Oz don~~t need Hogg for India Tests: Lawson

Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Geoff LawsonSydney: Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson has advised the Australians to unleash four-pronged pace attack instead of including a spinner against ''agressive'' Indians in the four-Test series starting on December 26.

Lawson said the Indians were charged up after their Test and ODI series victories over his boys and he expected the Indians to come hard on the Australians.

He dismissed the need for spinner Brad Hogg unless outrageous turn is expected from the Melbourne pitch.

''They (Indians) play tough. They won't be taking a backward step, verbally or physically. They will stand up to whatever is thrown at them.

''It depends on how the pitches are looking, of course, but India doesn't have a problem playing spin. Hogg has been great in one-day cricket but I think Australia should use four quicks,'' Lawson was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.

''Michael Clarke can bowl a few overs, and with Andrew Symonds in the team, you can use your part-time spin effectively -- so Australia might be better off with four quicks, and don't pick a spinner.'' Brad Hogg is favoured to earn a call-up for the Boxing Day Test (Dec 26-30), but could yet be displaced by a fourth paceman if form and conditions warrant.

The MCG and SCG offer the opportunity for turn on the fourth and fifth days, so if Hogg is overlooked for the first two Tests, he will be running uphill to get into the side for the remaining two Tests in Perth and Adelaide.

Lawson's argument would also allow for the development of Clarke, whose spin stocks have been steadily rising.

But Hogg, who has not played a Test for four years, also has the backing of captain Ricky Ponting.

The Pakistan coach also believes that the famed Indian batting line up will have more confidence against a new- look Aussie bowling attack sans Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.

''India has got to try and bat Australia out of games.

Kumble is a very good thinking captain, and he has been getting out of them whatever they've got,'' Lawson said.

''It all goes back to the batting; they've got a quality batting line-up, and they will be able to get into games and save games.

''If the wickets are good batting wickets and quite flat -- which they have been in Australia in recent times -- India have a good chance.

''Their big opportunity is to make big runs, as they did on the last tour. (Rahul) Dravid was able to make runs against an Australian team with McGrath and Warne.'' India's fast bowlers must improve rapidly on recent displays if they are to limit the damage of Australia's batting line-up, Lawson added.

''The challenge for any side is penetrating Australia's top and middle-order, because they are so strong and relentless.''


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