On a deck that remained utterly flat and docile, there wasn’t much the young Mason Crane could do. Coming on the back of serious expectations, being touted as the most promising spinner in the English cricketing circles, Crane soon found out the harsh realities of Test cricket. Against an in-form Australian batting lineup, Crane was taken for plenty on his debut.
Usman Khawaja, under severe scrutiny for his prolonged run of poor scores, finally got the monkey off his back with a superb 171 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. For Crane, the only positivity for his debut was to be the wicket of Khawaja, into the third day’s play at Syndey.
However, former England cricketers were still optimistic about the debutant, whose figures read 39 overs 1 for 135 till the end of the third day.
“Mason has got the right style of energy and he gets plenty of revolutions on the ball,” said the 2006 Ashes winning captain, Michael Vaughan. “He’s not the kind of bowler you’d see playing every single Test match but we’ve seen enough today to know that, if England work well with him, there’s things to be worked on over the next few years.”
Greame Swann, who gave Crane his maiden cap, too praised the youngster for his efforts. “I think it was a good day, a day that showed a lot of promise. It’s never easy bowling wrist spin, full stop, it was a hot day, a very good batting pitch,” said Swann.
“I’m not surprised that he’s settled quickly because one of his great strengths and, for me, one of the things that make him stand out among English spinners of many vintages is that he doesn’t seem to carry a lot of the mental fragility that his predecessors have done,” said former batsman Mark Butcher.
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