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Posts Tagged ‘jason krejza’

Ashwell Prince made a triumphant return to Test cricket, almost certainly becoming the first South African to make back-to-back Test centuries despite spending the intervening period between those two innings (the first against Bangladesh back in November) getting injured, being effectively dropped, being made captain, and then being demoted back again after expressing discontent about being forced to move up the order and open the batting.

The decision to have Prince open was generally regarded as a ‘gamble‘, but he seems to have made his peace with the relatively unfamiliar role, and South Africa will be pleased to have uncovered an interesting new partnership in Prince and Imraan Khan.

Bryce McGain, meanwhile, had a day to forget. There are worries circulating that he could turn out to be another Jason Krejza.

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Australia, still reeling from conceding 414 runs in the fourth innings of the First Test, have made some changes to their attack ahead of the Boxing Day Test. Ben Hilfenhaus has been called into the squad as an extra option, Krejza has been swapped for Hauritz, but Siddle stays.

The logic of bringing in Hilfenhaus is that he could cause South Africa the same sort of problems that Johnson did in Perth. What this means for the struggling Brett Lee is unclear, but Siddle, who took only one wicket at the WACA, is the more likely candidate for being dropped.

The change of spinner seems a little less clear in its motivation, and in general there’s not much that suggests all of Australia’s problems will disappear before Friday.

The main factor that will fire up the hosts is likely to be the sour taste of home defeat, not a familiar flavour for most of the side.

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Australia are well on top in the First Test against South Africa following bowling heroics from Mitchell Johnson and a spirited lower-order fightback from the likes of Brad Haddin and Jason Krejza.

South Africa, having looked set to overhaul their hosts’ first innings total of 375 when the score stood at 234/3, were ripped apart by Johnson’s 8-61, and the Queensland quick also had the best economy rate of any Australian bowler. Krejza and Siddle, whose inexperience was a cause for some concern before the match, chipped in with a wicket each.

Australia’s top order batsmen struggled for the second time in three days, slumping to 88/4 before another middle-order bail-out saw them close on 228/7, 322 runs ahead and with Haddin still there on 39 not out.

South Africa now face a mammoth task to save the game, but they won’t want to back down, and have the players to bat for a long time if needed, and if the WACA plays its usual trick of getting easier to score on as the match progresses.

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At the time of writing, Australia and South Africa stand 1st and 2nd in the ICC Test rankings, so this, in theory, should be Australia’s toughest home series.

Both sides come into the series following wins over Test minnows (Bangladesh in South Africa’s case; New Zealand for Australia), but it is the sides’ relative performance on their respective tours of India that gives the tourists real hope of causing an upset.

Australia have arguably never been more vulnerable at home. As well as suffering the psychological blow of defeat to India, the home side are missing Stuart Clark and haven’t yet found their best XI. Nathan Hauritz is replaced by Jason Krezja, and Peter Siddle gets another chance to stake his claim for a Test spot

For South Africa, much hangs on the form of their fast bowlers. If Steyn and Morkel bowl as well as they are able to, then they will cause problems for the Australian batsmen. Paul Harris, who is likely to play in the First Test, will also be a crucial figure for the tourists, who – on paper at least- should have a strong enough batting lineup to cope with Australia’s makeshift attack.

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8 for 215

How good are Jason Krejza‘s figures in his first Test innings? On one hand, they are the sixth best debut innings bowling figures ever, but on the other they describe the most expensive ever innings for a debut bowler.

So is he the next Australian spin bowling great? Well, perhaps not, but when you consider the options, it looks like he’ll be first in the queue for a little while. The other contenders all have question marks the size of Dwayne Leverock hanging over them.

Certainly, the 44 overs Krejza bowled in the first innings suggest he has the trust of his captain. He may yet bowl Australia to victory.

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Sachin Tendulkar’s 40th Test century helped India to 311-5 at the close of the first day’s play in the decisive 4th Test at Nagpur. VVS Laxman, playing in his 100th Test, made 64, whilst Sehwag rattled off a quickfire 66 off merely 69 balls before becoming Jason Krejza’s second Test wicket.

India have the edge, but five wickets is a good first-day haul for Australia’s reshuffled bowling attack. You can see highlights of the first day’s play here.

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Ricky Ponting is considering mixing things up in the bowling department before the decisive Test against India. This is hardly surprising, given that they only managed twelve wickets for 821 runs in the last Test, and that the Australian captain hasn’t shown too much faith in a large section of the attack so far.

Brett Lee‘s place is probably safe after getting over his earlier disagreement with Ponting, although his improvement in Dehli was from a very low base. The novelty could come in the shape of Jason Krejza, who has fought his way back into contention after a hellish time in the warm-up games.

Whether it will make a difference is anyone’s guess, but Australia aren’t renowned for giving up without a fight.

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