Oz batsman North not looking too far ahead

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Sydney, Jan. 2 (ANI): Australian middle-order batsman Marcus North will go into the Sydney Test against Pakistan looking for the big score that will cement his place in the Australian top order, but is not concerned about his future in the team.

North has scored just 192 runs at 24 in five Tests since his Ashes century at Headingley in August, and is not guaranteed to hold his place on the autumn tour to New Zealand, with the national selectors eager to recall dumped opener Phillip Hughes.

But the left-hander, who last year became the first West Australian to score a century on Test debut, is not looking ahead to New Zealand, simply focusing on performing well against Pakistan.

He believes worrying about future selections will do little but distract him from his immediate task.

"I am now very conscious of simply doing what I have to do to perform well in each Test match and not worrying about anything beyond that," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted North, as saying.

"Although I am well aware that there is a tour to New Zealand coming up, and ultimately an Ashes series next summer, I am not thinking that far ahead or worried about what I have to do to take part in those series," he added.

North has scored two half-centuries since Headingley but has not passed 16 in any of his other six innings.

Team sources say North has been an influential figure in the dressing rooms and has often provided captain Ricky Ponting with valuable counsel. He is considered a potential vice-captain should Michael Clarke become captain.

North revealed that he was frustrated at the MCG when he did not bat until the fourth day and then edged a reverse-swinging delivery from lively teenage quick Mohammad Aamer on to his stumps early in his innings.

Australia will remain unchanged for the second Test after their powerful effort at the MCG, when they beat Pakistan by 170 runs. (ANI)

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