Hauritz returns for stellar season
HE HAS not played for Australia in almost two years, but Nathan Hauritz hopes a return to Queensland will re-ignite his international career.
The 30-year-old, who has returned to the Bulls after a six-season stint with New South Wales, has fully recovered from shoulder surgery last year and reckons he still has what it takes to trouble the globe's best batsmen.
He believes the best way to do that is to make an impression with the reigning Sheffield Shield champion.
"I just felt that it was time for me to come back," he said.
"I still have that drive and ambition to play for Australia and if I hadn't have thought that, then I wouldn't have come back.
"I've got to get back into the Bulls squad first, but I believe I've still got the ability to be there (on the world stage) and create problems."
The off-spinner, who has 17 Test matches and 58 one-day international outings under his belt, says there are a number of other reasons to return to Queensland, including the chance to work with Bulls coach Darren Lehmann.
"There were a few things that I wanted to come back for," Hauritz said.
"Being closer to family is one. My wife's family is from here as well and it's been a big sacrifice for her to give up her life and dreams for five or six years, so there was that factor.
"And then there was the opportunity to work with Darren Lehmann, because I really enjoyed my time with him at the Brisbane Heat.
"And I'm back playing with some good mates who I grew up with."
Queensland assistant coach Justin Sternes agreed Hauritz was good enough to return to the international arena.
"I reckon he's got a lot of cricket left in him," Sternes said.
"He can still play for Australia, there's no doubt about that. He's got a lot of experience, he's a wonderful bowler and he fits into a team environment really well."
Sternes believed Hauritz was a valuable pick-up for the Bulls.
"The right arm off-spinning option was an area we definitely needed to strengthen," he said.
"Obviously, Cameron Boyce did a great job last season, but he's a wrist spinner. Nathan gives us that option with the ball going away from the lefties.
"Also, we needed a finger spinner in the shorter version, the Ryobi Cup, and there's not too many better than Nathan when it comes to that form of the game."
But Hauritz says he is taking nothing for granted and knows that there is room for only one spinner at times.
"I think Cameron did quite well when he played last year, so I think it will be us two fighting it out for that four-day role," he said.
"I've got no preconceived ideas about coming back. I just want to be putting my best foot forward every time I play."