Nathan Michael Hauritz
October 18, 1981, Wondai, Queensland
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
Nathan Hauritz has been Australia's most improved player of the past couple of years on the way to becoming the country's leading slow bowler. Hauritz gained an unlikely second chance at international level in 2008-09, but quickly grew into an offspinner who could mix attack and defence successfully. He really showed his value last summer when he took 18 wickets in three Tests against Pakistan batsmen who usually cause severe damage to slow bowlers.
The haul followed 11 breakthroughs against West Indies and 10 in the opening three Tests of the 2009 Ashes series, when he started strongly but was left out for the final two matches. While a heel injury stopped him from being part of the series against Pakistan in England, he remains a key part of Australia's medium-term plans. During the past two years he also became a regular contributor in the one-day team, although he is less fancied as a Twenty20 operator.
Hauritz surprised himself with his season in 2008-09 as he leapfrogged a host of fringe spinners to finish the season as the only specialist slow bowler with a Cricket Australia contract. It was a stunning turnaround for an offie who was cut loose following his first Test in 2004. Having watched Beau Casson, Jason Krejza, Cameron White and Bryce McGain take preference following Stuart MacGill's retirement in 2008, Hauritz was picked for the second Test against New Zealand in Adelaide despite not playing for New South Wales the previous week. In three matches at home he took nine wickets and appeared in his first ODI for six years, but was kept in the dressing room for the Tests in South Africa. After four breakthroughs in the opening one-dayer against the Proteas, he was chosen in every 50-over contest over two series, leading Australia's wicket-takers in the United Arab Emirates.
Hauritz, an Australian Under-19 captain, made his ODI debut at 20 and was a surprise selection for the Test tour of India ahead of MacGill in 2004. Hauritz made his debut in the fourth Test, becoming Queensland's first slow-bowling representative since Trevor Hohns in 1989, and picked up Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman after opening the bowling in the second innings. His five match wickets were a distant memory on returning home, where he struggled in first-class games and was dropped towards the end of the 2004-05 season. In the next summer he also received limited opportunities with the Bulls and left for New South Wales.
He played three Pura Cup games - including the final loss to Tasmania - in his first season with the Blues and his four dismissals cost 63.50 each. However, his one-day form was excellent and he missed only one match, leading the state's wicket tally with 14 at 24. He appeared in only one first-class game the following summer, but was a fixture in the FR Cup and his seven wickets at 46.28 - and an economy rate of 4.83 - persuaded the national selectors to include him in the 30-man squad for the postponed version of the 2008 Champions Trophy. Further promotions followed quickly and he now carries big responsibilities.
Cricinfo staff July 2010
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