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Ponting, Gilchrist bat for Hogg

cricket Updated: Dec 24, 2007 22:11 IST

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Australian skipper Ricky Ponting and his deputy Adam Gilchrist threw their weight behing Brad Hogg and said the chinaman bowler's inclusion in the first Test against India would bolster the hosts' attack.

"My basic philosophy is that it's always nice to have a spinner in your side because a lot of Test matches go late into the fourth and fifth days, when spinners really come into their own," Ponting said.

"Whether that's the strongest possibility, I don't know.

"The important thing in this selection will be trying to sum up the conditions as best we can," Ponting was quoted as saying in 'The Australian'.

Given the support Mitchell Johnson has received in recent days from Ponting and coach Tim Nielsen, Shaun Tait might have to sit out despite some destructive performances against New Zealand in the recent ODI series, the report said.

"Do we try to blast them (India) out with pace and a little bit of reverse swing, or is it better to use a spinner later in the game when the wicket might wear," Ponting said.

Gilchrist said, "we've got a world-class spin bowler in Brad Hogg. He's proven that in one-day cricket."

"He's now very excited about the opportunity to try to prove he deserves to play Test cricket.

"It depends on the conditions but, as a general rule, I've always thought a spin bowler in a Test team is very well-balanced as an option."

While neither is a selector and both claimed the right conditions could prompt the four-man panel to go with four fast bowlers, that appears most unlikely, the daily said.