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Hoggy will do a good job, says Ponting
Ricky Ponting

Melbourne: Australian captain Ricky Ponting has dared India to go after left-arm spinner Brad Hogg in the forthcoming Test series, saying the visiting team’s strategy may ultimately end up working in the home side’s favour.

“If they want to go after him, well, that’s good, because I think that’s probably the best way for us to take wickets,” Ponting said.

“Hoggy is bowling very well, he’s very confident, he’s been talking up how well he’s been bowling right through the summer... he’ll do a good job,” he told reporters.

Indian captain Anil Kumble has said that his side would target Hogg and has identified him as the weakest link in the Australian side. But Ponting said the ploy could backfire against a deceptive Hogg.

“A lot of international players have struggled reading Hoggy in one-day cricket, especially,” Ponting said.

Hogg has 16 wickets against India at an average of 33.68 and Ponting felt the spinner had improved considerably.

“If you’d looked at him before the World Cup, you probably wouldn’t have thought he would have been able to have that sort of impact,” he said.

“But he has kept changing little things, little variations, and he’s varied his pace more. He generally bowls at a faster pace now as a stock ball than he did three or four years ago, which I think has helped him a lot. He’s learning all the time, which we all are,” he explained.

Former captain Ian Chappell, meanwhile, asked selectors to put their faith in Brett Lee and Shaun Tait.

He said a new ball attack comprising “wild thing” Tait and spearhead Lee in the series opener in Melbourne could create excitement not seen since the days of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson.

“The good thing about Lillee and Thomson is they were totally different types of fast bowlers and it is exactly the same thing with Tait and Lee,” Chappell told a TV channel on Wednesday.

“It gives you a lot more options because if nothing is happening you can call on one of them to shake things up.”

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