Nathan Coulter-Nile’s career threatened to be derailed due to injuries. The Australian fast bowler had impressed everyone with his raw pace and the awkward bounce which he used to generate.
But because of the injuries he had suffered, Coulter-Nile wanted to focus on T20s and forge a career, but now his call-up to the Australian ODI team has given the fast bowler a chance to revive his 50-over fortunes and also aspire again to play Test cricket.
Speaking to Seven West Media, Coulter-Nile said, “I lost my Australian contract and Greg Chappell came on as a selector (in a new role) and we all know he’s got a big youth focus. I was having a good IPL at the time so I thought I could probably just do this. I thought it might be time just to focus on forging a career in T20s.”
The fast bowler was asked by former Australian opener Justin Langer among others that he could still get another chance to play for the Australian Test team.
“On reflection and thinking about it and speaking to JL (Justin Langer) and blokes like that, I just thought I really want to play Test cricket. That was my dream as a kid and it’s still my dream now. The desire was there and JL said look there are 400-odd players who have ever played Test cricket for Australia. It’s not something just to pass off lightly. After thinking about it for a good while I decided to give it another crack.” Coulter-Nile added.
Coulter-Nile’s horrendous injury run started in the 2014, when a slide in the field while representing Delhi Daredevils saw him tear his left hamstring.
It required surgery, and ruled him out of a mid-2014 ODI tour to Zimbabwe, costing him the spot in the national side he had cemented earlier that year in five matches against England.
He returned to the ODI team for three matches in the UK in mid-2015, before the hamstring problem struck again – the right one this time.
A month later he hurt his left shoulder landing awkwardly in a domestic one-day cup warm-up match. Then, having earned a call-up to Australia’s Test squad to take on the West Indies and in line for a Boxing Day debut, he dislocated his right shoulder after a fall while fielding in the Big Bash League.
He returned to feature in the 2016 World T20 and played three more ODIs in a Caribbean tri-series and earned Test squad selection for the Sri Lanka tour. But having been confined to the training track during the Tests, he was again diagnosed with a bone stress fracture.
“I had a really long, conservative rehab so hopefully that holds me in good stead,” Coulter-Nile said, talking about his injury.
“I just had my last scan on my back before I start playing games again and that was all clear.”
“I don’t think there’s any reason I can’t play (Test cricket),” he said. “It’s just whether or not the opportunity is there.” he summed up.