Left-arm orthodox spinner Xavier Doherty targeted a return to the Test fold after Australia’s 32-run one-day international win over Sri Lanka in Hobart.
Doherty took three early wickets to propel Australia towards the win, the result helping the hosts draw the series 2-2 and signalling a return to form after three poor performances had put them at risk of losing a second home series to Sri Lanka since 2010.
“Being in this team now and taking a few wickets is keeping my name up there,” said Doherty when asked about his Test prospects. “I’d certainly love to play again in the Test team.
“I wasn’t that rapt with the way it all went before and would love another chance to make an impact there.”
Doherty played two Tests during the 2010-11 Ashes series and, despite being overlooked for further Test honours, has cemented a place in the international limited-overs arena with 41 ODIs and eight Twenty20 appearances to his name.
He believes his game has improved in the interim and puts much of the credit down to hard work and an element of soul-searching after that first brief taste of Test cricket.
“I think I’m a better bowler than I was when I played Test cricket two years ago and at 30 still quite young as far as an international player goes,” added Doherty.
“I think I’ve got plenty to learn and I definitely think I can play a part if that’s the way that things go.
“It was very disappointing (to be dropped from the Test team) but, going back over it, it was a great opportunity for me and I think where you learn your most is in your disappointments and your failures, so I certainly took a lot out of it.”
Due to a series of seam-friendly pitches in Hobart and the mid-season Big Bash League break, Doherty said he had not bowled as much as he would have liked in Shield cricket this season.
But he was bullish about his prospects should he be taken to India for the upcoming Test series.
“I think I’ve bowled 50 overs in five Shield games, which is not ideal, but the way I bowled last year in Shield cricket, up until the one-day series and Big Bash, I was pretty pleased with that,” he said.
“As far as four-day cricket goes I’ve come quite a way.
“There’s no doubt I’m probably spinning the ball more and have got better control. As a spinner, that’s something that comes with a bit of age.
“I think it’s a great place to play cricket and as a spinner you get plenty of assistance there.”