Melbourne, Oct 1 (UNI) Pace spearhead Shaun Tait has been to hell and back but a sound body has afforded Australia's forgotten slinger the peace of mind required for cricket's most anticipated comeback.
After conquering India A in torturous heat on the sub-continent, Tait is ready for some domestic bliss in South Australia's opening one-day clash on Sunday week against Victoria.
The exhaustion and painful body ailments that consumed Tait during the third-Test loss to India in Perth during January is old news.
''It was tough conditions, hot and the wickets were not exactly bowler friendly. We all played well and the performances were pretty good,'' said Tait, who took six wickets at 18.16 in four matches during Australia A's Tri-Series win against India and New Zealand.
''I am over all the bad injuries. I still get a bit sore in the elbow and that sort of thing but if you ask fast bowlers around the world they are all pretty sore.
''The elbow is 100 per cent fine for bowling and throwing.'' Tait uprooted the wickets of India's top-order trio Robin Uthappa, Suresh Raina and Subra Badrinath with vicious pace and swinging yorkers in taking 3/27 at Hyderabad.
Tait's in the groove again but was quick to highlight the rock-solid support received on tour from Queensland all-rounder Ashley Noffke, skipper Cameron White and run-machine David Hussey.
''Mentally I am absolutely fine. The body being healthy and fit helps mentally as well,'' said Tait.
''I just talk to friends like everyone else does.
''Just talking to blokes like Ashley, Cam and Dave was good, they have great cricket brains. I have played against them for a while so to play on the same team was good.'' Tait suspected the selection of ''young blokes'' Peter Siddle and Doug Bollinger on Australia's Test tour of India meant he could be consigned to limited-overs action for the rest of his career.
Tait should get the green light for his first-class comeback later this week following trial games against Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales on the Sunshine Coast.
''I should be fine, ready to go first game. If I get some good results you never know what can happen,'' said Tait, ''happy'' to return to India if needed to cover injury in Ricky Ponting's Test unit.
''It was good to come out injury free, have a few free days, then go up to the Sunshine Coast for a few practice games. The season is then ready to go.'' UNI XC CS RL BD1110