Krejza fit and eager for Perth challenge
Jason Krejza, the Australia offspinner, has declared himself fit for the first Test against South Africa next week. The match starts in Perth on December 17 and Krejza is already planning the follow-up to his 12-wicket haul in his debut Test in India last month.
Krejza turned his right ankle during training before the second Test against New Zealand in Adelaide, which ruled him out of the contest. He had been set for a recall after missing out at the Gabba, but his injury gave Nathan Hauritz an unexpected chance.
Until a few days ago Krejza's chances of making the Perth Test were uncertain, but a strong workout at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday eased his concerns. He was due to play for Tasmania against South Australia in the FR Cup on Wednesday, his first appearance since taking 12 for 358 on debut in Nagpur.
Krejza's thoughts are already turning towards the task he faces against a strong South Africa batting line-up. "I will be going to the camp and we have video footage we will go through and try and look for some weaknesses in their batting and try and bring them out," he told the Advertiser.
"I guess I am using this time to prepare myself mentally again. Obviously I would have liked to get more bowling in a game situation but, again, I can work on what I have to do in the nets, look at some footage and develop a plan for South Africa."
Positive words from Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of the selectors, have made Krejza hopeful of a berth even in the pace-friendly environment of the WACA, a ground where he had match figures of 2 for 180 for Tasmania last season. "There's good bounce there," he said. "They are saying there will be a little bit of turn so I will try and get as much I can, hopefully take a few wickets and be a threat.
"They [the selectors] are looking for a spinner and I went well [in India] so they are going to try me out again. I am just hoping I can do well and can keep my spot."
South Africa, though, are not too perturbed about the prospect of facing Krejza. "He looks like an orthodox offspinner, he looks like a normal offspinner and there's nothing too special that we've got to worry about," AB de Villiers said. "We've faced guys like Harbhajan [Singh] over the last couple of years and he is probably the best in the world in that department. And we played him very well."