South Africa in Australia 2008-09 December 6, 2008

Krejza fails fitness test for Tasmania

Cricinfo staff

Jason Krejza remains under an injury cloud ahead of the first Test against South Africa © AFP

The offspinner Jason Krejza's chances of playing the first Test against South Africa look slim after he failed to pass a fitness test for Tasmania.

Krejza missed the Adelaide Test against New Zealand with an ankle injury, but had resumed light running and hoped to play in his state's one-day match against New South Wales to prove himself available for Perth in a fortnight.

Tasmania's coach Tim Coyle told reporters that Krejza would not play on Sunday. "I wouldn't call it a setback, I'd call it a progression in fact," Coyle said. "He's very close to playing. If this was a four-day game he'd be playing because he could stand in the slips, he's not needed to run around as much. The intensity of the fielding effort in one-day cricket is the only thing we had a question mark on."

Coyle said he expected Krejza to be fit for Tasmania's one-day game against South Australia at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday. "We just think a little bit proppy still and he feels that as well," Coyle said. "It's not worth risking."

Although Krejza is now regarded as Australia's leading spin candidate, he has still only played one match after Ricky Ponting took an all-pace attack into the first Test against New Zealand at the Gabba. Despite Nathan Hauritz performing solidly in Adelaide Ponting said Krejza's remarkable debut in Nagpur, where he took match figures of 12 for 358, had earned him another opportunity.