Indian batters will gorge on Brad Hoggs tweakers: Bhajji

December 17th, 2007 - 2:20 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Dec.17 (ANI): Outspoken Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has said that his sides veteran batters would gorge on the bowling of Australian spinner Brad Hogg should he be selected for the Boxing Day Test here.
Renowned for his penchant for riling the world champions, Harbhajan wasted little time in opening the verbal offensive.
He declared Australia’s spin bowling reserves barren and questioned Hoggs ability at Test level.
“Without [Shane] Warne and [Stuart] MacGill, there are no quality spinners in Australia,” Harbhajan told The Herald.
“From our point of view, we would be happy to see how Hogg would go against the best players of spin in the world. It would be a big test for him, and we all know how he bowls. He is not close to the class of Warne and MacGill, he added.
If you look at our line-up, we have players like Sourav [Ganguly], V.V.S. [Laxman], Sachin [Tendulkar] and Rahul [Dravid]. They’re all great players of spin,” Harbhajan said.
The comments, however, are unlikely to dissuade Australia’s selectors from calling Hogg into the Test squad, to be named on Thursday.
With two first-class five-wicket hauls this season, coupled with solid one-day international form, the left-arm wrist-spinner is the obvious choice to replace MacGill, who will sit out the remainder of the international summer after undergoing surgery.
But whether Hogg plays in the starting XI on Boxing Day is less certain. With Shaun Tait in menacing form, and Victorian leg spinner Bryce McGain continuing to impress at domestic level, Hogg still faces a strong challenge to lead Australia’s spin attack at the MCG.
Harbhajan, though, felt the West Australian could struggle to make the transition to Test cricket after a four-year absence.
“One-day and Test bowling are very different for a spinner. There would be a lot of pressure on Hogg,” said Harbhajan.
The off-spinner also said the Indians would not be intimidated by Ponting’s men.
“I don’t care what the reception is going to be like. I’m here to play, not talk. It’s about what goes on between the bat and the ball, and if they say this or that, it’s OK. There was probably a bit too much of it early on in the last one-day series, he said.
We’re not just going to take it. If somebody gives it to us, we will give it back. We’re coming to play cricket, not to take shit, he added. (ANI)

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