Hauritz allays injury fears
Australia spinner Nathan Hauritz should be fit for the third Test in Hobart despite hurting his thumb in Sydney.
Last Updated: 07/01/10 10:36am
Australia spinner Nathan Hauritz is confident of being fit for the final Test against Pakistan in Hobart.
Hauritz took career-best figures of 5-53 to help bowl Australia to a dramatic 36-run victory in the second Test in Sydney, a win that gives the home side an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
But he also hurt his left thumb while taking a stunning caught and bowled chance to dismiss Mohammad Yousuf, a wicket that sparked Pakistan's collapse from 77-3 to 139 all out.
Hauritz confirmed on Thursday there is no serious damage to his thumb and he fully expects to feature in the series finale, which starts on January 14.
"It's okay," he said. "It's obviously a bit sore but we've had all the medical checks and everything like that so hopefully to be fit for Hobart would be good.
"It's just sore at the moment and we'll see how it pulls up over the next couple of days."
Asked to recount his remarkable caught-and-bowled, a sheepish Hauritz added: "I didn't really catch it in the end. It just hit my body and stayed there.
"I hardly saw it to be honest and I think it's just lucky it hit my body - otherwise it would have just went for four.
"The finger was pretty sore. The nail is obviously off and Punter (Ricky Ponting) was taking the mickey out of me there for a couple of seconds as well.
"It's something that'll stick with me for a long time and to be part of it was great.
"It's something you've always wanted to be a part of on a fourth- or fifth-day wicket at the SCG - spinning your team to victory. The celebrations last night were proof of that and the boys really enjoyed themselves."
Hauritz, who was the butt of endless jokes from team-mates on Wednesday night as the team celebrated their great escape, admitted to a terrible bout of nerves when he was first introduced into the attack.
"My first over before tea I was extremely nervous and I knew there was an opportunity to win the game but I also knew I probably had to bowl a lot better," he added.
"And in the end I probably didn't bowl better than Melbourne but the batsmen got themselves out, I thought.
"In Melbourne I was really happy with the way I bowled but that was just pressure yesterday. Mitchell Johnson and Doug (Bollinger) and Sids (Peter Siddle) all did a great job and the wickets just happened to fall at my end."
Asked if he was confident Ponting would persist with him after Yousuf took to his bowling, Hauritz revealed: "I went to the change rooms at tea and had a long hard think and Pup (Michael Clarke) just sat me down and just said 'don't worry about the runs - if you bowl well you'll get them out', so that reassured me a little bit.
"I had a bit of luck but it was good in the end."
Despite his heroics, the 28-year-old does not expect the Pakistan batsmen to take a more conservative approach against him in Hobart.
"Every time I come on to bowl they look to just absolutely take me everywhere," he said.
"It's definitely a big challenge. I guess a lot of credit has to go to Ricky for keeping me on and working with me with my fields and that sort of thing, but I don't expect anything different down in Hobart.
"Hobart's probably one of the hardest wickets to bowl spin on in Australia I reckon, so it's going to be a pretty big challenge down there but I'm looking forward to it."