Krejza confident to return home with bagful of wickets

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Hyderabad, Oct 2 (UNI) Uncapped spinner Jason Krejza is eager to carry Australia's fragile spin hopes and said he would not be intimidated by India's master batsmen after Bryce McGain made way for him into the side for the Border-Gavaskar Test series that begins from October 9.

McGain, succumbed to a muscle strain in his back that was causing pain in his shoulder and bowling arm when he tried to lift his intensity during an informal training session.

The 25-year-old Krejza, however, was confident to make his selection count and return home with some big wickets in his kitty.

''I am confident that I can come over here and be successful, that is why I targeted this tour. If I can spin it hard and get it in the right areas, get a few big wickets, that would be great,'' Krejza said here yesterday.

''I'm not intimidated, because bowling to our guys, Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting and the others, it isn't much different,'' Krejza said adding, ''They treat spinners as Indians do - very, very aggressively. I have confidence that I've got the skills to do it.'' The aggravation of the injury McGain sustained during the Australia A tour of India was a devastating blow for the 36-year-old leg-spinner. He was on track to become his country's oldest Test debutant since Bob Holland in 1984.

The leg-spinner will remain with the Australian squad until his injury can be assessed but, according to team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris, will not be able to bowl for at least two or three weeks, placing his whole tour in extreme doubt.

It would be a tough task for Krejza as even the legendary Shane Warne failed to subdue the class of Indian batsmen during his visits to the country.

Team management will wait until chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch arrives in Hyderabad tomorrow night before deciding whether to send for spin reinforcements, which would most likely come in the form of chinaman bowler Beau Casson.

Meanwhile, Australian coach Tim Nielsen said there was no reason for panic, despite Krejza's inflated first-class average - his 43 first-class wickets have come at 45 runs each - and his rookie status on one of the toughest tours in world cricket.

''It's unfortunate for Bryce that he hasn't been able to come good, but 'Krejz' has done a brilliant job as far as slotting into the team, he is good part of the group and he has really shown a want to work hard and learn about the conditions in India,'' Nielsen said.

Krejza will get his first opportunity to have a go at the Indian batsmen today when he plays against Yuvraj Singh-led Board President's XI.

Nielsen asserted that Krejza was looking forward to the challenge of bowling to the Indian players who have proved their prowess in playing spin over a long period of time.

''Obviously, now with Bryce's shoulder, he would be the frontrunner. It's a brilliant position for him to be in because now he can go into the (tour game) relaxed and use that time as preparation for the first Test,'' the Australian coach noted.


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