Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Melbourne December 23, 2008

End the spin uncertainty

Cricinfo staff


Nathan Hauritz is the flavour of the week for Australia's selectors © Getty Images
 

Australia's rotation of their spinners, which continued on Monday with Nathan Hauritz replacing Jason Krejza, must be stopped, according to a group of former Test slow bowlers. Terry Jenner, the old coach of Shane Warne, said Hauritz, who will play his third Test from Boxing Day, needed to be given an extended opportunity.

"He's got his chance now so give him the chance," Jenner said in the Daily Telegraph. "Nathan has to play in Melbourne and Sydney. They can't bring in another spinner for Sydney. If they did that, what chance has any spinner got?"

Hauritz was the fourth specialist slow bowler used in a Test since Stuart MacGill's retirement during the West Indies tour, but he was dropped after taking four wickets against New Zealand in Adelaide. Krejza, who had injured an ankle before that match, was recalled for Perth, but was judged too expensive by the selectors after a return of 1 for 204.

"It's a battle between any sort of spinner at the moment to play," Hauritz said. "We're all chomping at the bit to get that opportunity to play because of the fact Warney, MacGill and Brad Hogg aren't there."

Hauritz, who has not been a full-time selection with New South Wales this season, said he was a different type of spinner to Krejza. "He's more of an attacking bowler and I'm still developing, but a bit more economical," he said. "That's probably the make-up they were looking for. The next Test might be different, you just don't know, but it's fortunate for me this Test."

The latest move surprised the former offspinner Greg Matthews. "Jason was able to do what only four people in history have done, and that was take 12 wickets on debut," he said. "How do you turn around and give him the flick after that? Go figure."

MacGill has backed Hauritz but wanted the selectors not to be "chopping and changing their minds every five minutes". "I think what the selectors need to decide is what role the spinner has," he said. "If they decide they want somebody who can provide attack and defence, set it in stone."

Kerry O'Keeffe said Hauritz's "precision" made him a better choice than Krejza. "I think the selectors haven't identified their man yet," he said, "but once they identify him they have to stick solid."