Krejza desperate to regain lost ground
The offspinner Jason Krejza believes he's the best spinner in Australia and has his sights on regaining his Test spot. Krejza had fallen off the radar after his two Test appearances, dumped after the record-breaking loss to South Africa last year and replaced by Nathan Hauritz, whose spot Krejza hopes to take.
"I see myself as being the best spinner in Australia, and I'm working to get better so I can get picked again," Krejza told the Sun-Herald. "I saw my getting dropped as an indication that I need to improve, which is not a bad thing. Getting dropped was upsetting but I responded in the best way that I could.
"Nathan [Hauritz] got his chance a few months ago and did quite well when he got that opportunity. He was given a job to do, and he did it very well. As for my non-selection, it's just about taking wickets, and when I get another opportunity, hopefully I can hold on to it for more than two Tests."
Krejza is currently playing the A series against Pakistan, a sign that Australia's selectors still consider him highly despite not winning a national contract. Krejza performed creditably in the two unofficial Tests, scoring an unbeaten century in the first and taking six wickets to seal victory in the second.
After going wicketless for 70 runs in the first 50-over game against Pakistan, Krejza was dropped for the second match. He now has a potential one more one-day game and a Twenty20 to further his chances of an Australia recall.
"I'm bowling really well right now," he said. "I did about a month's work back at home, and it's been good to get outside again. The second game [for Australia A] it all came together, and it's good to be in good form at this early stage of the season."
Krejza, who gained 12 wickets on debut in Nagpur, recalled the brief time he had in the Australian dressing room and believed he came along "in leaps and bounds" during those few weeks. He was made to feel more comfortable by the presence of several New South Wales players - he played for the Blues before switching to Tasmania.
"I felt like I fitted in," he said. "I think I'm a personality that gets along with everyone. In that setting, everyone wants to keep improving, so they create an environment that allows for that to happen. It's a great environment, and that's why I want to get back quickly.
"Being part of the Australian team group is a completely different atmosphere to any other team you might play for. You've got help all around you, and I was doing so much work, taking in so much information that it was hard not to improve. I learnt about myself, my game, I got good feedback about what was going on."
Krejza still wishes well for Hauritz, who was considered a better defensive option, for the Ashes. It was Hauritz who took Krejza's spot when he was dumped after the Perth loss to South Africa, and he also stepped up when Krejza hurt his ankle ahead of the earlier Adelaide Test against New Zealand.
"I'll still be definitely wishing the best for Nathan," Krejza said. "I'll be wishing for Australia to win the series. When Nathan plays, I hope he does his job, gets some poles [wickets] and helps the team win."