Hogg will bowl to best batsmen: Harbhajan

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/h/harbhajansingh2.jpg' class='caption'> India's outspoken off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh said that Indian batsmen will gorge on the bowling of Brad Hogg.

Updated: December 19, 2007 10:23 IST
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India's outspoken off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh said that Indian batsmen will gorge on the bowling of Brad Hogg, should the Western Australian be selected for the Boxing Day (December 26) Test, the media reported in Melbourne on Monday.

"Without (Shane) Warne and (Stuart) MacGill, there are no quality spinners in Australia. From our point of view, we would be happy to see how Hogg would go against the best players of spin in the world," Harbhajan was quoted as saying by The Age.

"It would be a big test for him (Hogg) and we all know how he bowls. He is not close to the class of Warne and MacGill. If they play Hoggy, I will wish him all the best because I have nothing against him, but I would be happy to see him bowl at our batsmen.

"If you look at our line-up, we have players like Sourav (Ganguly), V.V.S (Laxman), Sachin (Tendulkar) and Rahul (Dravid). They're all great players of spin," he added.

Harbhajan's comments are unlikely to dissuade Australia's selectors from calling Hogg into the Test squad, which would be picked on Thursday.

With two, first class, five-wicket hauls this season, coupled with solid one-day form, the left-arm wrist-spinner is the obvious choice to replace MacGill, who will sit out after undergoing surgery to his arm.

Harbhajan believes that the West Australian could struggle to make the transition back to Test cricket after a four-year absence.

"One-day and Test bowling are very different for a spinner," he said. "There would be a lot of pressure on Hogg if he plays."

The off-spinner said that Ponting's men or hostile crowds would not intimidate the Indians.

"I don't care what the reception is going to be like," Harbhajan said. "I'm here to play, not talk. It's about what goes on between the bat and the ball, and if they say this or that, it's OK. There was probably a bit too much of it early on in the last one-day series.

"They lost the semi-final of the Twenty20 and they were obviously hurting and wanted to prove the point that they were the better team (during the recent tour of India). But we're not just going to take it. If somebody gives it to us, we will give it back. We're coming to play cricket, not to take shit.

"We have the quality in our side and if we all stick together we can give the Australians a good fight. We respect their team and the kind of cricket they play, but we don't fear them.

"We did well here last time and we're confident we can do well again."

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