Qantas Tour of the UAE T20
D'Arcy keeps his focus Short-term
Possible Test berth not at the front of mind for in-form opener ahead of Pakistan T20s
23 October 2018, 08:05 AM AEST
D'Arcy Short's glittering form might not be enough to propel him into Test reckoning but the white-ball dynamo is well aware spots are up for grabs in the home summer.
Short continued an exceptional start to his T20 international career on Monday, stroking an unbeaten 68 to lead Australia to a seven-wicket win over the UAE in Abu Dhabi.
An average of 49.44 from 11 T20s and a stunning 257 against Queensland in the domestic one-day competition reinforce that Short's star is on the rise at a time where Australia's batting depth is being sorely tested.
The powerful left-hander's first-class average of 23.58 from nine matches means it would take a significant leap of faith for selectors to back him in at Test level.
His case also isn't helped by a crowded summer schedule. Assuming he is selected for each of the home ODI and T20 fixtures against South Africa next month, Short would likely be available for just one Sheffield Shield round before the first Test.
But anything is possible in a brave new world in which batsmen such as Aaron Finch have proved that first-class cricket is no longer the only direct route to Test selection.
"There definitely is a lot of spots open I guess," Short said.
"All I can do is score runs in white-ball cricket and whatever comes from that, I'll be happy to take it.
"I just try to back myself and don't really think about what I'm averaging. It's all about being consistent for me and if I'm consistent with what I'm bringing, hopefully I'm scoring runs."
Spin king Shane Warne recently declared Short should be a lock for the first Test against India in Adelaide, noting that there had also been doubts about whether David Warner could play at Test level before he debuted in 2011.
Warner had just 11 first-class games under his belt when he made his Test debut, former skipper Steve Waugh had 10 and ex-keeper Ian Healy six.
Former national coach Darren Lehmann also recently backed 28-year-old Short as a smokey for the first Test.
Short, who worked closely with Lehmann's successor Justin Langer during their time together at Western Australia, said his recent double-century had inspired plenty of confidence ahead of the T20s against Pakistan starting on Wednesday.
"It definitely does. But I guess international level is obviously a bit higher," he said.
"While it was good to score those runs, you've still got to do try and do it at this level as well."
Qantas T20 Tour of the UAE
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Mitch Marsh (vc), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D'Arcy Short, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Mitch Starc, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
Pakistan squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Sahibzada Farhan, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Khan Shinwari, Hassan Ali, Imad Wasim, Waqas Maqsood, Faheem Ashraf
Oct 24: First T20, Abu Dhabi
Oct 26: Second T20, Dubai
Oct 28: Third T20, Dubai
*All matches against Pakistan start at 8pm local time, 3am the following day AEDT