Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia pace bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile has revealed that he thought his international career was over after a string of injuries kept him sidelined for lengthy periods of time.
Having struggled with injuries over the past two years, Coulter-Nile found it tough to get back into the national team as he wasn’t playing cricket on a regular basis.
But, having been presented with an opportunity to prove his worth in the ongoing ODI series in India, the 29-year-old didn’t disappoint in the first ODI in Chennai on Sunday as he ripped through India’s top order with a three-wicket haul.
Coulter-Nile removed Ajinkya Rahane, captain Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey in quick succession, but his efforts ended up going in vain as Australia lost the match by 26 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.
“There were definitely periods where I wondered if I was ever going to play for Australia again,” Coulter-Nile told cricket.com.au. “I was always confident I could play for WA (Western Australia) and get through a domestic season. That’s a lot easier than the rigours and travel of playing for Australia. But it’s yet to be seen if I can get through an Aussie tour yet.
“I thought long and hard about [giving up first-class cricket] and I ended up trying to give it another crack. After talking to JL (Justin Langer) and a few blokes, I think it’d just be mad to give up the dream at 29.”
Last month, Coulter-Nile was contemplating retiring from first-class cricket in order to become a Twenty20 mercenary, but he has since shelved the idea as he is still eager to keep representing his country.
“I think it’s the dream of every kid playing in Australia,” he said. “It’s not about earning money in the IPL, it’s about playing Test cricket and representing your country on the big stage.”
However, after the limited overs tour of India concludes, Coulter-Nile will find it tougher to break into the Australian team as the pace duo of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are set to be fit again.
While Coulter-Nile had an impact early in the first ODI against India, he admitted that he is not at the same level as Starc, Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson.
“I’m up near with them, but I’m not up with them,” he said. “But it’s the nature of cricket that those blokes aren’t fit all the time … which is why I’ve got the chance here. I’ve just got to be fit at the right time to get a break, I guess. My goals this year are to purely play well for WA. I’m confident I can get through for WA and just get my body into some sort of shape to play for Australia consistently.”