Australian paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile has turned to yoga and pilates in a bid to keep his Test dream alive, and he’s receiving a helping hand from banned opener Cameron Bancroft.
A dislocated shoulder and two spinal stress fractures have plagued Coulter-Nile in recent years, but the 31-year-old is back on the park and keen to make his mark.
Coulter-Nile returned to international ranks in Australia’s recent T20 series in the UAE last month, and he’ll make his ODI return in the upcoming three-match series against Pakistan, starting in Perth on Sunday.
The right-arm paceman has come close to breaking through for a Test debut in the past, only for injuries to strike at the most inopportune of moments.
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Coulter-Nile briefly considered walking away from the game when he broke down with a spinal stress fracture a year ago.
But the West Australian soon realised that cricket was his best option.
“I didn’t think I would be able to get back – 12 months, another rehab,” Coulter-Nile said.
“I didn’t think I could do it. But I don’t really have anything else to do. I don’t have any other skill sets, so I thought I’d better give it another crack.
“It is really hard, and if it happened again, it would be really hard to go again I think.”
Coulter-Nile has worked on his action and drastically reduced his bowling loads at training in a bid to avoid re-injuring his back.
He has also turned to yoga and pilates.
Bancroft recently did a yoga course in Melbourne and has been teaching his WA teammates, including Coulter-Nile.
“We always do a little bit (of that) here, but I’ve tried to really rush into it head-on this year and do it two or three times a week,” Coulter-Nile said.
“I did yoga with ‘Bangers’ (Bancroft) this morning. He was really good, really brought us down to earth.”
Coulter-Nile hopes to return to Sheffield Shield ranks early next year in a bid to keep his name in the Test frame.
He praised his family for helping him through the dark times.
“It’s hard on me, but it doesn’t equate how to hard it is on them,” Coulter-Nile said.
“It does hurt them more. I feel like I’ve let them down.
“They’ve supported me the whole time. Hopefully I can reward them and get a game for Australia in Perth at the new stadium and play well.”