Australia A v India A

Holland becomes the main man after drop

Australia A spinner bounces back to turn the match in favour of the hosts

Adam Burnett at AB Field, Brisbane

17 September 2016, 04:21 PM AEST

Holland bounces back with triple blow

Jon Holland might have been caught off-guard when he was called upon to bowl in India A's second innings on the afternoon of day three at Allan Border Field.

Up until that point, the Victorian left-arm tweaker had bowled just nine of Australia A's 83 overs, all of which had come in the first innings.

He'd taken 0-33 as the hosts' pace attack did the damage, spending the majority of his time simply soaking up some Brisbane sunshine before his batting services were called upon to make nought not out on the third morning.

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But with India A 0-47 and making a better fist of their second innings, Holland's skills were suddenly sought after by his captain, Joe Burns.

And from the third ball he bowled, he duly delivered.

Well, almost.

Holland got the flight right, he got the line and length right, and Faiz Fazal obliged, chipping the simplest of return chances back to a disbelieving bowler.

Who dropped the sitter to end all sitters.

"One of the easiest catches that I've probably dropped in my career," was how the 29-year-old described it afterwards, though he took it pretty much in his stride.

"It was a little bit disappointing but, you know, everyone drops 'em."

The spinner was hit for two sixes in his next three overs, but just as any good fortune appeared to have completely deserted him, he forced the issue.

"They came out pretty hard and they picked their spots, hit a few good shots, a few sixes," Holland said. "But once I played around with the field a little bit and tried to restrict their scoring shots, a few opportunities came about."

Karun Nair, new to the middle after a run-out ended a productive opening stand, played forward but was trapped straight in front by the spinner, and a huge appeal gave Holland his first wicket of the contest.

Manish Pandey looked to continue the aggression of the openers and lofted Holland straight for six, but again it was the tweaker who had the last laugh; Pandey flicked to Beau Webster at midwicket for a second.

Number three arrived with his very next ball – the first of the following over – as India A captain Naman Ojha edged to first slip, and suddenly Holland had transformed from bystander to the main man.

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"I've been working pretty hard in the nets since I've been back from Sri Lanka so to put a few things into work out there today was good," he reflected, before elaborating on that technical work.

"A few things with trajectory – dropping my arm height a little lower to make the trajectory not so up-and-over (which allows) the batsman to use his feet and get to the pitch of the ball."

Holland "bounced some ideas" off Australia A assistant coach Mike Hussey midway through his spell, seeking the advice of the former left-handed batsman as he cleverly sought to find an insight into the left-hander Akhil Herwadkar's mind.

He also conceded that, much as the Sri Lankan spinners alluded to during their three-Test series against Australia, natural variation had played its part in his success.

"I didn't know (the ball that got Nair) was going to slide on," he explained. "That's something that was happening over (in Sri Lanka), I just tried when I swapped ends to get my arm a bit lower, and bowl into the wicket a bit more.

"The one that skidded on and got lbw, and the next one that spun on and got the edge, was probably exactly the same ball – it was just that one spun and one didn't."

Meg Lanning Steve Smith