North heads home to WACA
Australia batsman Marcus North is adamant he does not feel any extra pressure ahead of his first home Test.
By Ally Fisher
Last Updated: 12/12/09 8:44pm
Australia batsman Marcus North is adamant he does not feel any extra pressure ahead of his first home Test at the WACA against West Indies.
The middle-order batsman who has been in fine form for Australia, has scored three centuries in nine Tests since making his debut against South Africa in February this year.
The left-handed Western Australia captain is averaging 44.57 and has also picked up six wickets with his off-spin.
The 30-year-old who thought his Test hopes had passed him before being called to the South African tour is excited about playing at his home ground.
He said: "I'm really excited and just looking forward to getting in the preparation for it.
"There won't be any more pressure or expectations than I put on myself than I do for any other Test match.
"To me it's just a special occasion playing at home in front of family and friends. This is just a celebration of 10 years of hard work to finally get the opportunity to play here for Australia."
North, who has played for five English counties with the latter being Hampshire, considers his position as a dream come true.
He said: "The journey has been amazing and when you get close to 30 you feel you've missed the bus, but to get the opportunity and the last 10 months has been a dream come true.
"I cherish every moment and every time I walk out I try to perform well and win Test matches for Australia."
North is unsure how the pitch will play, as the WACA has hosted two Sheffield Shield matches. In the first the pitch was dead and lifeless against Queensland, while in the last game it was bouncy and had plenty of pace against NSW .
He said: "If the WACA is going to have that pace and bounce, it's a little like batting at the Gabba, where early in your innings it can expose you a little bit, and that's where I feel that as a batter you have to leave well and play straight."
With Shane Warne and former Test selector John Benaud calling for Mike Hussey to be dropped for Phillip Hughes, North has defended his state and international club mate.
He said: "I was pretty shocked to hear that actually. There's been a bit of debate about his position, but his form over in India in one-day cricket has been outstanding.
"He finished the last Test match in England with a fine hundred and he's walked into Brisbane and Adelaide in great form.
"He would have liked to turn some of those starts into three figures, but he is hitting the ball as well as anyone in the Australian batting line-up."