have a significant bearing on the final Test team.

This is the last opportunity for the selectors to shape the side they want to play against England while the hit-out will give Australia the opportunity to fine-tune its game.

The batting, catching and ongoing no-ball problems are the areas Australia needs to lift in if it is to beat England and retain the Ashes.

Meanwhile, former England captain Mike Gatting believes Durham allrounder Paul Collingwood should replace fast bowler Simon Jones if the swing ace cannot recover in time from an ankle injury.

Gatting is poised to be superseded by Michael Vaughan as the last England captain to win the Ashes, but the leader of the 1986-87 winning side said he would be happy to pass the baton on.

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