Imran Tahir says he is doing everything he can to get back into the South African Test team.
Tahir was speaking to the media ahead of the second ODI against New Zealand in Potchefstroom on Sunday.
He has been one of South Africa’s most important players in the shorter formats of the game, but has struggled to nail down a permanent place in the Test side. Tahir has played only 16 Tests in almost four years and only three in 2014.
His last Test outing was in December last year against the West Indies, but he has been a mainstay in the ODI and T20 setup in recent years.
‘I’m still challenging myself for that Test spot,’ Tahir said. When I went to bed at night after a Test match I wanted to feel that I gave my best for the team, otherwise I won’t sleep and might need some sleeping tablets,’ he joked.
‘But I know in my heart that never happened because I always gave my best when playing Test cricket for South Africa and that has been very important to me.
‘It’s my dream since I was 10 years old to play international cricket. This is the biggest thing in my life and I can’t believe where I am at the moment. Maybe I haven’e developed as I should have in Test cricket but I work hard on that and that is what I have been doing.’
The competition for places among the spinners in the national setup have improved over the last few months with the emergence of another leg-spinner Eddie Leie and the continued selection of Aaron Phangiso.
Tahir, however, remains the first-choice spinner in the shorter formats even though he was rested for the tour of Bangladesh to give Leie and Phangiso more playing time.
‘The young spinners coming through keeps me on my toes,’ said Tahir. “that keeps me going, but I always want it to be there, I want that challenge. I’m not one of those guys who likes a long break. That is why I played some county cricket in England to keep me fresh.’