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Christian could be next Test model off T20 production line

December 6, 2011 - Sydney

New South Wales-born Dan Christian could be the third Australian cricketer in as many Tests and the fourth this year to receive the coveted baggy green after making a name for himself in the Twenty20 form of the game.

Christian has been preceded for Test honours by David Warner, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon.

"I guess it's the age we live in. I played my first game for NSW in a Twenty20, played my first one-day game after that and got my first-class opportunity in South Australia, so it's a bit of a different path travelled, a bit of a similar path to Davey's," Christian told The Sydney Morning Herald.

"I guess there's a bit more interest with Davey being such a brilliant Twenty20 player in the last three, four, five years. People are going to see if he can make the transition successfully and probably me as well. In years to come, I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few guys make that transition themselves," he added.

Christian acknowledged there would be a large number of cricket fans who knew him more for his 900,000 dollar price tag at this year's Indian Premier League auction - the same price as Adam Gilchrist - than for his steady first-class career.

The IPL exposure enhanced Christian's reputation as a powerhouse slugger but the all-rounder has credited his rise through the country's first-class ranks to the fringe of the Test side to a more conservative approach at the crease.

"I had a pretty good year last year but batting-wise I've improved my four-day batting, in particular," Christian said.

New South Wales saw first hand his ability to bat for time last month when Christian, who moved to Adelaide in 2007 for more games, defied an attack containing Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Doug Bollinger for more than 43/4 of an hour to save a match.

Christian said the change in attitude had come from the considerable void left by the departure of Graham Manou, who had become a cornerstone of South Australia's middle order in recent years.

"We could bank on [him] for averaging 50 a year ... so we needed someone to step up into that role," Christian said.

"That extra responsibility has helped as well, knowing I've got to come in at six and score some runs," he added.

Christian, 28, boasts a first-class average of 30 with the bat and 35 with the ball over 33 games but was the Shield's leading run-scorer, with 475 at nearly 60, before this round.

Should Christian get the Test nod, he is likely to bat at six or seven and his medium-fast bowling will give Michael Clarke an extra option for Australia's inexperienced attack.


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