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'Playing Better than an Ever Before' – Dan Christian Hopes for Australia Return

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: February 18, 2019, 12:20 PM IST
'Playing Better than an Ever Before' – Dan Christian Hopes for Australia Return

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After helping himself to a seventh domestic T20 title, Melbourne Renegades’ hero Daniel Christian believes he can still play for Australia in the T20 format.

Christian played the last of his 35 limited-overs matches for Australia in a T20 against India in October 2017.

Australia are set to play an increased number of international T20s in the lead-up to the 2020 World Cup to be held on home soil. Christian will be 37 then, and whether he fits into the scheme of things for Australia remains to be seen.

But the journeyman says he's batting and bowling as well as ever.

"I think I can, yeah," Christian told cricket.com.au when asked if he's capable of playing for Australia again.

"I think I’m playing as good cricket – if not better cricket – than I have my entire career.

"The beauty of not playing four-day cricket for the last 12 months is being able to focus on my skills, particularly my batting and slogging at the end.

"I’ve been practicing slower balls and yorkers and things like that. I feel like I’m on top of my game."

The Renegades claimed their first BBL title after cross-town rivals Melbourne Stars collapsed and failed to chase down a 145-run target.

Christian played an important role in the semi-final win against the Sydney Sixers and put in another fantastic performance in the final where he was part of an unbeaten 80-run stand with Tom Cooper which dug their side out of a hole.

The veteran all-rounder then followed that up with the crucial wickets of Seb Gotch and Dwayne Bravo as the Stars lost seven wickets for 19 runs in the final stages of the chase.

"That’s an extraordinary game," Christian said. "It hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

"For us to pull that back and win by 20 or 15 or whatever was just extraordinary.

"At 0-93, looking over at their bench and knowing they still had (Glenn) Maxwell, (Peter) Handscomb, (Nic) Maddinson, Dwayne Bravo and these sort of blokes still to come, we were staring down the barrel.

"You take a couple of wickets and you never know. And sure enough, we just kept taking them. It was an extraordinary half an hour."

Christian has had great success in domestic T20 tournaments in recent seasons. The all-rounder has won the BBL thrice since 2011.

Asked where this one ranked, Christian said: "Right up there at the moment. Particularly coming back like that.

"The game was almost done … For us to fight back like that and get over the line – we still haven’t played a perfect game of cricket yet all year.

"They got off to a flyer with the bat and we scrapped really well. It’s a testament to the guys and the way they’ve gone about it all year."
First Published: February 18, 2019, 11:46 AM IST
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