Doolan giv­ing Test call-up chance a good run

The Weekend Post - - Sport - ROB FOR­SAITH

IF Sh­effield Shield runs is the cur­rency that mat­ters most at the se­lec­tion ta­ble, Alex Doolan is on track for a cer­tain Test re­call.

Doolan is the lead­ing Shield run-scorer af­ter three rounds, hav­ing helped him­self to 350 runs at 58.33. Se­lec­tors will ob­vi­ously use a more com­plex for­mula when as­sess­ing which bats­men de­serve to be called up for Aus­tralia’s four-Test se­ries opener against In­dia that starts on De­cem­ber 6.

It is also worth not­ing that plenty of bats­men on the cusp of the Test XI, such as Matthew Ren­shaw, haven’t fea­tured in as many Shield games as Doolan.

But there is no deny­ing the Tas­ma­nian, who played all four of his Tests in 2014 at first drop, but has since rein­vented him­self as an opener, is in crack­ing form. Doolan started his Shield sea­son with a knock of 115 dur­ing a game in Bris­bane, where only one other bats­man from ei­ther team passed 50.

The 32-year-old pro­duced a half-cen­tury at the WACA, then scores of 53 and 90 in this week’s draw at the SCG.

The right-han­der bat­ted with great poise to march Tas­ma­nia to 1-145 in their fi­nal­day pur­suit of 350 in Syd­ney, tick­ing the score­board over while re­sist­ing an at­tack head­lined by Test off­spin­ner Nathan Lyon.

“Alex is in some great form,” Tas­ma­nia cap­tain Ge­orge Bai­ley said. “He’s found his feet at the top of the or­der for us. He’s look­ing re­ally com­posed. He’s a clas­sic, very el­e­gant player.

“No doubt if he had an op­por­tu­nity he’d go well. Whether they’re talk­ing about him or not, you wouldn’t have any idea.”

Bai­ley high­lighted Doolan’s adapt­abil­ity: he was just as com­fort­able on a slow SCG pitch as he was on a greentinged Gabba deck.

“We’ve played on three very dif­fer­ent wick­ets. He’s looked good on all three,” Bai­ley said.

“His hun­dred at the Gabba, on a wicket that no­body else found easy at all, was par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive.”

BIG HIT­TER: Alex Doolan.

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