Nail-trimming mishap hurts Hogg
Brad Hogg is confident that a nail-trimming accident that left him with an infected finger on his spinning hand will not stop him playing in the Chappell-Hadlee Series. While Hogg should be back bowling in a few days, Phil Jaques is also about to make his domestic return and says he is feeling "really strong" after being laid up with the mumps.
Hogg's unusual mishap was the latest in a string of health problems for Australia's players during their break from international commitments. He was unable to bowl in the second innings of Western Australia's Pura Cup match against Tasmania this week following the incident.
"I was doing a few cosmetics, got stuck into the nail a bit too far and ripped it open," Hogg told the Age. "Then it got infected so I couldn't put the ball on it the other day. I should be right in a couple of days, on the antibiotics, but it's a little bit embarrassing. I'll get my wife to do it next time.
Hogg is not in Australia's Twenty20 squad to take on New Zealand in Perth on Tuesday, meaning he has extra time for his finger to heal ahead of Friday's first ODI. He is also hoping to add to his four Test caps spread over seven years when the team for the Boxing Day Test is announced.
The return of Shaun Tait from a persistent elbow injury has raised the possibility of Australia using a four-man pace attack and Hogg believes if he is overlooked this time his Test career may be over. "Whatever they go with I can't complain," he said.
"But this is the best time for me, this will be the time I will be most ready. I think if I don't get picked this time I think I've run my race for Test cricket. [But] I won't give in."
There will be no such selection question-marks over Jaques, who has extra time to prepare for Boxing Day after he was not selected in Australia's Chappell-Hadlee squad. Jaques began the summer with Test scores of 100, 150 and 68 before succumbing to the mumps, although he is making his comeback for New South Wales in a one-day game in his hometown of Wollongong on Sunday.
"It was a little bit scary to finally get a chance and to then have a chance of that disappearing," Jaques told the Weekend Australian. "It was a little bit concerning but it is good to know that I am back now and I can't wait to get into it again.
"I lost a couple of kilos but I don't think it is going to affect me too much. I am feeling really strong."