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Neilson lauds inexperienced Aussie bowlers

Melbourne, Nov 11 (UNI) Amid criticisms over team's humiliating 0-2 defeat in the four-Test series against India, coach Tim Nielsen has acknowledged the huge task of the inexperienced bowlers- Jason Krezja and Mitchell Joshnon, who picked up the slack after their strike bowler Brett Lee failed to put the pressure over the Indian batmen.

''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,'' the team coach 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.'' The pace spearhead Lee has picked up just eight wickets from four matches at an average of 61.62 in the series. It was also the first time in eight years that Australia failed to win any match in a series.

Sharing 23 wickets, pacers Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson stood tall, but Johnson's scalps did not come cheaply and Stuart Clark struggled for form and fitness.

However, off-spinner Krejza, who embarrassed the selectors for making him sit till last Test match, by when the stakes were high for Australia.

The offie claimed the Man of the Match award 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.

Nielson, however, said 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.'' He further defended the selectors' decision of not using Krejza for the first three Tests but he added, ''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,'' Nielson added.


Story first published: Tuesday, November 11, 2008, 15:08 [IST]
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