Krejza not intimidated by India
Jason Krejza, the uncapped offspinner, is confident he can make a success of his likely Test call-up after Bryce McGain was ruled out of the opening match in Bangalore with a shoulder injury. It leaves Krejza as the only fit specialist spinner in Australia's squad and he is now set to become the country's 402nd Test cricketer.
He arrives on the international scene with a modest domestic record; he has 43 first-class wickets at 45.46 from 23 matches mostly with New South Wales and Tasmania. However, Krejza has a reputation as an aggressive spinner and a big turner of the ball, and he said he would not be intimidated by India's batsmen.
"I am confident that I can come over here and be successful, that is why I targeted this tour," Krejza told the Age. "If I can spin it hard and get it in the right areas, get a few big wickets, that would be great.
"I'm not intimidated, because bowling to our guys, Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting and the others, it isn't much different. They treat spinners as Indians do, very, very aggressively. I have confidence that I've got the skills to do it."
Krejza, 25, is also keen to try out his version of the doosra. "I've been working on it for four or five years," he said. "It will definitely come out this series, because I want to keep these Indian batsmen on their toes."
Krejza collected 3 for 35 in the weekend's tour game against the RCA Centre of Excellence, which was his first chance to bowl in match conditions in India. He was on the recent Australia A tour but rain prevented him bowling a ball.
It was also during the Australia A games that McGain picked up his shoulder strain, a niggle that has lasted much longer than he initially expected. Although McGain will remain with the squad until he can be properly assessed, the team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris believes it will be two to three weeks before he will be able to bowl, meaning a flight home is a strong possibility.
That would be good news for Beau Casson, the left-arm chinaman bowler who made his Test debut in the Caribbean but was overlooked for the squad for India as the selectors wanted one wrist-spinner and one finger-spinner. Casson suffered a minor injury when he slipped in the outfield on the Australia A trip but he said if the call came for him to replace McGain he would jump at the chance.
"I'll be ready if needed, absolutely," Casson told the Daily Telegraph. "That was the reason for missing a few games with Australia A in India, because I wanted to get back on the park as soon as possible.
"I've had [physio] Pat Farhart weave some of his magic and the groin has responded really well. I've played three games of cricket since and, being one-dayers, I've had to move from side to side a fair bit, so I couldn't be happier with the way I'm feeling."