Melbourne: Australia's spin bowling stocks suffered another blow Wednesday when veteran left-arm wrist-spinner Brad Hogg announced his retirement from international cricket.
The 37-year-old, who started his first-class career as a specialist batsman before turning to spin bowling, called stumps on a lengthy career after seven Tests, having debuted in 1996, and 121 one-day internationals.
For many years regarded as a limited overs specialist, Hogg revived his Test career following the retirement of champion leg-spinner Shane Warne early last year.
Hogg played in three of the four Tests against India this summer, but had little impact with eight wickets at 60.12.
Hogg's career in figures
He finishes his career with 17 Test wickets at the modest average of 54.88, but in one-day cricket for Australia he has claimed 154 wickets at 26.73 and played in two successful World Cup campaigns.
Hogg said here Wednesday he was close to retiring after last year's World Cup success, but decided to play on to try and revive his Test career after Warne's retirement.
He will call it quits at the end of the current tri-series underway here, but is considering playing on for Western Australia.
"My career started against India and I thought if I can play Test cricket against India that would be fantastic," he said.
"I wanted to fight to get back in there and I did it and I achieved what I wanted to achieve."
His retirement again exposes the lack of depth in Australia's spinning ranks post-Warne, ahead of scheduled tours of Pakistan, the West Indies and India this year.
Veteran leg-spinner Stuart MacGill, for so long Warne's understudy, is battling injury and faces an uncertain future at the age of 37.
There are few young spinners coming through in state cricket, with Cricket Australia contracted pair Cullen Bailey and Dan Cullen both struggling this season, while the bowling of Victorian all-rounder Cameron White has not come on.
Victorian leggie Bryce McGain has been in good form, but is just weeks away from turning 36, while Western Australian finger spinner Aaron Heal and New South Wales chinaman Beau Casson have their supporters.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting has previously conceded he may have to use the part-time spin of Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke more often in the near future.