Inexperienced Australian bowlers did a fine job, says coach

November 11th, 2008 - 2:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Nov 11 (IANS) Australia’s cricket coach Tim Nielsen acknowledged that it was a huge task for inexperienced bowlers like Jason Krezja and Mitchell Joshnon to pick up the slack after their strike bowler Brett Lee flopped during the Test series against India.”We have had a young bowling attack. We had Brett Lee certainly not as successful as we would like or he would like and he has been our leading bowler for the last 15 months. So there has been a lot of responsibility falling on Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson and now Jason Krejza, to pick up the slack. They have done a fine job,” Nielsen was quoted as saying by The Age.

“If we just look how bowlers have gone by the averages they have rolled out or the number of runs batsmen have made, it’s a pretty easy game to pick teams,” Nielsen said. “Once we have finished the series we will sit down and look at how every person has gone in the different situations that have confronted them and there have been some real positives.”

Lee picked up just eight wickets from four matches at an average of 61.62 in the series, which Australia lost 0-2. It was also the first time in seven years that Australia failed to win any match in a series.

Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson stood tall, with 23 wickets between them, but Johnson’s scalps did not come cheaply and Stuart Clark struggled for form and fitness.

It was however, off-spinner Jason Krejza who embarrassed the selectors for hiding him till the last Test match, by when the stakes were high for Australia. Krejza turned out to be the Man of the Match in the last Test in Nagpur where he made a sensational debut with a match haul of 12-358, the fourth-best match debut figures in history.

However, Nielsen feels that the off-spinner was not ready to play earlier in the series.

“We’re not regretting. It is always hard not to look back when somebody has taken 12 wickets in a Test match and think, ‘What if?’” Nielsen said.

“The great thing for Jason has been that he has had six or seven weeks of bowling in Indian conditions. He has been able to watch a fine spin bowler like Harbhajan (Singh) first hand. He has learnt day after day about the art of spin bowling.”

Nielsen defended the selectors’ decision of not using Krejza for the first three Tests and said that the off-spinner will serve the country for a long time.

“With a little bit of patience from the selectors and Ricky (Ponting) using him really well in this Test match he has had some great success and I am sure we will see him play more in the future,” he said.

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