Ricky Ponting is confident that Shaun Tait can make a successful return to Test cricket following his self-imposed exile from the game. Tait is preparing for his first-class comeback with South Australia after appearing in Australia A's one-day tour of India last month.
Tait believes his best chance of again featuring in the international arena will be in ODIs. His decision to walk away from the game in January due to mental and physical exhaustion followed his unsuccessful return to Test cricket and a disappointing run with injuries.
"We all want to see him do well for South Australia when he goes back home as well," Ponting told AAP. "Once he gets some Shield cricket under his belt for South Australia, his opinion on playing Test cricket then might change, but at the moment he's only played the shorter versions really and lots of positive signs there.
"For someone like Shaun that [one-day cricket] would be the easier way back. The rigours on your body and your mental state I guess through a Test match or a tough Test match tour can really wear you down, there's no doubt about that."
Tait, 25, has proven a destructive force in ODIs and has 33 wickets from 18 games, including an outstanding tally of 23 victims in the 2007 World Cup. His three Tests have been less successful - he has five wickets at 60.40 - but Ponting believes that Tait could still be a useful addition to the Test attack in the future.
"I think he can be a match-winner for us in Test cricket," Ponting said. "If he gets his body right and his mind right then we'll hope down the track he does want to play five-day stuff with us."