India v Australia 2008-09 / News

India v Australia, 4th Test, Nagpur, 2nd day

I knew I could get eight - Krejza

Ali Cook

November 7, 2008

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Jason Krejza: "When I was getting my five-for Binga [Brett Lee] said: 'You can get eight-for here.' I believed that and I kept going and got a bagful" © AFP
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Watching Jason Krejza on the second day was even more addictive than during the first. Attacking spinners know they will get hit in the search for wickets and Krejza received a lot of success and punishment. At the end of his first innings it will be the magical return of eight wickets that will be remembered before the 215 runs from 43.5 overs.

If Krejza never plays another Test - that's a bit unlikely now - he will always be a record-breaker. When Simon Katich grabbed a sharp one-handed take to remove Ishant Sharma, Krejza became only the sixth bowler to earn eight wickets in an innings on debut.

"It's a bit of a blur still," Krejza said after play. "I tried to keep doing what I was doing. I was happy to get the wickets. It's still unbelievable to me."

Five of Krejza's victims came in 19 runs as India were dismissed for 441 and during that period Krejza was battling to remain calm. "I was just trying to keep my emotions under control," he said. "When the five-for came around, that's the moment I'll always remember, with a great catch from Michael Clarke. I thought I bowled better today than yesterday. I've started really well in Test cricket."

Sourav Ganguly was Krejza's fifth victim, when he edged low to Clarke at first slip, and it was the point Krejza realised he could take eight. Only Albert Trott, Alf Valentine, Bob Massie, Narendra Hirwani and Lance Klusener had done that before.

"When I was getting my five-for Binga [Brett Lee] said: 'You can get eight-for here.' I believed that and I kept going and got a bagful."

After bowling Dhoni and then removing Ganguly in the same over, he finished off the innings by capturing Zaheer Khan (1), Amit Mishra (0) and Ishant (0) in nine balls. Despite the five quick wickets on the second day, his favourite dismissal was his first one on Thursday, when Rahul Dravid popped a catch to Katich at short-leg.

"That was the stand-out," he said. "My strategy was if he came at it with low hands, and if I got some bounce, I could get him. It was a plan and it worked."

There were a clutch of other milestones for Krejza, including his maiden first-class five-wicket haul, and becoming the 14th Australian to achieve such a collection on debut. His figures were also the most expensive of any first-gamer in an innings, beating West Indian Omari Banks' 3 for 204 in 2003 against Australia.

Krejza, a surprise selection on the tour, was forced to wait until the final test to get an opportunity, but he has quickly moved up the slow-bowling pecking order. "It was an honour for me to be here in the first place," he said. "For me to play was an even greater one. [Waiting] never worried me, I knew I was going to get a go at some stage."

While the swiftness of Krejza's inspired collapse lifted the tourists, it also created some concern. If Krejza could do this, what would Harbhajan Singh do? By stumps Harbhajan had only one wicket, having bowled Ricky Ponting for 24, and the Australians were feeling much better.

Katich's 92 and Michael Hussey's 45 had moved them to 189 for 2. "We've got ourselves into a really good position now where we have got two batsmen who are very good," Krejza said. "It's got us into a good position to win the game."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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