Nathan Coulter-Nile reveals he feared for his international future
What's the story?
Australian fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile has expressed eagerness to represent his country in Tests. Terming the traditional format as the pinnacle of the game, he asserted that wearing the Baggy Green represents the dream of every cricketer down under. Upon revealing that he had feared for his international future, the 29-year old affirmed that his red-ball dream was rekindled after productive discussions with coach Justin Langer and his teammates at Western Australia.
In a candid chat with cricket.com.au, Coulter-Nile enthused, "There were definitely periods where I wondered if I was ever going to play for Australia again. I was always confident I could play for WA (Western Australia) and get through a domestic season. That's a lot easier than the rigours and travel of playing for Australia. But it's yet to be seen if I can get through an Aussie tour yet.
"I thought long and hard about (giving up first-class cricket) and I ended up trying to give it another crack. After talking to JL (Justin Langer) and a few blokes, I think it'd just be mad to give up the dream at 29. I think it's the dream of every kid playing in Australia. It's not about earning money in the IPL, it's about playing Test cricket and representing your country on the big stage."
In case you didn't know
Coulter-Nile was in contention to make his Test debut during Australia's home series against West Indies in the 2015/16 season. However, his hopes were dashed when he suffered a shoulder injury while playing for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League (BBL).
The heart of the matter
Coulter-Nile's career has been plagued by recurrent injuries. While a hamstring tear prevented him from taking the field during the limited-overs leg of the 2015 England tour, a troublesome back ruled him out of Australia's trip to Sri Lanka last year.
The right-armer utilised the 2017 edition of IPL as a platform to chart his international comeback. Operating with significant pace, he swung the new ball prodigiously and picked up 15 wickets from 8 matches to propel Kolkata Knight Riders into the play-offs.
The pacer picked up from where he left off and scythed through India's powerful top-order on a seam-friendly surface in the opening ODI at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. His three-wicket burst was one of the few positives for Australia from their 26-run defeat.
Coulter-Nile will be hoping to continue his impressive form when he takes the field in the second ODI against India at Eden Gardens on Thursday.
Coulter-Nile himself admitted that he had a long way to go before joining the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson in Australia's pace battery in Tests. However, if he continues to make an impression with the white-ball, it won't be too long before the national selectors bring him into the thick of things in Tests too.
As for his comparison between the game's oldest format and IPL, he is certainly spot on since the satisfaction gained from performing in Tests trumps the financial lures of Twenty20 cricket.