Krejza’s place in final Oz XI as only spinner under threat from better batting part-timers

Thursday, February 17, 2011

BANGALORE - Australia’s frontline spinner Jason Krejza’s place in the team’s final XI is under threat after taking 1-56 and 0-46 in warm-up matches against India and South Africa in Bangalore.

Krejza could possibly find himself the 12th man for Australia’s opening World Cup game on Monday against Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad.

The off-spinner, who only made his one-day international debut on February 6 in Perth, was included in the squad after Nathan Hauritz and Xavier Doherty suffered injuries and failed to make the trip to the subcontinent.

Krejza’s place could be taken by pacers John Hastings, Mitchell Johnson and all rounder Steve Smith, who are seen as reliable late-order hitters.

According to Fox Sports, Australia’s possible lineup could include pacers Johnson, Brett Lee and Shaun Tait, with another 20 overs to come from Hastings, Smith and opener Shane Watson, along with part-time spinner David Hussey.

“I’m just going to bowl the best I can. However it all pans out for me, that’s how I’m going to play my cricket from now on. I am the only (specialist) spinner but if ‘Smithy’ is bowling well and they are only going to play (him and) a couple of part-timers then so be it. I’ve just got to be bowling well and prepared to play,” Krejza told reporters.

Krejza, who played two Tests in 2008, is understandably still getting his head around his new role as Australia’s ODI frontline spinner.

Seeking the advice of batting coach Justin Langer and bowling coach Troy Cooley after struggling in warm-up fixtures, Krejza said: “I looked at the footage and have been working out with the coach (Tim Nielsen) and the captain where I’ve got to bowl and what my role is at the moment.”

“It’s all about building towards that first game. We’ve gone through a lot of footage and I spoke with all the senior guys here, from Justin Langer to Troy Cooley. We’re just working towards that first game. Game by game the plan is to bowl differently against each team, have different roles to play in every game,” he said. (ANI)

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