Spinner thirsting for the World Cup April 25, 2006

Hogg unfazed by Cullen threat

Cricinfo staff



Brad Hogg: one eye on the World Cup, another on Dan Cullen © Getty Images

Brad Hogg has no intention of giving up the mantle of Australia's leading one-day spinner to Dan Cullen, the rookie offspinner, before next year's World Cup. However, he believes Cullen is the man to take over the role of leading Australian spinner in the future.

Hogg, 35, said that the hunger to compete in the World Cup was greater than it had ever been for him. "As things get closer I think it was halfway through last year [it became] one of those goals where I wanted to defend something that I have done before," he told the Herald Sun. "It is good that Dan has got a crack and he has a little taste of international cricket. He is probably going to be our main spinner once Warne and MacGill go in the Test arena and hopefully he can play a big part in the one-dayers as well from now on."

Following Shane Warne's retirement from one-day cricket, Hogg has carved out a handy role for himself and picked up his 100th wicket during the first match against Bangladesh at Chittagong on Sunday. His tally rests at 101 wickets at 28.88 - with an economy rate of 4.52 - in 83 one-day matches, and he averages just over 20 with his late-order hitting. Cullen conceded just 36 from his ten overs on debut, but it was Hogg, with 3 for 37, who was the stand-out bowler on a spin-friendly pitch in Chittagong.

Hogg believed he was in the form of his career and expected himself and Cullen to both make the squad for the World Cup in the Caribbean. "They took two spinners to the last World Cup and I can't see why they won't this time," he said. "It looks like it is going to be Dan or myself or either one of us, but we have to keep performing to keep our spots. As they say you don't give a sucker an even chance."

Both bowlers are set for another crack at Bangladesh at Fatullah tomorrow with Australia naming an unchanged side for the second game of the three-match series.

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