Marcus North puts up hand for trip to South Africa

Marcus North has not given up hope of being selected for Australia's tour of South Africa in February after hitting a rich vein of form in the first half of the Sheffield Shield season.

North, who turned heads almost five years ago with a Test century on debut at Johannesburg, believes the only currency a batsman should deal in when trying to crack a spot in the Australian top seven is runs.

''I'd love to go [to South Africa], I probably haven't felt this good about my game and been as consistent in run-making as prior to my Test debut,'' North said. ''When that happens and you get that feeling back, you feel like you want to get back in that side. Obviously they [Australia] are playing some great cricket and being really competitive. If I got a phone call and things worked out, well fantastic, but the main thing for me is to enjoy my cricket.''

Australia's experimentation in recent years with cultivating young batsmen for the rigours of Test cricket has proved frivolous. The renaissance of Brad Haddin's career in this Ashes series is an example North will look to follow.

''The thing is, I've got 21 Tests behind me,'' he said. ''If something happened through injury or form of a senior player and they felt they were looking for someone, well then I'd certainly be jumping up and down putting my hand up. The fate is in the hands of making a lot of runs and I guess it's what Michael Clarke and the selectors want to see in the next players.''

North will debut with the Sydney Sixers on Sunday night after contracting a virus last Saturday which prevented him from playing in his adopted side's win over the Sydney Thunder. Unsure where he will slot into the Sixers' formidable line-up, North said he would take confidence into the match against the Stars given his terrific Shield form for Western Australia.

''Runs just breed confidence,'' said North, who leads the run-scoring tally with 593 runs at the Bradman-esque average of 98.83. ''It's been a really pleasing start to the season for me.

''I know it's a different format but I've played enough cricket to make the adjustment. No doubt I'll be walking in confident knowing I've got some runs this season. They [the Stars] bat down to about 11. The thing they have is great options and depth in their batting and bowling.''

Meanwhile, Doug Bollinger will spearhead the Hobart Hurricanes' attack when they take on Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Saturday night. Bollinger has been released from the Test squad.

Twitter - @tomdecent

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