Hoggard asks batsmen to take responsibility

Published: Friday, March 17, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Matthew Hoggard has asked his team's frontline batsmen to come up with at least one century knock in Mumbai to enable the rest of the team to build around the innings and give him and other bowlers a chance to have a go at the Indian line-up.

''To state the blatantly obvious, we need to make more runs in the third Test, especially in our first innings. If we are batting first tomorrow, someone simply must score a big hundred and then we have to go on beyond 400 as a team,'' Hoggard wrote in The Times.

Hoggard said he was well aware of the handicaps faced by bowlers on wickets in India and unless the batsmen put up huge totals it was an uphill task for them to prevent Indians from scoring freely on the dead tracks here.

''As a bowler, I know how tough it is in these conditions when two batsmen are working together and not giving you a sniff of a chance.'' Calling Rahul Dravid a pillar around whom the Indians build their innings, Hoggard said he was still trying to figure out ways to get the Indian skipper out.

''Take Rahul Dravid. Most batsmen, sooner or later, will get themselves out through their own mistakes, but we know with Dravid that if we have not found a way of getting through his defences he will still be batting at the end of the day,'' he said.

''The other India players can simply bat around him,'' he added.

Hoggard said he was not expecting a bowler-friendly wicket in Mumbai and is mentally prepared for having to bowl long spells in dry conditions.

''Once again, the bowlers are expecting five days of hard graft here in Bombay. I apologise if Ive moaned about the flat, road-like pitches recently, but with India 1-0 up in the series and one Test to play, were not expecting any favours from the local groundsman,'' he said.

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