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Michael Kasprowicz knows he doesn't have a crystal ball. But with his confidence lifted after playing his first Test in seven months, he has rearranged his winter to give himself the best preparation for a potential Ashes contest.
Dropped during last winter's 2-1 loss to England, Kasprowicz returned for the first Test against South Africa and was a steady performer behind Brett Lee and Stuart Clark with 2 for 44 and 1 for 39 in the seven-wicket win. "It's only natural that it's going to feel good after a three-day Test match," Kasprowicz told AAP. "I've always spent my whole career being just in or just out of the side and I enjoyed being part of the side."
Kasprowicz's experience was called for when Glenn McGrath was ruled out of the tour and the change in circumstances forced him to cut his northern summer county contract with Glamorgan. "By coming on this tour, then having the winter at home and training hard it will give me the best opportunity to be at my best for the start of the next season," he said. "Whether that's playing for Australia or whether it's just for Queensland, I can't see in the future. It's something that I stewed over a lot, and having a good relationship with Glamorgan after a couple of good seasons there, I didn't want to let anyone down."
The Ashes series has become a heavy topic of discussion despite the side preparing for the second Test at Durban on Friday. Ricky Ponting spoke about the series on BBC radio during the week and Kasprowicz's plans changed with next season in mind and without advice from the national selectors.
"I don't have a crystal ball and I have no idea what the future holds as far as Glenn is concerned either, but while I'm here and getting a game I'm certainly going to have fun," he said. "With all the bowlers coming in there is always great respect for one another and for the guys in the team. You know there are blokes working hard to get in the side, which makes you work twice as hard to stay in there."
Shaun Pollock is set to prove his fitness from a back injury for the second Test and Kasprowicz said his recovery would be "huge bonus" for South Africa as they try to stay in the series. Peter Pollock, Shaun's father, said his son was ready to play.
"He has been at home having a lot of treatment with his personal physiotherapist working on the problem," Peter Pollock said. "He is very confident of playing. I'm sure he will be right to go."