x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Hauritz emerges from shadows

The Australia off-spinner defies critics and comes away from Cardiff with a tidy haul of English wickets.

Nathan Hauritz has no idea if he will get to play in the second Test at Lord's on Thursday. What he does know is he is pleased as punch about how he played in the first match. The Australia off-spinner was included in the opening Test at Cardiff despite flopping in the warm-up matches. Much was said and written about his being the tourists' Achilles' heel.

But the 27-year-old was all smiles at the end of day five - even if the match ended in a draw - after turning in a career-best performance. "I didn't give myself much chance of even playing [the first Test] at one stage because I hadn't bowled well at Hove, but I bowled better in Worcester," he said. "Given the opportunity, I bowled really well here and people have started to think I am a lot different bowler."

With figures of three for 95 and three for 63, Hauritz was Australia's stand-out player in the gripping draw, and he thanked the management for that. "I've had a lot of faith shown in me by the selectors and [captain] Ricky [Ponting], and it's been fantastic," he added. "It was good to bowl on a turning wicket and people could see I can spin the ball now and again - because everyone says I can't spin the ball. It was good to show that and see I'm a bit of a threat come day five."

His only regret is not having a doosra so he could have created more danger. "I had to bowl virtually every ball as straight as I could and if they played and missed, it missed the stumps," he said. "I'd love to be able to spin the ball the other way, or get a bit more bounce, but there's not a lot more different I would do. "You can't really dwell on it [draw] for too long. "It's in the past already. Obviously we were disappointed because we tried for 90-odd overs to get their 10 wickets, but we had a draw.

"We played exceptionally well throughout the Test." * With agencies