Although the elder of the two Crowe brothers, Jeff first came to Test cricket in 1982–83, a year after his younger brother Martin. This was partly because he had launched his own career in South Australia, where he played with considerable success from 1977 and 1982. The Australian selectors were interested, but he decided to return to his own country where he became a reliable fielder who could also keep wicket. Given the task of going in at first wicket down against the West Indianfast bowlers in the Caribbean in 1984–85, he responded with a knock of 112 in the follow on at Sabina Park. He captained New Zealand in six Tests.