Tenacious Tahir wants his Test spot back
South Africa spinner Imran Tahir is not content to be a limited-overs stalwart, and wants to make sure he performs well in the remaining ODIs against New Zealand in order to regain his Test place.
Tahir has been out of format in the white kit since December last year, and has not played a Test in 2015. But despite being an integral part of the ODI side, it's the red ball that holds his heart.
Tahir said on Cricinfo: "I'm still challenging myself with that. When I go to bed after playing a Test match, I want to feel that I gave 100%.
"If not, I'll feel guilty and won't be able to sleep and probably will need sleeping tablets. But I know that in my heart I never did that.
"Whatever I did, I did it for South Africa. This is a dream I've had since I was 10. If I mistakenly drop my cap, I pick it up and kiss it. This is the biggest thing in my life.
"I have a lot of respect whatever format I play. I haven't developed as I should have in Test cricket, but I can work hard on that and that's what I've been doing."
Tahir's place has been filled by Dane Piedt, before he got injured last year, and then Simon Harmer this year. Harmer hasn't broken boundaries as such, and while Tahir is pleased about the spin stocks, he's not nice enough to hope it keeps him out the side.
He added: "There are lot of good youngsters coming up and it's good for them to get an opportunity. That's great for South African cricket, but the other side of it is that I don't want to lose my spot.
"That keeps me going. I want someone to be there to challenge me.
One other spinner looking good for the future is Lions' Eddie Leie. He has not played much for the Proteas yet, and has no Test cap, but Tahir feels the youngster is definitely a talent to watch.
Tahir continued: "He's [Leie] a really good, talented guy. It was nice that he had an opportunity. I wish I had that when I was his age.
"He's a good, strong character and he wants to do well for South Africa. That makes him a good bowler. He's got all the variations, but probably he needs to learn a bit more about the game.
"Wherever I could, I helped him. Actually, I did share all my secrets with him. What god has written for me, no one's going to take it away. I just want to pass it on."
England news: Injury-hit Jofra Archer back for first time in nearly a year
Archer is still some way off a return after heading to his native Barbados following a second operation on a longstanding elbow complaint last month.
South Africa vs India: Quinton de Kock will be welcomed ‘with open arms’
Quinton de Kock will be welcomed with open arms in the South Africa squad to face India in a limited-overs series.
Nat Sciver: England ‘a bit more calm’ now after ‘tricky’ start to Australia tour
The multi-format Women’s Ashes series is set to get under way on Thursday with the first of three T20 internationals.
David Payne feels England T20 call-up provides opportunity to realise Test dream
The tall left-armer is still awaiting his first international cap and turns 31 next month.
Here’s who should be in the England XI for the first Ashes Test of 2023
Following the latest Ashes humiliation, Matt Whiley selects an England Test team that we can finally be proud of.
Australia tour to Pakistan: Pace attack could be boosted
Australia are likely to include a raft of pace bowlers in their squad for the scheduled tour to Pakistan in March.
South Africa vs India: Keegan Petersen still coming to terms with stardom
New South Africa batting star Keegan Petersen has not quite gotten his head around his newfound fame.
Ashes reaction: Kevin Pietersen backs Joe Root and coach Chris Silverwood
Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has backed current captain Joe Root and coach Chris Silverwood to remain in charge of the team.
England Test team: ECB investigating after police called to Ashes drinks following Hobart Test
Players and staff from both the Australian and English teams were at the event.
Rassie van der Dussen relished India banter in tough Test series
The series between South Africa and India rode on a knife-edge.