Picked in the eleven as a gamble, Australia off-spinner Jason Krejza walked into the record books by taking eight wickets on debut in the final test against India on Friday.
Krejza Reflects On Unbelievable Test Debut
Jason Krejza (left) celebrates a wicket with captain Ricky Ponting.
©REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe (INDIA) Picture Supplied by Action Images
The 25-year-old bowler took five wickets in the space of 26 balls in his post-lunch spell as India collapsed to 441 all out to give Australia hope of a series-levelling victory.
"It's a bit of a blur still," Krejza told a news conference of his five-wicket burst.
"I tried to keep doing what I was doing. I was happy to get the wickets. It's still unbelievable to me.
"It was an important session this morning, we wanted to get a couple of wickets earlier, but it's definitely swung back into our favour."
Krejza, a tall, loopy spinner, was chosen in place of seamer Stuart Clark as a second specialist spinner to exploit the spin-friendly conditions as Australia bid to avoid their first series defeat in three years.
"It's incredible. It's still pretty unbelievable, against the best players of spin in the world," said the bowler, who shifted from pace to spin as a young boy following two stress fractures in his back.
Among his victims were Rahul Dravid, Vangipurappu Laxman, Virender Sehwag and Saurav Ganguly, four of India's top batsmen, and his rise comes at a time when Australia are struggling to find a replacement for the retired Shane Warne.
Opener Simon Katich struck 92 not out and put on 115 for the unbroken third wicket with Michael Hussey (45) as the visitors moved to a confident 189 for two at stumps.
"We've got two batsmen who are very good and got us into a good position to win the game," said Krejza, whose father is a footballer from the Czech Republic and whose mother comes from Poland.
Krejza became the sixth bowler and third Australian after Albert Trott and Bob Massie to take eights wickets on debut.
He also entered the record books for conceding the most runs (215) by a test debutant.
"I think that's what good about Ricky (Ponting), a lot of spinners would have got taken off," he said of the skipper.
© Reuters 2008