Tahir arrival could prove vital late in the innings

Imran Tahir returns to Hampshire
Imran Tahir returns to Hampshire
England's Mason Crane will make his England Test debut when the fifth Ashes Test begins at Sydney Cricket Ground tonight

Root: Hampshire talent will embrace Ashes debut

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GILES WHITE believes Imran Tahir’s wicket-taking capabilities could prove the difference as Hampshire reach the final stretch of their County Championship campaign.

Leg-spinner Tahir signed for the club yesterday, subject to visa clearance, but will only be available for the final two championship matches – Kent on September 15 and Glamorgan on September 23.

The South-African is no stranger to the Ageas, having enjoyed two successful spells with Hampshire in 2008 and 2011.

And director of cricket, White is confident he can make another valuable contribution as his side bid to seal promotion back up to division one.

He said: ‘He’s been here before so he should fit in straight away.

‘He’s playing cricket at the moment which is great.’

The 35-year-old has been playing ODIs and Test matches regularly for South African this summer and returns to Hampshire as a fully-fledged international with 40 Test match wickets following his debut in 2011.

Tahir has made 77 appearances for Hampshire since his debut in July 2008 and made an instant impact during his time, taking figures of seven for 66 in just his second match against Lancashire.

He particularly impressed in the 2011 season when he took 50 wickets in 29 matches at an average of 22.

White added: ‘He’s a wicket-taker and someone who can certainly take wickets at the end of an innings, especially at the lower order because of his variations.

‘He knows us, we know him, so it should be a fairly easy transition.

‘He’s a high-quality performer and that’s what we need towards the end of the season.’

Tahir’s arrival is subject to a visa approval, as White knows only too well.

‘I don’t see it being a problem but I’ve said that before and we’ve never got it over the line,’ said White.

‘I’m always sceptical until someone actually turns up.’

Hampshire play their final Royal London One-Day Cup tie against Yorkshire at the Ageas Bowl today (2pm) before preparing for t20 finals day at Edgbaston on Saturday.

n See tomorrow’s News for full preview of t20 finals day.