Pakistan in Australia 2009-10 January 2, 2010

The next Merv Hughes


Doug Bollinger reenacts his wicket-taking celebrations to the amusement of his team-mates © Getty Images

Six months ago in England it was Peter Siddle who was the next Merv Hughes, but now the weighty mantle has been passed on to Doug Bollinger. Hughes was called many things during his career as a mean fast bowler, including being nicknamed “The Fruitfly” by team-mates for being Australia’s greatest pest.

Now Bollinger is creating similar feelings in the Australian dressing room, while providing extreme on-field value with 18 wickets in his past three Tests.

“Doug is trying to become that Merv Hughes-style character, there’s no doubt about that,” Ricky Ponting said. “The exercises going on in front of Bay 13 [in Melbourne], trying to get the crowd all on side. He’s that sort of character, everyone loves Doug and we certainly love having him in the team. Not only with the ball, but also livening things up among the group. He’s not the quietest bloke going around, he’s always got something to say, and his voice is loud, so you don’t miss him."

Peter English is former Australasia editor of ESPNcricinfo

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