Sydney, Dec.19 : Australian spinner Brad Hogg, who has made a comeback to the Test team after four years, seems unperturbed at being identified as the weak link as far as India is concerned.
Australian spinner Brad Hogg, who has made a comeback to the Test team after four years, seems unperturbed at being identified as the weak link as far as India is concerned.
Hogg, who is having a successful summer this year, insists that he is ready to succeed against India after edging closer to his childhood dream of a Boxing Day Test - 11 years after his Test debut on a crumbling pitch in New Delhi.
Reacting to Indian captain Anil Kumble's comments on spin likely to be Australia's weakness in the four-match Test series, Hogg said he believed he is better equipped to succeed in Test cricket now than when he last played, against Zimbabwe in 2003.
Hyperactive by nature, the 36-year-old, who played a Test against India in 1996, declared he had learnt the art of patience.
"I've always wanted to be in a rush. It's like being out in the middle, I'm trying to get wickets all the time. But at Test level, you've got to work on it. You've got to starve the batsman and then set him up. You've got to make sure you bowl in tandem with the bloke up the other end, and that will be my job if I am in the XI, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Hogg, as saying.
"Being able to play a couple of Test matches has been sensational throughout my career but to be able to represent Australia in a Boxing Day Test match, even if I am 12th man, it just makes me ecstatic. It's just great to be able to achieve something that you've always wanted as a child.
"You've got to go in with a bit of confidence. It's great to get an opportunity against the best players of spin," he said in Hobart yesterday, where the Australian one-day team is preparing to play New Zealand in the decider of the Chappell-Hadlee series tomorrow.
Hogg recently took 11 wickets at 22.63 in the one-day series against India, where the batsmen struggled to pick his wrong 'un, and has taken 13 wickets at 30.69 in four Pura Cup matches this summer.
"We think he'll do really well, most countries and most batsmen seem to have some difficulty reading him, so I think he's ready to make that step," Australian chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said.
"Hoggy, performance-wise, what he offers to the side is a real good package - so we've really very little doubt about how he'll perform at Test level."
Both Hilditch and Australian coach Tim Nielsen have endorsed the traditional structure of three seamers and a frontline spinner, but have retained the option of using Tait as a shock weapon if the conditions warrant four quicks. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI